Blog 154 Happy News, Sad News
Greetings of the holiday season.
That would be Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, (blank) Kwanzaa, and I don’t know a Muslim greeting. I hope that is politically inclusive, and something for everyone. As we end still another year, I find greater and more frequent reflection on what has been, not only in the past year but in years gone by, and to a lesser extent, what is to come.
Are we living in perilous times, or extraordinary times? One sounds too dire, and one too positive. We have COVID, the flu, RSV, inflation, a war in the Ukraine, politically tense events in a devided, but we also have hope. Hope is what each new year brings to us.
It seems that as each year end approaches and the holidays near, so many people pass on.. Here are a couple of obituaries. The first is Bill Bristow. I was shocked to see his recent obituary in the newspaper, because according to my database he had passed away many years ago. I inherited this database maybe 25 years ago. One of our classmates very dutifully entered Oh classmate names addresses, and phone numbers. Over the years I noted found names of people who graduated in later years and removed them, but it never occurred to me to check the deceased list for errors. As a result, Bill never received emails and to my knowledge never attended a class reunion, as he didn’t know about them. I knew who Bill was, but I did not know him other than he was quite a good artist in high school.
William Arthur “Bill” Bristow
William Arthur “Bill” Bristow, artist, longtime Trinity University Art Professor and native San Antonian, passed away after an extended illness Dec. 1, 2022, at the age of 85. Bill leaves behind a legacy of exquisite artistic achievement, care and kindness. Through his life as an artist, educator and mentor, Bill met the world with great good humor. He touched the lives of thousands of students, colleagues, fellow artists, art patrons, family members and friends, whose successes filled his life with unending joy and love.
Bill was born in San Antonio’s Nix Hospital Feb.1, 1937. As he liked to point out, he was born only 100 years after the invention of photography, began to draw at an early age and, unlike most, never gave it up. Bill graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1954, spending his senior year with a full scholarship at the San Antonio Art Institute. He graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, with highest honors, from the University of Texas in Austin in 1958, and a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Florida in 1960. While at Texas, Bill attended an art history class and met the love of his life Wilanna Blanton, who became a highly-acclaimed and accomplished fabric artist in her own right. Bill and Wilanna married in 1958 and had a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, in 1963.
In 1960, Bill returned to his hometown of San Antonio to teach drawing, design and painting in the newly-reorganized Art Department at Trinity University, where he eventually assumed the post of chair from 1965-77. He also served for a time as an adjunct instructor at the San Antonio Art Institute. While teaching at Trinity, Bill very much was a working artist. In 1965, he was named Artist of the Year by the San Antonio Art League. His paintings and drawings found their way into the permanent collections of the Houston and Dallas Museums of Fine Art, as well as the private collections of then-First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, Texas Governor John B Connally and many others. He designed and executed the sculpture “Migration Fountain” at the U.S. Pavilion of HemisFair ’68 in downtown San Antonio. He was twice featured in profiles in “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” at the time one of only two artists to receive such an honor. He published regularly in arts and academic journals, focusing on the present and future of the arts and arts education. He achieved full professorship at Trinity University in 1979, and served in that role until his retirement in 1998.
Bill was an artist his entire life, but his greatest professional joy came in awakening the artistic abilities of his students. He resigned as chair of Trinity’s Art Department in 1977 to devote more time specifically to teaching. It is a common refrain from students throughout his career that Bill awakened artistic abilities they didn’t even know they had. He served as chair of Trinity’s Academic Council, helping craft the school’s liberal arts curriculum. For his work and dedication, Bill received both the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Award and the Dr. and Mrs. Z.T. Scott Fellowship for teaching and academic excellence. Bill was an honorary lifetime member of both the Coppini Academy of Fine Art and the San Antonio Watercolor Group. He was absolutely committed to the education and well-being of his students, and took great joy in their continued success, serving as a mentor and friend long after they had graduated. It is not an exaggeration to say that he remembered and was always there for them all. Teaching was a lifelong commitment to Bill, who shared his artistic knowledge and skills to all comers up to and including the week that he passed. His former student Ansen Seale, a fellow San Antonio Artist of the Year, said that Bill’s gentle, kind and academically-based critique of his students’ work guided many of them into a lifelong pursuit of the arts.
Bill will be deeply missed by his many family and friends, whom he loved unconditionally. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years Wilanna Blanton Bristow, who passed in 2011, as well as sister Catherine and brother-in-law James C. Reilly Jr. He is survived by daughter Elizabeth Ann Bristow Krouse, and husband Pierce Krouse; grandchild Andy M. Krouse and spouse Jordan Mark; nephew James C. “Clancy” Reilly III and wife Donna, nephew Earle Allen “Bubba” Reilly and wife Vickie; great niece Shelby and husband Eric Olsen, great niece Kristin Reilly, great niece Brandi and husband Jasen Wallace, great niece Shanna Reilly; great great niece Enora Wallace; and devoted companion and friend Loretta Sawyer, as well as her son Richard Alba.
The family would like to give special mention and thanks to those who made Bill’s final years ones of relative ease, notably Helen Adamson, Pearl and Billy Sheffield, Ansen Seale, Francis Huang, Joe Zoidel, Spencer Brown, Kat Johnson with Family Tree Private Care, Karen, Frank and Brittney with Axiom Home Health Hospice, and the entire staff at Arden Courts of San Antonio.
An informal gathering to commemorate Bill’s life will be Monday, December 12, 2022, from 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Coppini Academy of Fine Art, 115 Melrose Place. A memorial service will be Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 1300 Wiltshire Avenue. In celebration of Bill’s bright life, everyone is encouraged to wear colorful attire whether you can attend or not! Honorary pallbearers are Ansen Seale, Clif Tinker, Frank Lacey, William “Bill” Thompson, James C. “Clancy” Reilly III, Martin Hajovsky, Theresa Gregory, and Thorly James Ward. For those unable to attend, you may watch the livestreaming from the link within his obituary page at www.porterloring.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Coppini Academy of Fine Art in memory of Bill Bristow.
You are invited to sign the Guestbook at www.porterloring.com
Carole Joyce Hunnicutt Ogden
is the other death. I met Carole in the sixth grade, when she joined my class at Travis Elementary. (Incidentally, the sixth-grade teacher was Edith Rogers, wife of T. Guy). At Jeff, Carole was not particularly active I don’t believe that very many knew her, although she and her husband did attend the large reunions and to the lunches in recent years.
My memory of Carole from Travis is that she was quite plump and that she perspired a lot. I lost track of Carole at Mark Twain and Jeff, but we spoke from time to time over the years. You will notice from the photo below that she became an attractive woman in maturity. I found that she also had a very wry sense of humor. My favorite memory is a comment she made at one of the lunches. Carole wore some long danbly earrings and wore glasses attached to a chain around her neck. At one point, she started to put her glasses on, and the chain got tangled in her dangling earrings. Carol said, “it is so hard to be sexy when you catch your glasses chain in your earrings.”
Carole H Ogden
JULY 30, 1936 – NOVEMBER 3, 2022
IN THE CARE OF
Carole Ogden, passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2022.
A visitation for Carole will be held Friday, November 11 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Sunset Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78218. A funeral service will occur Saturday, November 12, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, with a graveside service to follow.
Happy New Year
to all. Next time, I intend to include a photo of the sixth grade class from Travis Elementary, so that you can see a halfj-dozen classmates as twelve-year olds.
If you have any reflections on the year past, there is no cost to post them on here. Please do.