81R11945 BPG-D
  By: Cohen H.R. No. 1034
         WHEREAS, The city of Houston lost an esteemed leader and a
  dynamic trailblazer with the death of Eleanor Whilden Tinsley on
  February 10, 2009, at the age of 82; and
         WHEREAS, The daughter of W. C. and Georgiabel Whilden, the
  former Eleanor Whilden was born in Dallas on October 31, 1926; she
  attended William and Mary College before going on to earn her
  bachelor's degree from Baylor University; she married a fellow
  Baylor graduate, James Tinsley, and they moved to Houston in 1953;
  the devoted couple became the parents of three children and later
  welcomed seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter into the
  family; they shared a rewarding relationship for 59 years until Mr.
  Tinsley's death in 2007; and
         WHEREAS, Mrs. Tinsley was active in civic and church affairs
  as a young mother; deeply committed to racial equality and civil
  rights, she joined the Citizens for Good Schools slate as a
  desegregation candidate for the Houston Independent School
  District, winning election in 1969 and becoming president in 1972;
  during this turbulent time, she endured vandalism and harassment,
  but remained true to the causes in which she believed; she was
  instrumental in making the integration process orderly and
  peaceful, and in developing the magnet school concept that became a
  national model; Mrs. Tinsley also led the way in the establishment
  of the Volunteers in Public School program and the creation of the
  Houston Community College System; and
         WHEREAS, Following her school board tenure, Mrs. Tinsley was
  appointed to the board of the Houston Housing Authority; she became
  president of Harris County Children's Protective Services and
  helped found the Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards, serving as
  its president; in 1979, she became one of the first women elected to
  citywide political office in Houston and during her 16 years in
  office, she initiated important legislation dealing with
  anti-crime measures, city administration, urban planning, and
  economic development; and
         WHEREAS, This petite, elegant woman possessed enormous
  reserves of both charm and resolve; adopting the turtle as her
  symbol, she proclaimed that only people who stick their necks out
  get things done; she radically altered the way the city served its
  citizens and she improved quality of life by fighting to ban indoor
  smoking, restrict the proliferation of unsightly billboards,
  establish the 9-1-1 emergency network, organize the mounted patrol,
  and establish the READ Commission for adult literacy; in 1983, she
  created the SPARK School Park Program to develop public school
  grounds into neighborhood parks; and
         WHEREAS, After leaving public office, Mrs. Tinsley continued
  to work in behalf of SPARK, which has won numerous local, state, and
  national awards; through the years, she participated in many
  community organizations and served on the boards of Planned
  Parenthood, the Baylor Alumni Association, and the Baptist General
  Convention of Texas; in addition, she volunteered in political
  campaigns, most recently supporting President Barack Obama from the
  very beginning of his campaign for the Democratic nomination; and
         WHEREAS, The city of Houston named both a downtown park and an
  elementary school in Mrs. Tinsley's honor; she was elected to the
  Texas Women's Hall of Fame and was named a distinguished alumna by
  Baylor University; the Houston Post listed her as one of
  "Twenty-five People Who Changed Houston," and among countless other
  accolades, she received the Institute of Rehabilitation and
  Research President's Award for her efforts in behalf of people with
  disabilities; in January 2009, Planned Parenthood inducted her into
  the prestigious Margaret Sanger Circle; and
         WHEREAS, Eleanor Tinsley helped make the Houston political
  system more open and representative of its diverse population, and
  was a tireless champion for civil and human rights and civic
  improvement; through her vision and tenacity, she has left Houston
  a safer and a more livable and tolerant city; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 81st Texas
  Legislature hereby pay tribute to the life of Eleanor Whilden
  Tinsley and extend sincere sympathy to the members of her family: to
  her daughters, Kathleen Ownby and her husband, David, and Marilyn
  Daniel and her husband, B. D.; to her son, Tom Tinsley, and his
  wife, Cathy; to her grandchildren, Dan Ownby and his wife, Allison,
  Emily Elliott and her husband, Brooks, Bethany Mateosian and her
  husband, Sam, James and Claire Tinsley, and Angela and Bill Daniel;
  to her great-granddaughter, Lucy Elliott; to her brother, Walter
  Whilden, and his wife, Jennie; to her sister-in-law, Dorothy
  Whilden; and to her other relatives and friends; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be
  prepared for her family and that when the Texas House of
  Representatives adjourns this day, it do so in memory of Eleanor