A celebration service for Dr. Helen C. Williamson, 89, of Tyler will be on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at 1 p.m. at East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, with Dr. Dub Oliver, Dr. Charles G. Dodson, Dr. Bob E. Riley and Dr. William C. Everett officiating.
Dr. Williamson passed away on Thursday, July 4, 2013. She was born in Smackover, Ark., on June 7, 1924, to Walker and Myzell Chapman.
Dr. Williamson was married to Travis Williamson for 46 years before his death on Aug. 10, 1992.
Dr. Williamson graduated from Gladewater High School in 1941. She graduated from College of Marshall (currently East Texas Baptist University) in 1943 and continued her educational pursuits with BBA and MA degrees from The University of Texas
at Austin. She received her Ph.D. in education in 1971 from Texas A&M University
in College Station. She was one of the first women to receive a Ph.D. from Texas A&M in College Station.
Dr. Williamson began her career as an instructor at Kilgore College, Kilgore, teaching business, and then taught 10 years at Panola College in Carthage as an instructor of political science. In 1966, she accepted a position as an educational attaché at Texas A&M University. Dr. Williamson carried teams of teachers to Central America for research in the social studies for Programa de Educacion Interamericana. In 1968, she served for nine years as a staff development specialist at Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin. She developed materials in elementary social studies based on research with three ethnic groups, published the materials after revisions and installed them in schools in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas.
Dr. Williamson was involved with numerous professional organizations, which included Delta Kappa Gamma, a woman's teachers' fraternity. She wrote many professional articles for professional journals and authored "The Secret of West Hill" with her husband, Travis. She was the editor of "Between the Lines," an account of Travis' World War II
Dr. Williamson was a faithful member of the Baptist church. She was a choir member, Sunday school teacher for adult co-ed class, and one of the first three women in Texas selected deacon in a Southern Baptist Church. She was the president and co-founder of Panola County Heritage Foundation Inc. and the Panola County Heritage Guild. She was a member of the state board Parent-Teacher Association, state board of Texas Heart Association and trustee of East Texas Baptist University. At ETBU, Dr. Williamson was the first woman to serve as chairman of the board.
Dr. Williamson was co-founder and secretary of The University of Texas Flying Longhorns as well as a member of the Carthage Music Club. She was an avid member of the William B. Young Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Longview and was a speaker for community clubs, organizations and commencement and faculty groups.
She is survived by her loving family including son, Christopher Williamson, of Tyler, son Kelly Williamson and his wife Rosanne Williamson, of Carthage; and three grandchildren, Victoria Williamson, Anna Claire Williamson and Gavin Williamson.
If desired, memorials may be made to East Texas Baptist University, One Tiger Drive, Marshall, 75670: First Baptist Church of Tyler, 301 W. Ferguson St., Tyler, 75702; Heritage Foundation in Carthage; and the Heritage Society of Tyler.
Obituary furnished by Jimerson-Lipsey Funeral Home. A guestbook may be signed online at www.jimerson-lipsey.com.