UPDATE: Services Announced For Nancy Ann Smith Wynne Chandler

Nancy Ann Smith Wynne Chandler (File photo)

The service commemorating the life of Nancy Ann Smith Wynne Chandler, who founded Crystal Charity Ball in 1952 and died this past December, will take place on Friday, January 5, at 11 a.m.

According to her daughter Nancy Saustad, it will be held at Church of the Incarnation.

From an award-winning barrel racing teenager in Wichita Falls, a Dallas debutante, a mother of three, a widow of two to the the founder of the legendary children’s fundraiser, her life was the one that writers dream about.

While there are only one or two of the initial CCB committee members still living, the people who have benefited from her little idea to hold a fundraiser for children, as well as the women who have followed in her footsteps are countless.

A Passing: Karen Settle

In the fundraising world of meetings and social gatherings, where first impressions are the norm, it’s always gratifying to encounter a person who exudes beauty both inside and out. Such was Karen Settle. While Karen was not part of the non-stop fundraising herd, she made her mark when she took on a project. It was just two years ago that KidneyTexas Inc. President Jolie Humphrey arranged to have Karen chair the KidneyTexas Runway Report at Brook Hollow. Karen appreciated the cause because both she and her college sweetheart/husband Jay Settle had undergone kidney surgery.

Karen Settle (File photo)

Karen Settle (File photo)

In typical Karen style, she opened her University Park home for an appreciation party. As reported, the house was not the biggest one, the newest one nor the oldest one in the neighborhood, but, like Karen, it immediately made folks feel right at home. Sure, there was the “two-story, red barn in the backyard along with a pool and putting green,” but it was the type of place that made you want to return for a longer stay. It was the perfect reflection of Karen.

But Karen’s dazzling looks and genteel style belied her talents. Having earned her BBA from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree from SMU in psychology and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from UNT, she worked at SMU. During her 25 years at SMU, she served as Director of the Counseling and Testing Center and as a Licensed Psychologist for the SMU Memorial Health Center until her retirement in 2013. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Dallas Psychological Association.

In addition to her various leadership roles in the world of psychology, she was a founding member and past president of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center League and a member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League.

Despite the professional and community accomplishments, family and friends were still the priority in Karen’s life. From her meeting Jay on a collegiate tour of Europe and that first kiss on a bench in Rome, raising two sons (Blake Settle and Trey Settle), and becoming a grandmother to growing her collection of friends, Karen’s life was the type others envy.

Still Karen’s life was not without loss. She suffered the incredible grief of a parent whose child has died, when Trey was killed in a car wreck in 2011.

As Jolie put it, “I’ve only known her well for four years, but we became very close quickly. We spent every week together planning the KidneyTexas luncheon and spent more time after that. Karen was smart, had a quick sense of humor, loved playing jokes, loved photography and she was pretty good at it herself. She had a high appreciation for art and loved entertaining. Karen was also a fashionista. Karen and Jay loved to travel. In fact they went on a river cruise in Europe this past May.

“Karen battled with her health for many years and things became worse the past two years. She never dwelled on it. Karen loved life, laughed often, was filled with joy and loved the Lord. I truly loved Karen like a sister. We connected instantly. She has many friends from many circles. People instantly liked her when they met her. She was very special.”

According to KidneyTexas Inc. President Anna Bland Aston, “KidneyTexas Inc. has so many warm and wonderful members who enjoy each other and support each other. We lost a true treasure of a friend in Karen Settle’s death this Tuesday, August 30.”

A memorial service will be held at Park Cities Baptist Church on Friday, September, 2, at 1 p.m.

Karol Wilson’s Life To Be Celebrated This Sunday With Friends, Food And Fond Memories

Teena McMills just sent word that PR pro Karol Wilson’s life will be celebrated on Sunday, June 12, at Activity Hall at Trinity Groves, 3015 Gulden Lane, at 3 p.m.

Karol Wilson (File photo)

Karol Wilson (File photo)

While friends and professional associates are still adjusting to the news of her May 16th death, they are being comforted by sharing memories of their relationship with the award-winning “longtime writer, PR director, philanthropist and self-proclaimed foodie.”

Monica Greene: “The greatest dignity to be found in death is the dignity of the life that preceded it. Karol cultivated a long list of friends, and she did it by always trying to help.”

Diane Brierley: “When Karol and I worked on the Paws Cause calendar together, Karol would come up with the most fantastic pet-related quotes. She was a wealth of knowledge. She truly believed in the ‘Cause.’”

Katy Menges: “Karol was a walking compendium of every charity event and social organization in the city—and who ran it.”

Dean Fearing: “Karol was a charm to work with at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. She was doing my PR and I was always so busy from her actions, I kept telling her to slow down, but she never did. She said you have to do it while the iron is hot. So I kept quiet from then on!”

Dotty Griffith: “Karol was my friend and a respected professional colleague. She was as dedicated to our professional organization for women in the food and hospitality industry as to her many other causes.”

The occasion will be so typical of Karol with Les Dames d’Escoffier hosting the celebratory refreshments, and requests for “donations to one of her favorite organizations, Paws Cause, are being accepted in care of the SPCA of Texas.”

And, yes, Karol’s devoted and much beloved rescue dachshund, Daisy, is being cared for. After all, Karol wouldn’t have parted this world without planning for Daisy’s well-being.

