Dean Hamilton TOWNER

TOWNER, Dean Hamilton

Dean Hamilton Towner, Senior Master Emeritus of St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Austin, died peacefully on November 5, 2013, at the age of 94, after a long career in Episcopal schools.

A native of Saranac Lake, NY, Mr. Towner was born on May 20, 1919, and earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in Classical Languages and Literature at Cornell University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He volunteered for service in the US Navy in 1943, and was assigned to the USN Japanese Language School at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was trained as a translator and interpreter. He served until 1946 as a Lieutenant USNR in Naval Intelligence, stationed in Hawaii, Okinawa and Japan. His time in Japan fostered a lifelong love of the country and its culture.

Mr. Towner began his church school career at St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts, and in 1950 became a founding member of the faculty of St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Austin, where he taught Latin and Greek and served as college advisor. In 1963 he married Velberta Asher Millerick, and their home on campus welcomed students, colleagues and alumni for the next 22 years. Alumni of the school happily remember receiving a card from him every year on their birthdays until his retirement in 1985.

During sabbatical leaves and after retirement, Dean and Bert taught English at Episcopal schools in Osaka, Japan. At that time they were instrumental in establishing an exchange program between St. Andrew's High School, Osaka, and Episcopal schools in the United States. Over the years, well over one hundred Japanese and American students took part in the program.

Mr. Towner served as a Member and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Austin, during its expansion into both Middle and Upper Schools, and was an enthusiastic supporter of St. James' Episcopal School.

He was preceded in death by his wife Bert, his daughter Karen Millerick Pedersen and his nephew Stephen Ford Thomas. He is survived by his son Richard F. Millerick and wife Wendy; grandchildren Belinda Kindschi, Brent Bond, Marie Lindahl and Ryan Millerick; great-grandchildren Savannah Hammontree, Adrienne Kindschi, Cole Kindschi, Elliot Bond, Max Lindahl, Ella Lindahl, Sydney Millerick, Jeremy Bond and Ally Bond, all from the Seattle area of Washington; by his niece Nancy Worthley Thomas of Albany, NY, niece Martha Thomas of Rainbow Lake, NY, and her daughter Jennifer of Saranac Lake, NY. The list of his survivors also includes the legions of students he taught, counseled and led by example. His legacy at St. Stephen's includes a dormitory, Towner House, named in honor of Dean and his wife Bert.

A Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated at St. Stephen's Episcopal School Chapel at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 7, with interment of ashes in the Brewster Memorial to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to the Velberta and Dean Towner Fund for the Fine Arts or the Dean H. Towner Master Teaching Endowment at St. Stephen's Episcopal School or to the scholarship funds of St. Andrew's or St. James' Episcopal Schools, Austin.

Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com

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Published in Austin American-Statesman from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, 2013