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Anne C. McAfee


1930 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Anne C. McAfee October 15, 1930 - July 13, 2013 Austin lost one of her staunchest progressive activists on Saturday, July 13, 2013. Anne McAfee, a lifelong Austinite who had been actively involved in state and local politics for the better part of seven decades, died peacefully at home surrounded by her family. Anne suffered from complications following a stroke that occurred while she was attending and supporting the recent filibuster on women's rights at the Texas State Capitol. She was 82. Born Anne Elizabeth Castleberry, Anne grew up in her Faulk grandparents' 1890s home on a small farm in what was then semi-rural South Austin. As a teenager her chores included carrying in wood for the stoves and milking the family's cows each morning before going off to school. In addition to her grandparents and her mother - English teacher Martha Faulk Castleberry - Anne grew up in the large farm home with aunts, uncles and numerous cousins, as well as other relatives and friends who might drop in just for a visit but end up "staying a spell." Her aunt, Mary Faulk Koock, established Green Pastures Restaurant in this lovely home in 1946. The family home was a place where no topic was too sacred for discussion- where politics, religion, education and child-rearing were regular topics around the dinner table or while gathered out on the front porch. The Faulk home had been the location for numerous meetings of the local Women's Suffrage movement in the decade before Anne was born and her grandmother and others talked often of those efforts and of advancing women's rights further. Grace Methodist Church was the center of the family's social lives and the basis for their social justice activities. In the Faulk home Anne developed a profound love of America and its founding ideals and developed a deep commitment to principles of justice and inclusion for all. Helping America live up to those principles and become that "more perfect union" guided her life and her activism. Anne got hooked on politics as a 13-year-old volunteer in the 1944 Minnie Fisher Cunningham for Governor campaign. Twenty-five years earlier "Minnie Fish" had been president of the Texas Women's Suffrage Association and Anne liked to point out that Texas got the right to vote for women two years before it became law nationally. Anne graduated from old Austin High in 1948 and attended UT as a history major until 1952 when she married Bill McAfee, who had come to Austin from Corsicana to attend the University of Texas. Having five children in quick succession, Anne was a homemaker for a good many years, active in teaching swimming lessons, the PTA, carpooling, etc. After the children were older, Anne edited their weekly newspaper, The Austin Times, a monthly magazine, Go Austin!, and helped Bill in all of their other business ventures. A serious student of history and public affairs, she devoured information, subscribing to The Congressional Record as well as numerous other political publications. Historians as well as local, state, and even national political candidates often turned to her for her in-depth knowledge of legislative affairs and Texas and national politics. Throughout her life Anne was deeply involved in numerous campaigns from the courthouse to the White House. At age 17, she attended the Progressive Party Convention in Philadelphia and supported Henry Wallace for President. Although she loved riding horses, she sold her treasured saddle to get the money for the trip. Among others, she worked to elect Ralph Yarborough to the U.S. Senate; campaigned for Henry B. Gonzalez for Governor; was a statewide coordinator for George McGovern for President; and served as campaign treasurer for John Courage and for Maria Canchola. Anne was also one of the original founders of the Save Barton Creek Association, served for many years as an officer and newsletter editor for the Austin League of Women Voters and the Travis County Democratic Women's Committee, and represented our senatorial district as committeewoman on the State Democratic Executive Committee. She and Bill were part of the original group of Yeller Dawg Democrats who have been meeting each Saturday for more than 20 years. Besides working for progressive candidates, Anne worked tirelessly to help create an America that offered liberty, justice, and opportunity for all. She worked for causes that included ending nuclear proliferation, ending war, protecting the environment, promoting civil rights for minorities and farm workers, protecting women's rights, and providing health care for all. Anne worked for years on compiling the history of the seven generations of her family in Austin and had nearly finished her book at the time of her death. She took pride in her deep Texas roots as a member of one of the families who received a land grant from Stephen F. Austin. She loved her large extended family deeply, and imparted a legacy of political engagement to be passed on to future generations. Anne is survived by her husband of 61 years, Bill McAfee; children Susan Raybuck, Mark McAfee, Karen Kate McAfee, Laura O'Neill, and Nancy Dyer; sons-in-law Perry Raybuck and Allan Dyer; grandchildren David Raybuck, Abigail Daigle, Sean Raybuck, Adrienne O'Neill, Amanda Adele McAfee, Kaela Dyer Luna, Kevin Deckard McAfee, Emerson McAfee, Garrett Dyer, Kenny O'Neill, Jeff McAfee Deckard, and Sarah O'Neill; and great-grandchildren Sydney, Perry, Harper, and Everlee. The family would like to thank the extraordinary staff at Brackenridge Hospital and at Hospice Austin, as well as Tad Davis, M.D. who stepped forward to help Anne at the Capitol immediately following her stroke and who accompanied her from the Capitol to Brackenridge. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Anne McAfee Fund at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (PPGT), 201 East Ben White Blvd., Bldg B, Austin 78704; Capitol Area Food Bank of Texas, 8201 South Congress Ave, Austin 78745; or SafePlace, P.O. Box 19454, Austin 78760. Funeral services will occur early Saturday for her large extended family. A celebration of her life for family, friends, and acquaintances will be held on Saturday, July 20th at 2 p.m. at Green Pastures, 811 W. Live Oak Street, Anne's childhood home. Memorials and guestbook online at www.wcfish.com



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Published in Austin American-Statesman on July 18, 2013
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