For the loving obituary written by Teena, please follow the jump. [Read more…]

A Passing: Jo Guerin

Jo Guerin (File photo)

Jo Guerin (File photo)

It was always easy to spot Jo Guerin in a crowd. With her blonde hair, teal-blue eyes and her never-ending smile, she was known for having an enormous collection of friends and being a tireless supporter of a wide variety of nonprofits.

Hailing from Arkansas, she found her way to SMU back in 1956, where time and time again she made her presence known thanks to her beauty (Rotunda Beauty, SMU Modeling Squad, etc.) and her talent (SMU Arden Club, President of the Neiman Marcus College Board, etc.).

Her appearing in SMU theatrical productions came as no surprise, since her older blonde sister/the late Martha Bumpas Gaylord was a favorite leading actress in Dallas theaters.

However, following college Jo married Dean Guerin in 1960 and shifted her focus to community involvement that included the Junior League of Dallas, Big Sisters, Children’s Medical Center, DAR, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts League, Crystal Charity Ball, Les Femmes du Monde, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, Dallas Garden Club, Susan Komen Foundation, Dallas Heritage Society, Flora Awards, Dallas Civic Opera and Dallas Arboretum Women’s Council.

But Jo was also known for her style. Whether it was being selected to the Crystal Charity Ball’s Best Dressed and its Hall of Fame or living and entertaining with Dean in the only Texas home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Jo was a standout.

We regret to report that Jo died Sunday, April 24. A memorial service will be held at Sparkman Hillcrest on Friday, April 29, at 2 p.m.

Our condolences are extended to Jo’s family, friends and those who benefited from her efforts.

Round Robin September 17 Daytime: North Texas Giving Day And A Tribute To Ebby

If ever there was a Super Bowl of North Texas philanthropy, Thursday, September 17, was that day. Bad enough that it was the humpback whale fundraisers — North Texas Giving Day — but that didn’t stop other activities from taking place, like a very special tribute to legendary Ebby Halliday Acers. Here are just a couple of the activities that took place during the daylight hours.

North Texas Giving Day

The day started fresh out of the gate at 6 a.m. with Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day online on little screens and on-air appearances at WFAA’s “Daybreak.”

The goal was to rise above last year’s total of $26.3Mm.

Throughout the day the events popped up throughout North Texas with dollars surging on the leaderboard. Organizations were competing for prizes. On Cistercian alum proudly revealed the school’s strategy. They aimed a whole lot of their fundraising efforts for that one day. It worked as they continued to be among the very top on the board ending up with a whopping $486,575 and the #1 spot among schools.

Ballet Folklorico dancer

Ballet Folklorico dancer

Around noon the Dallas activities centered at a center — NorthPark Center’s North Court complete with Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger on hand looking pleased as punch. With organizations like the Dallas Zoo, The Birthday Party Project, SPCA and others filling the area, Communities Foundation of Texas CEO Brent Christopher took the mic to introduce the Ballet Folklorico after the raffle drawing for a nifty check of $1,953 that went to Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center.

Brent admitted that NTGD had grown to gargantuan proportions and was concerned about its maintaining its original can-do spirit, while still growing to help all the North Texas nonprofits from the itty bitty to the big boys.

While emails flooded potential donors’ emailboxes throughout the day, others staked out spots to champion their causes. Over at Highland Park Village Starbucks, Just Say Yes Dan Bailey and Marissa Leach were manning the corner table to promote participation in NTGD and Just Say Yes.

Like cheerleaders, they were frontline cheerleaders encouraging folks about the importance of the day’s effort.

Dan revealed that four Dallas schools had been so impressed with Just Say Yes, they had managed to help fund the program.

By midnight when the final donation was made, NTGD did indeed beat last year’s goal by hitting $33,092,687.13. However, the accountants are burning up their calculators to figure out the absolute, final total that will be revealed on Monday, November 16.

Plans are already underway for next year.

Ebby’s Farewell

Hardly lunch had been gobbled up than cars headed to Park Cities Baptist Church for the 3 p.m. memorial service for Ebby Halliday Acers, who had died on Tuesday, September 8. As guests started arriving more than an hour beforehand, one of the ushers warned — “The sanctuary is already filling up.”

Ebby Halliday Acers memorial service*

Ebby Halliday Acers memorial service*

The service was so very Ebby. Speakers (Dr. Jim Denison, Laura Bush, Don Glendenning, Ebby’s niece Joan Patmore and Ebby Realtor CFO Ron Burgert) told stories that produced smiles, tears and unforgettable memories. Some guests wore touches of Ebby red, while a gaggle of gals wore black, topped with hats and yellow roses.

Upon looking at the mammoth drop-down screen displaying Ebby photos from the past, one young thing said, “She looks like Ann Landers.”

Brent Christopher had broken away from his North Texas Giving Day non-stop activities to attend the service. Seated along an exterior aisle, he was amazed when Ebby Halliday President/CEO Mary Frances Burleson pitched guests to donate to one or all of Ebby’s fav charities before the NTGD deadline.

Even Park Cities Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Jeff Warren was amazed that the celebration had resulted in two standing ovations without the honoree even being present. But he soon found he erred on two points. The crowd of nearly 3,000 stood in a final celebration of Ebby as a video of the 104-year-old playing “Happy Days Are Here” again on her ukulele.

The other point? As one Ebby executive confessed, “I just know Ebby was here.”

* Graphic provided by Ebby Halliday Realtors