Ruth Elaine Britt was born December 3, 1923 in Martindale, Texas to Clarence and Viola Britt, two school teachers. The youngest of seven children, she grew up in central Texas, before following in her parents footsteps by getting a degree in education from the University of Texas in 1945.

It was at UT where she met the love of her life, Don Partridge. They were married on November 24, 1945, at the Britt family home on Salado Street in Austin. The couple then moved to Corpus Christi, where Elaine taught school, before moving to Kingsville. There Elaine gave birth to their first child, James Britt, quickly followed by their first daughter, Donna Janet, who was born severely mentally disabled. A few years later the family moved to La Feria, where they welcomed the arrival of their second daughter, Myra Sue. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Corpus Christi.

Donna's disability gave new direction to the family. The family settled in Austin in 1959, where Don worked at the Texas Education Agency, eventually becoming Texas' first Associate Commissioner of Special Education. Elaine continued to teach school until retiring in 1972.

After Don's retirement in 1982, he worked for the United States Defense Department evaluating special education programs at US military bases abroad and together they travelled the world extensively. Afterwards, they continued their relationship and advocacy on behalf of those involved with Texas State Schools and the Parent's Association for Retarded Texans.

Among Elaine's greatest joys were her three grandchildren, Andrew and Matthew McCoy, and Kathryn (McCoy) Weinstein. She and Don loved spending time with them, whether in the Texas hill country, at the Texas Memorial Museum, or the symphony.

In 2003, Elaine suffered two major strokes, requiring extensive brain surgery and the doctors did not think she would live. She enjoyed ten more years of lunches out with friends and family, rides in the hill country, and Sundays with her friends at Crestview United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Donna Janet, in November 1991, and her husband of 62 years, Don in February 2008. She is survived by her son, James Britt and wife Patricia, her daughter Myra McCoy and husband Mike, as well as three grandchildren, their spouses, and nine great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, November 22, 2013 at Crestview United Methodist Church, 1300 Morrow Street, Austin, Texas 78757. The family gratefully acknowledges the constant service and compassion of the staff at Parmer Woods. Memorial contributions may be made to Crestview United Methodist Church or to the Austin State School, 2203 West 35th Street, Austin, Texas 78731.

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


Published in Austin American-Statesman from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2013