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Obituary Condolences

DIANNE WILSON BYNUM passed away at Odyssey Hospice on March 6, 2010, in the arms of her loving daughter Kathryn. She was born on July 1, 1936, to Gorda and Roberta Wilson in Parkersburg, West Virginia.Dianne graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelors and masters in Marketing and Distribution. She began her career as an educator in Richmond, Virginia, serving as department head and teacher educator for Virginia Commonwealth University.She moved to Houston in 1967, and was employed at Foley's Department Store as manager of executive development.In 1972, Dianne was one of the first administrators hired to help make the Houston Community College a reality. She began as Division Chair for the Sales and Marketing Department and later served as Assistant to the President for Community Relations. While she was at HCC, she was on loan for two years to the City of Houston where she developed the first in-house training program for 14,000 city employees.After leaving HCC in 1980, she formed her own training and development consulting firm. During this time, she also was deeply involved in public service. Among other activities, she served as Councilwoman Eleanor Tinsley's campaign treasurer in her first campaign and was appointed to the State Board of Marketing and Distributive Education.In 1982, Dianne moved to Dallas to become Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources for the Bloom Companies in Dallas, Chicago, and New York. She returned to Houston in 1990 to accept the position as Executive Director for the March of Dimes, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, where she dramatically increased fund raising and volunteer activities and helped lead the chapter in being recognized among the top five most successful chapters in the country. Under Dianne's leadership, a campaign reached over 500, 000 under-served women with the message of the benefits of taking folic acid before and during pregnancy. Dianne's own Bynum's Babies Walk Team alone raised more than $45,000 for the March of Dimes.Since her retirement in 2001, she has remained involved in the community, serving as a consultant to the March of Dimes and Houston Community College and continuing her long time work with Madres a Madres. Since 2002, she has been a board member for Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults, serving as president from 2008-2010, where she was instrumental in fund-raising and numerous advocacy initiatives. The Reversal of Service Support Conference at which she spoke last year during her illness will be renamed in her honor.During her long career, Dianne received many awards and recognitions including Mentor for the Association of Training and Staff Development and its first Lifetime member, member of the Board of the Houston YWCA, Outstanding Woman YWCA, and Senior American Leadership Fellow, Houston Chapter, 1995.Dianne was a highly intelligent, committed, professional business woman and a fierce advocate for women and women's issues. Her many, many friends are a testament to her positive outlook on life, the energy she brought to any gathering, and her incredible ability to make you feel as though you were the most important person she knew. She maintained lifelong ties with high school friends, the "Golden Girls," who have continued to gather regularly and remain close. For over 20 years with some of her closest Houston friends, the Women of the Midwinter Conference, she lent her unique insights and support as they shared their lives and goals. She loved to travel and was a dear traveling companion.Dianne Bynum led a remarkable life and had many interests and passions. Her greatest loves, however, were her daughter, Kathryn, of whose accomplishments she was so very proud, and her extended family, who she delighted in visiting as often as possible. This strong, remarkable woman will be sorely missed by her family, friends, and community.Dianne is survived by her daughter, Kathryn Bynum; her brother, Dr. Donza T. Worden; numerous nieces and nephews and their extended families.A celebration of Dianne's life will be held at the West Loop Campus (5601 West Loop South, 77081) of Houston Community College on Saturday, March 13, at 2:00 pm. Words of condolence to the family may be sent to lieu of flowers, Dianne requested that contributions be made to the March of Dimes, 3000 Weslayan, 77027, or the BEAR program at Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults, 2525 Murworth, 77054.

Published in Houston Chronicle on Mar. 8, 2010
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