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Mary "Bebe" (Browning Scott) CHAMP


1936 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Mary "Bebe" (Browning Scott) CHAMP Obituary
CHAMP (Browning Scott), Mary "Bebe"
4/13/1936 - 9/6/2015

Mary Browning Scott (Bebe) Champ died unexpectedly at her home September 6, 2015. She will be missed by hundreds of friends and associates who knew her through her lifelong work with Texas government and advocacy for social justice. Bebe was born near Chicago on April 13, 1936 to William L. and Carra Browning Scott. Her mother's family were long-time Texans and she grew up near Mount Pleasant, eventually graduating from Highland Park High School in Dallas and attending the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in theater arts. While at UT, she married and later was divorced from Ronald Champ with whom she remained friends throughout her life.

Bebe was a remarkable personality. Funny, spiritual, kind, generous and supportive to her many friends, she also was a proud yellow dog Democrat who spent the majority of her working career in and around Texas politics. Possessor of intelligence, a dry wit and wry sense of humor, one of her friends described her as someone who should have hosted a salon in Paris during the 1930s, discussing the arts, literature and politics of the day. She was meditative but not religious, spiritual without dogma, a free spirit in the truest meaning of the word.

Her first job with Democrats was in the Austin office of Texas US Senator Ralph W. Yarborough. After he left office, she joined the staff of newly-elected Texas Land Commissioner Robert (Bob) Armstrong, a friend and mentor, with whom she spent years on a mission to protect the environment and promote appreciation for the natural treasures of the state. With Armstrong, she developed her understanding and sense of how government should work and called the job the most fun she ever had. When Armstrong retired to run for Governor, Bebe later worked for the Texas Department of Community Affairs, Texas Department of Commerce and the Texas Workforce Commission. Before her retirement in 2003, she developed a keen interest in the needs of at-risk youth, advocating for quality education and training.

Bebe was a member of St. David's Episcopal Church, volunteering much of her time to helping others learn about the church's labyrinth, the maze-like mystical structure dating back to ancient times known for promotion of meditation and healing.

She is survived by a host of friends and colleagues whose lives she touched with her special brand of understanding, whimsy and tolerance for others.

A celebration of Bebe's life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 10, 2015, at St. David's Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th Street, Austin, TX. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the church in her honor.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, 2015
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