Eleanor Stayton Gammon

Eleanor Stayton Gammon Aug. 28, 1916-July 7, 2013 Born to Hallie Robertson Stayton and Judge Robert Weldon Stayton in Corpus Christi, Nueces Co., Texas. She moved to Austin as a child with her parents and younger sister, Hallie, when her father was recruited to the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law. She attended Wooldridge Elementary School, Allen Junior High School, and Stephen F. Austin High School, from which she graduated in 1933. She attended the University of Texas, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, graduating in 1937 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Zoology. While a student at the University, she met William Gammon, Jr., to whom she was married in Austin on June 11, 1938. They began their married life on Galveston Island. In 1942, they moved to Dallas, and then to Austin in 1945 with their first two children where her husband entered into the insurance agency business. Finding herself again in her childhood hometown, she was happy to reconnect with her many friends. She continued to live in Austin until the time of her death. For most of her adult life she was fully engaged in the life and activities of what was in the early years, a relatively small town. She was a member of the Junior League of Austin, eventually becoming its president. It was through her work in the League that the first Children's Symphonies were produced by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the University of Texas String Project for children was established. Her love of serious music, to which she was introduced by her father, was a prime source of inspiration to her throughout her life. It was this passion that in later years led her to become a member of the founding Austin Lyric Opera board. She was an early and ardent fan of Austin's KMFA classical radio station. Her early days on the Gulf of Mexico in Corpus Christi and her years in Galveston fostered in her a great love of the sea. For many years, she vacationed with her family in Corpus Christi, in the home of her aunt. Regular excursions to Padre Island and Oso Bayou were the order of the day. In 1963, on one of her ambitious 2000 mile summer driving tours, she discovered Penobscot Bay on the Mid-Coast of Maine, to which she returned every summer thereafter. In her later years, she traveled abroad extensively, preparing detailed itineraries which were well researched and relentlessly pursued. She was indomitable, possessed of an iron will and a weakness for spoiling her grandchildren and her poodles. She remained intellectually curious throughout her long life and read widely. After the death of her second son, she decided to return to the University to "update" her degree with a focus on the discoveries in biology and chemistry and she obtained her teaching certificate. As a teacher of life sciences in Austin's public junior high schools, she team taught with a dear friend and colleague, developing a dynamic science curriculum, still appreciated today by their former students. She was a cradle Episcopalian, serving long before women were allowed leadership roles within the Church. At All Saints' Episcopal Church she served on altar guild teams, she sewed altar hangings, and needlepointed cushions and kneelers for the chancel. Seeing the need, she, along with others, was instrumental in establishing All Saint's Day School, which held preschool classes, a kindergarten and a first grade. From there it was natural that a school that ran through the sixth grade should follow. Once again she and others were instrumental in establishing such a school, which was the beginning of St. Andrews Episcopal School. She was a member of many formal and informal organizations, including the National Society of the Colonial Dames, the Open Forum, the American History Club, a book club, a garden club, and a sewing club to name a few. She loved gardening, building dollhouses with her sister, auditing classes at the University, sailing, and good food. She became a distinguished cook who loved to entertain her friends and family with her culinary talents. She was preceded in death by her son Robert Stayton Gammon, her husband William Gammon, Jr and her sister Betty Stayton Penn. She is survived by her son, William Gammon III, her daughter s Eleanor Gammon Berry, Hallie Gammon Speranza, and Alice Gammon Jefferson, eight grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and her sisters, Hallie Stayton Evans and Ann Stayton Lewis. Only a few of her oldest and dearest friends remain. However, she continued to make good friends throughout her life. She will be missed by all of those who knew and loved her. The family wishes to thank Dr. Ace Alsup for his attentive care over the years and the caregivers at Southern Hospitality Home for their love and kindness to our mother in her declining days. Burial services will be held on Saturday September 7 at 11:00 at All Saints' Episcopal Church 207 W. 27th St; officiated by The Reverend Michael K. Adams and The Reverend A. Phillips Nazro Jr. A reception will be held following the service at Tarry House, 3006 Bowman Ave. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to any of the charities mentioned above or to one of your own choosing. Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com


Funeral Home

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78705
(512) 452-8811

Published in Austin American-Statesman from July 20 to July 21, 2013