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Fannie Mae Murphy Lawless
 

Memorial for Fannie Mae Murphy Lawless

Born in Nashville, Arkansas on Jun. 12, 1915
Departed on Dec. 24, 2009 and resided in Austin, TX.
Visitation: Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009
5:00 pm
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009
11:00 am
Cemetery: Evergreen Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

  
Fannie Mae Murphy Lawless was born June 12, 1915 in Nashville, Arkansas. She was the fourth of nine children born to her late parents, Lee Nora Wesson Murphy and Hardy Sumpter Murphy, a school teacher. After her mother passed, Fannie Mae and several of her siblings were raised by her mother's sister, Callie S. Jacques (Mother Jacques), an early educator and community icon in Austin, who was married to Reverend Robert Jacques (pastor of Simpson United Methodist Church during that time). After graduating from Anderson High School, she attended Samuel Huston College where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1937 and pursued a career as a primary school educator. She taught in the Austin Independent School District, Falfurrias, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois.

Fannie Mae and Oscar G. Lawless, a mathematics professor at Samuel Huston University, joined in holy matrimony in 1946 and moved to Chicago, Illinois. Subsequently she returned to Austin, Texas, where they dedicated several years of employment at Samuel Huston College and later Huston-Tillotson College (HT) where she was Director of the Davage Durden Student Union and served to inspire several generations of HT students.

Fannie Mae was extremely active in community service. She was a dedicated member since her 1936 induction into Alpha Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and continued with Austin Alumae. Fannie Mae was also a lifetime member of the National Council of Negro Women. She was a founding member of the W.H. Passon Historical Society and recognized by the community for her significant work to preserve the history of African Americans in Austin, Texas at the Austin History Center. Fannie Mae was extremely active in the HT Alumni Association, and she was a devout member of Wesley United Methodist Church.

Fannie Mae resided in Austin, Texas. She expired in St. Louis, Missouri on December 24, 2009. She was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar G. Lawless. Her siblings, Buford, Henry, Felix, Hardy Ray Murphy, and Claudia Murphy Allen as well as two infant siblings preceded her in death. She is survived by: one sister, Mrs. Velma Murphy Jones, of St. Louis, Missouri; and close cousins: Patrick Murphy and spouse, Judge Harriet Murphy of Austin, TX; Maxine Murphy City of Los Angeles, CA; Ralph Jacques of Chicago, IL; Gloria Alphin Bean, and spouse Jessie Bean, and Cheryl Alphin Ward of St. Louis, MO.; Wenso Craven Starks and Gwendolyn Craven Hill of Los Angeles, CA; and sister-in-law, Claudie Medearis Murphy of Austin, TX. Also surviving her are nieces and nephews who affectionately referred to her as "Aunt Fannie Mae," and they include: Stanley Murphy and family (Attorneys Michelle and Kenneth Bell of San Antonio, Kelly and Warren Jenkins of Austin, TX, and Shannon Murphy of Houston, TX); Patsy and James Julius III and family (Angela and Earl Beechum III, and James Julius IV and Chan Julius) of Austin, Texas; Cherryl Allen-Bell; Alafia Jones; Jacquelyn Allen; and Jazmyne Allen of Austin, Texas; Dr. Hardy Ray and Lynette Murphy and family (Tyler Ray Murphy) of Evanston, IL and Attorney Hardy Ray Murphy III of Los Angeles CA; Gerald and Darlene Murphy and family (Gerald Murphy II, Damon, and Dene') of Austin, T.X; Dr. Debra Murphy of Austin, TX; Sidney and Barbara Murphy and family (LeRoy Murphy II and Ricky Murphy) of Greensville, SC and Felicia Murphy of Atlanta, Georgia. Other nieces and nephews extending to the fourth generation include: Yvonne Bell; Murphy Bell; Warren Jenkins II; Jazmine Jenkins; Jade Jenkins; Trenton Murphy; Dakota Murphy; Brayden Hardy Murphy; Deja and Aliya Beechum; Earl Beechum IV; Victoria, Jordan, Grace and James Julius V; Tiiana Hawkins; Malon Bell; Joshua Wilson; Xavier Gadlin; Darius Dickson; Courtney Allen; and Semaj and Serenity Allen.

Additional survivors include a plethora of other relatives, friends, the East Austin and larger Austin Communities, and the Huston-Tillotson University network of students, staff, faculty, administrators, fraternities, and sororities (especially Delta Sigma Theta) which she considered to be her extended family. Fannie Mae's optimistic and "can do" spirit, passion for social and community involvement and commitment to the preservation of historic contributions pertaining to race, culture, family and community were pervasive and inspiring to all who knew her.
  

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