Marybelle Grace Douglas was born in Houston on October 9, 1923 to Wysong and Marian Grace. She died on September 12, 2015.
Marybelle graduated from Houston's Milby High School and the University of Texas. She taught fifth grade at Highland Park Elementary School in Austin in the early 1960's and later worked briefly at the Texas Education Agency. She devoted many years of service to University United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school, organizing vacation bible school programs, serving meals to the homeless, and planning the opening of the church's cooperative day care program for children of U.T. students. She was involved with the Reading is FUNdamental program for many years.
In 1944 she married Leon Douglas, whom she met while attending the University of Texas. They were married for 42 years until his death in 1986. Marybelle was active in the State Official Ladies Club during Leon's service as a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. They had two children, Nancy and David. "Mimi" (her grandparent title) treasured her family, which includes seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Mimi and Papaw were beloved grandparents.
Her family and friends were blessed by Marybelle's generous and loving spirit. She was especially fond of children, and was an inspirational teacher in everyday life. She encouraged and directed her charges to not only master the subject matter, but to enjoy learning, demonstrating that in her own efforts. When finishing her degree requirements at the University of Texas, she took an astronomy course that she described as daunting. To familiarize herself with the basic terminology she read children's astronomy books, then shared those books and her enthusiasm for the subject with her own children. For many years she delivered library books during visits to friends living in nursing homes. She was an excellent hostess and cook, and enjoyed preparing many meals for family occasions, friends and Leon's colleagues.
Her brother, Marvin Grace of Houston, died in December 2008.
She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Moore and husband Tom of Austin; son David Douglas and wife Frances of Austin; grandchildren Amy Hufford and husband Jeff of Austin; Claire Moore Zambrano and husband Adrian of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Daniel Moore and wife Lisa of Chicago, Illinois; Marian Moore Reyna and husband Sean of Austin; Lesley Douglas of Austin; Allison Hinojosa and husband Carlos of Austin; and Michael Douglas of Montana. Her great-grandchildren are Hannah Hufford and Stella Hufford, Victor Hinojosa and Daniel Hinojosa, Sydney Reyna and Mae Reyna all of Austin, and Zoë Zambrano of Brooklyn, New York.
Her family appreciates the excellent care and attention provided by the staff of Brookdale at Westlake Hills.
A memorial service will be held at a later time.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2015
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