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Sharon Sue Voyles McGraw

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Sharon Sue Voyles McGraw Obituary
Sharon Sue Voyles McGraw Sharon Sue Voyles McGraw died on Monday, December 10, 2012 following a long and courageous battle with cancer, even though after each knock down blow from that odious enemy she re-entered the fighting ring with grit and determination. Born on August 9, 1937, in Austin, Texas, Sharon attended Pease Elementary, Allan Junior High, and Austin High School, graduating from The University of Texas in 1959 where she was an active member of Chi Omega, Spooks, Orange Jackets, Mortar Board and Cap and Gown. Her childhood memories were resplendent with friends and days spent at the Lazy V, a family ranch on the Pedernales River near Johnson City, where she and her brother Jack road horses, shot guns, swam the river, enjoyed the camaraderie of their parents, their friends and children, and a bounty of schoolmates. Known for her preference for all things purple, for her impeccable style and her tall elegant bearing, she was always one to stand out in (and above) the crowd. This stylish, elegant and restrained Sharon stood in stark contrast to the "other Sharon," the one who would let fly the occasional folksy comment at just the appropriate or perhaps inappropriate place in a conversation. She would announce that someone "went down like a one egg puddin," or that "someone looked dead and dug up" or that someone was "so dumb he didn't know come here from sic 'em". At a very painful moment during her last days she said to a dear one leaving her bedside, "Turn out the light; the party's over" Her young adult life was full of rearing her two children, Susie and Michael, volunteer work with the Junior League, Junior Helping Hand, and supporting animal rights causes and other charitable organizations. Later Sharon joined the dynamic working group at Texas Exes, moving after many years to her last employment at UT where she was a valuable member of the UT President's team, having served five presidents. After retirement she became an administrative assistant to retired UT vice-president, Dr. Wm. S. Livingston. Scattered throughout all these pressing work related demands were many trips to places near and far, for travel was one of Sharon's passions. From girlhood on, Mexico was a frequent destination, Hawaii while in college, California after graduation, trips with her mother and granddaughters, and many worldwide trips as a group leader on Texas Exes' tours. Her last trip occurred about a month before her death when she flew to Las Vegas with friends to visit her dear son Michael. Sharon's spiritual life was deep and private but obvious as witnessed by fellow congregants in her church, Westminster Presbyterian, where throughout her life she was a full and loyal participant. There she not only served as Deacon but quietly and conscientiously participated in and contributed to many of the Church's committees and outreach programs. She was preceded in death by her parents Madeline and Claude Voyles and her older brother Jack Voyles. She is survived by her daughter Madeline Sue McGraw Grant and granddaughters Claire Alexandra Grant and Madeline Grace Grant; her son Michael Vernon McGraw and his partner Sean McClenahan; her niece Claudia Voyles; nephew Evan Eason Voyles, his wife Gail Chovan and children Zelda and Creedence Voyles; former husband Buddy McGraw; and her dogs Molly and Annie. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Sharon's name to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 Exposition Blvd, Austin 78703; to UT Austin-Sharon McGraw Fund, University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Box 7458, Austin, 78713; or to a . Or, in Sharon's memory, go treat yourself to a Mexican food dinner. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 14, 2012 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3208 Exposition Blvd, Austin 78703. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Dec. 12, 2012
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