FARABEE, MARY MARGARET (1939 ~ 2013). The following is an obituary for Mary Margaret Farabee, spouse of former State Senator Ray Farabee. The obituary was provided by Weed, Corley, Fish Funeral Home.
Mary Margaret Farabee died at her home in Austin on Sunday, March 3, 2013, after a heroic battle with cancer. She was 73.
Born in Dallas in 1939, Mary Margaret attended public schools and the University of Texas at Austin, where she enrolled in the Plan II honors program. While at UT she participated in student activities that ranged from sorority membership in Kappa Alpha Theta to protests against racial discrimination. She graduated with honors in 1961. She subsequently worked at the Austin State Hospital, where she met her first husband, Dr. James Albright. She returned to UT and earned a masters degree in American Studies in 1968.
After her first marriage ended in divorce, Mary Margaret went to work as a single mother. She taught a cooking class in her home before taking positions with the Texas State Historical Association and the Texas state senate. She served as director of volunteer services at Seton Hospital, senior vice president at United Bank and finally vice president for development at KLRU-TV.
In 1991 she married Ray Farabee, then general counsel for the University of Texas System and formerly a Texas state senator for thirteen years. Their marriage lasted until her death.
For years Mary Margaret had been active in volunteer work; starting in 1991 she made volunteering her full-time job. She spearheaded the restoration of the Paramount Theater and was instrumental in commissioning Philosophers' Rock, the statue of writers J. Frank Dobie, Roy Bedichek and Walter Prescott Webb at the entrance to Barton Springs pool. She joined with Texas First Lady Laura Bush to found the Texas Book Festival in 1996 and chaired its board of directors for eight years. She helped organize the Charles W. Moore Foundation to preserve architect Moore's home and studios as the Center for the Study of Place. She was a moving force behind the creation of the Molly Ivins Award for investigative journalism. In 1998 she was honored as the Austin Board of Realtors' Most Worthy Citizen. Among the many boards and councils she served on recently were those of the University of Texas Press, the UT Harry Ransom Center, the People's Community Clinic, the Austin Community Foundation, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, the Texas Child Study Center, the Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Huston-Tillotson University Leadership Program.
Mary Margaret loved to travel. A high-school summer trip to Germany with the American Friends Service Committee kindled a sense of adventure that took her to dozens of countries in every inhabited continent.
Her zest for life touched all those around her. She appreciated fine food and spirited conversation, but most of all cherished time spent with friends, her daughter Patricia and her devoted husband, Ray. The home she created with Ray is filled with the books and art she gathered over many years and generously shared with others.
She was predeceased by her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Carlson; her son, David Albright; her sister, Glenda Goodman; and her brother, DeVere Carlson. She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Albright; her nieces, Ann Goodell and Beth Crawford; her nephew, Arthur Woerheide; and her husband, Ray; and her stepson Steve Farabee and wife Karen of Austin and their daughter Sara, and stepson David Farabee and wife Terri of Wichita Falls and their children Worth, Nancy, and Russell.
The family thanks the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston, Hospice Austin and Mary Margaret's loyal friends for their support during her illness.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the People's Community Clinic (2909 N. Interstate 35, Austin 78722) or to the charity of the contributor's choice.
A memorial service will be held at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at 10:30 am Monday, March 18, 2013.