November 22, 1925 - April 17, 2015
Austin, Texas | Age 89
Evelyn was born in Dallas, Texas, as the only child of Norris and Martha Busby. Graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in June 1943, her parents bought a house a few blocks north of SMU in hopes she would complete her college education there. Evelyn, however, had her own ideas of where she wanted to attend college. On a prior work trip with her dad, they had driven through Austin on the way to complete a training field at Kelly Air Force Base west of San Antonio. Norris had an Electrical Contracting business and had wired several Air force bases and training fields for the military. As they drove south along the "Drag", Evelyn saw the University of Texas for the first time, including other Austin attractions, and it was "love at first sight." She said she knew right then this was where she wanted to go to college!
As World War II was still underway, UT remained on a Trimester schedule that ultimately enabled Evelyn to graduate (Cum Laude) in June of 1946 with a Bachelor's degree in "Theory and Composition of Music". Preferring not to pursue a teaching career, she took advantage of her experience gained when she worked in Dallas a few years before, as a Stenographer in typing and shorthand. She later took and passed the Civil Service Exam and went on to work for the IRS and Home Owners Loan Corp.
After World War II, the 27th Fighter Wing had accepted City of Austin's invitation to make Bergstrom their Headquarters. Civil Service jobs paid better, so Evelyn applied and was hired as Secretary to the Commander of Military Personnel at Bergstrom. She did the recordings for the "Flying Evaluations Board" proceedings and was shocked to learn how many of those returning planes had truly "come in on a wing and a prayer"!
Evelyn's story would not be complete without mention of her beloved Tom. Evelyn and Tom met on a Sunday morning when he walked into the University Avenue Church of Christ. Tom had faithfully attended this church during his years as a student at Texas, but had come back to visit his many friends there. When Evelyn saw him walk in, she said to herself, "Now there's a guy I could go for." Tom had become endeared to Mrs. Ella Caskey, who had "mothered" Tom and his brother James, while they attended UT. Ella gave Evelyn's phone number Tom and suggested that he call her, and of course he did! Evelyn then invited Tom to take a ride with her and some friends on Lake Austin one Sunday afternoon in her beautiful new boat her parents had given her honoring her college graduation, and as the story goes "The rest is history".
Evelyn and Tom were married November 18, 1950 and had the distinction of their wedding being the first ceremony performed in the newly renovated UA church building, where they had first met. They then proceeded to buy a house on Lake Austin, but only a short while later Tom learned that his employer, Westinghouse, was transferring him to Houston. After moving the family to Houston, they were blessed with 3 fine little boys- Glenn, Wayne and Dean. Evelyn always loved being a "mom" and enjoyed taking her boys to various activities and playing the piano for PTA meetings and school programs.
As the music major she was, Evelyn was pleased her sons had learned to read music and all would eventually play in the Spring Branch High school band. Most every weekend the family returned to Austin to what would become known as just the "lake house", and in fact the family's attendance was so routine and consistent that most UA church members never even realized the family had moved to Houston years before!
Evelyn pursued many meaningful projects over her life that represented the core of her Christian faith. She worked tirelessly in creating a high school Bible credit course that allowed students completing the course to gain hours of credit towards their respective college degrees. Her biggest adversary at this time was the infamous atheist, Madeline Murray O'hare, who battled her at every turn, but Evelyn was still successful in establishing her goals in implementing these courses.
Evelyn was passionate about her political views and tried to convince those in power to see things her way, especially if she felt certain laws or rules were not biblically founded and or unjust in their intentions.
Evelyn always loved cooking for her children and grandchildren. She would make everyone breakfast, lunch or dinner whenever they would come to the house. This was the rule regardless of the objections of her sons in not wanting to burden her especially in her later years. She would, however, gladly accept a take-out hamburger or barbecue dinner whenever the occasion arose!
Evelyn was a lover of music. She wrote lyrics and composed many pieces of music, along with numerous poems that she loved to share with all.
At age 88, a routine Dr.'s visit diagnosed Evelyn with failing heart valves, which resulted in a more home-bound style of life. She was too far advanced in years to endure heart-valve replacement surgery, so not wanting to be confined in the hospital for the duration of her life, she opted to spend her last days at home reading and doing other projects, or just sitting on the porch watching the boats go by! However, this was not to be, as during the week of Thanksgiving 2014, she fractured her femur in a fall and once out of the hospital, she found it necessary to have full time care, and so the family assisted her in moving to Brookdale, a skilled nursing facility in Lakeway, TX.
Although this was an abrupt change to her once independent lifestyle, she adjusted well and maintained a positive attitude throughout her time there. She always had a bright smile on her face while delivering kind words of encouragement to others. She realized it was actually quite nice for a change to have someone wait on her after all the years of giving service to others.
Evelyn composed her last poem for Valentine's Day during her time at Brookdale and enjoyed playing her electric piano for the residents and employees there. Many of the nursing home staff expressed how much they enjoyed her music.
As it was Evelyn's fashion to cross all the T's and dot all the I's, she left a note of thanks to all her friends for all the visits, cards, calls, flowers, and prayers on her behalf. Truly an angel on earth, Evelyn will be missed by many.