Helen Chapman WILLIAMSON Ph.D.

WILLIAMSON, PhD., Helen Chapman

A celebration service for Dr. Helen C. Williamson, 89, of Tyler, Texas will be held on Friday, November 8, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, Texas with Dr. Dub Oliver, Dr. Charles G. Dodson, Dr. Bob E. Riley, and Dr. William C. Everett officiating.

Dr. Williamson passed away on Thursday, July 4, 2013. She was born in Smackover, Arkansas on June 7, 1924 to Walker and Myzell Chapman.

Dr. Williamson was married to Travis Williamson for 46 years before his death on August 10, 1992.

Dr. Williamson graduated from Gladewater High School in 1941. She graduated from College of Marshall (currently East Texas Baptist University) in 1943 and continued her educational pursuits with a B.B.A. and M.A. degrees from University of Texas in Austin. She received her Ph.D. in Education in 1971 from Texas A&M University in College Station. She was one of the first women to receive a Ph.D. from Texas A&M in College Station.

Dr. Williamson began her career as an instructor at Kilgore College, Kilgore, Texas teaching business and then taught 10 years to Panola College in Carthage as an instructor of Political Science. In 1966, she accepted a position as an educational attache at Texas A&M University. Dr. Williamson carried teams of teachers to Central America for research in the social studies for Programa de Educacion Interamiercana. In 1968, she served for 9 years as a Staff Development Specialist at Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin, Texas. She developed materials in elementary social studies based on research with three ethnic groups, published the materials after revisions and installed them in schools in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas.

Dr. Williamson was involved with numerous professional organizations which include Delta Kappa Gamma, a woman's teachers' fraternity. She wrote many professional articles for professional journals and authored "The Secret of West Hill" with her husband, Travis. She was the editor of "Between the Lines", an account of Travis' WWII overseas experience.

Dr. Williamson was a faithful member of the Baptist Church. She was a choir member, Sunday school teacher for adult co-ed class, and one of the first three women in Texas selected deacon in a Southern Baptist Church. She was the president and co-founder of Panola County Heritage Foundation, Inc. and the Panola County Heritage Guild. She was a member of the state board Parent-Teacher Association, state board of Texas Heart Association and trustee of East Texas Baptist University. At ETBU, Dr. Williamson was the first woman to serve as chairman of the board.

Dr. Williamson was co-founder and secretary of the University of Texas Flying Longhorns as well as a member of the Carthage Music Club. She was an avid member of the William B. Young Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Longview, Texas and was a speaker for community clubs, organizations and commencement and faculty groups.

She is survived by her loving family including son, Christopher Williamson of Tyler, Texas, son Kelly Williamson and his wife Rosanne Williamson of Carthage, Texas, and three grandchildren Victoria Williamson, Anna Claire Williamson and Gavin Williamson.

If desired, memorials may be made to East Texas Baptist University, One Tiger Dr., Marshall, TX 75670: First Baptist Church of Tyler, 301 West Ferguson, Tyler, TX 75702, Heritage Foundation in Carthage, Texas and the Heritage Society of Tyler.

Obituary furnished by Jimerson-Lipsey Funeral Home, Carthage, TX. A guestbook may be signed online at www.jimerson-lipsey.com.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24, 2013