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Carol A. Cummings

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Carol A. Cummings Obituary
CUMMINGS, Carol Ann Carol Ann Cummings "shuffled off her mortal coil" on August 5, 2018. She was born in Waxahachie, Texas and spent her early childhood there. She moved to Austin, Texas in 1945 when her step-father, Leslie Heine, was appointed Fire Chief at Bergstrom Air Force Base. While growing up in Austin, Carol attended Baker Junior High School and graduated from Austin High School where she was a member of the Red Dragon Players and the National Thespian Society. She then began her college career at the University of Texas majoring in Journalism. As fate would have it, she and her Geology lab partner, Bill Cummings, became friends. They discovered after a year of friendship that it became something more and were married at the Harris Memorial Chapel at the University Methodist Church in 1956. The couple moved to Waco, Texas, for a job opportunity for Bill. There he achieved his BBA at Baylor while working full time at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and serving as a Naval Reservist. Meanwhile, Carol was busily engaged in raising their children, Julianne born in 1957 and Brent born in 1959. In 1963, the Cummings family returned to Austin where Bill began his career at the Texas Education Agency. When her children began school, Carol embarked on the quest of completing her degree, changing her major to Secondary Education with specialties in English and Government. This she did in 1970, cum laude. Before graduating, Carol was inducted into Kappa Pi, the Honor Society in Education, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Society. Carol's first teaching assignment was at Reagan High School where she taught all levels of English, grades nine through twelve as well as a team-taught Gifted and Talented program, American History and Literature wherein students could earn credits for both disciplines. She considered one of her proudest achievements while at Reagan was that of being instrumental in establishing an Advanced Placement course in English. During the summers, she went to grad school and received her Masters Degree in 1984. In 1985, Carol accepted the job of senior English teacher and Department Chair at Dripping Springs High School. Up until this time, an Honors Program had not been established at D.S.H.S. With School Board approval, an Honors Program was put into place. She also served as Ready Writing Coach for students competing in UIL contests and was very proud of her students when several advanced to the State Competition. It was during these years at D.S.I.S.D. that Carol was able to attend Cambridge University in England for a summer program entitled THE ROMANTIC POETS. All in all, Carol's experience at Dripping Springs High School was a fulfilling one where she was fortunate in making lasting friendships with her students and fellow educators and treasured fond memories of them after retirement in 1992. It had been one of Carol's lifelong dreams to live in a vintage home like the one in which she lived during her childhood. This dream was fulfilled when they purchased the "Jones House" in Lockhart, Texas. During this time, Carol and Bill became founding members of the Chisholm Trail Texas Exes Chapter (now known as the Caldwell County Texas Exes). This group still awards scholarships to deserving students entering the University of Texas each year. Carol was also a founding member of the Texas Democratic Women of Caldwell County. This group honored Carol in 2007 with the Silver Star Award for outstanding Democratic Women of Texas. She and Bill were honored at the annual TDWCC banquet as Democratic Legends. While in Lockhart, Carol was a member of the Retired Teachers' Association, the Irving Club, and the Lockhart Book Club, a group of which she remained a member even after moving back to Austin. After their move to Austin, Carol was able to complete her long-awaited novella MURDER AT JOCK HIGH, which she self-published and distributed copies only to family and friends, trusting that these folks would be kind in their critiques of her little book. Bill and Carol were also able to enjoy extensive travel after their retirements. Carol and Bill were founding members of St. Luke's on-the-Lake Episcopal Church and longtime members of the Capitol Rod and Gun Club where Carol served as Recording Secretary, was a member of the Board of Directors, as well as Scholarship Chair. In addition to the love and affection Carol felt for her family and friends, she was fierce in her loyalty to several causes. She would sit as a child at her grandfather's knee to listen to President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats and thus became a life-long Democrat, a "yeller dog" Democrat at that, and could not understand why anyone could be a member of any other party. Another cause dear to her heart was the SPCA since she loved animals with the exception of snakes and sundry other reptiles. She also adored her cats Ann Richards and Molly Ivins - likewise her border collies Rhett and Scarlet. She had watched and cheered on the Texas Longhorns since 1945 when one could buy a "KNOT HOLE" ticket in the end zone for fifty cents and remained loyal to the 'Horns through times of triumph, defeat, and tragedy for many, many years. This loyalty almost got her in deep trouble when she flashed the "Hook 'em Horns" while vacationing in Sicily. Carol was preceded in death by her husband of fifty seven years, Bill Cummings, her parents James Leroy Barkley, Janice Carroll Heine and Leslie Lee Heine. Carol is survived by her daughter, Julianne Castro and husband Russell Castro, as well as her son, Brent Cummings and wife, Kathleen Cummings. Also surviving Carol are her granddaughter, Jennifer Erickson and husband, Dirk Erickson, her granddaughter Meredith Egwuatu and husband ND Egwuatu, her granddaughter Lindsay Cummings, and grandson Travis Cummings. Also surviving are her great-grandchildren, Garrett Erickson, Adalyn Erickson, Annalise Egwuatu and Alexander Egwuatu. A celebration of Carol's life will be held on Sunday, August 19th at 1:00pm at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center 4801 La Crosse Ave. in Austin, TX. Please wear casual attire and if you'd like, wear something purple, Carol's favorite color. Those wishing to honor Carol's memory may do so by contributing to the Capitol Rod and Gun Club Scholarship Fund at 20325 Rod & Gun Club Rd, Spicewood TX 78669 or the Austin Humane Society at 124 W. Anderson Ln., Austin TX 78752. The family especially would like to thank Irma Anzures, Laura Fernandez, Claudia Murillo and Maggie Nieto for taking such loving care of Carol Ann. Unable are the loved to die For Love is Immortality, Nay, it is Deity- Unable they that love- to die For Love reforms Vitality Into Divinity. Emily Dickinson
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Aug. 12, 2018
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