Elizabeth Rice Winston was born January 25, 1942 in Houston, Texas and passed away Sunday March 21, 2021 at her home near Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas.
Libbie was the Founder and Director of The Peaceable Kingdom School following the tradition of pioneering education in her family. Her father, James O. Winston, Jr. was the founding Chairman of the Board of St. John's School, her mother was a founding Director of The Jung Center, and her great-great uncle, William Marsh Rice, founded Rice University. In her early years, she was an international debutante and world famous beauty. She studied astrology with Anna Jung, the daughter of Carl Jung. Then her passion for plants drew her to Washington County and Peaceable Kingdom Farm.
She moved to her property in Washington County in 1970 where she grew organic herbs and flowers and began healing the overgrazed land. People came to learn from her. Her ability to guide others led her to found the Peaceable Kingdom School dedicated to teaching organic gardening and crafts in 1972. Libbie has been a hands-on gardener and a teacher. She shared her knowledge through innumerable classes, lecture programs, and on site walks through the gardens and native plants of Texas. She has also guided the development of the many visitors, students, and staff members at PKS, helping them grow in knowledge and confidence.
Although Peaceable Kingdom School ceased offering classes some years ago, the impact on the residents and students, and those they taught, in the study of medicinal and edible herbs and arts and crafts such as blacksmithing, stained-glass making, and pottery continues to this day. Libbie lived at PK for the rest of her years.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ella Botts Rice Winston and James O. Winston, Jr., and her brothers James O. Winston, III and David Winston. She is survived by her nieces and nephews, Matthew Winston, Frederick Winston, Elizabeth Winston Jones, J.O. Winston IV, William Winston, several great nieces and nephews, her former sister-in-law Susan Baker, and many dear friends, including Zenaida Alejandro, Hillary Loring, Benigno Diaz, Chris McCarthy, Deborah Dixon Roberts, and Marc Grossberg, She was formerly married to John Wilson Kelsey and Jerald David Mize.
She had an enthusiasm for the talents of others and nurtured those around her. There were few people anywhere as generous with their own time and knowledge.
Contributions can be made in her memory to the charity of your choice
First Day of Spring
The spring equinox falls on the twenty first of March, when Libbie died.
Her languor, earthy; her leg, hollow; her humor rich and dangerous. Her sexy chuckle, her poise, her presence, her faultless timing; her nobility; the tilt of her hat.
All these will linger in this little notebook falling to bits, soon to be locked in a desk drawer,
And till the last hour when all our studies darken
It will record that the sun in the vast bright world was singing herself, and all the birds fell silent, listening, on this day.
Anthony & Deborah Dixon Roberts
Published by Houston Chronicle on Apr. 4, 2021.