University of Texas,
Department of Physics History
Administrative and Secretarial Staff


Introduction: As anyone who has worked in a large organization will tell you, the administrative and secretarial staff determine how well the organization runs. Working together they facilitate its mission. In addition, it is often the staff that maintains the continuity when there are failures, disruption and transition of management. They provide the necessary institutional memory. Over the life of the UT Physics Department, we have been blessed with outstanding staff who shared the quest for excellence and dedicated their energies and often professional lives to ensure that it happened. We are forever in their debt.


Administrative and Secretarial Staff

Click name to go to their entry:

Baker, Kay
Banks, Katherine Anne "Katie"

Book, Helen Hare
Burleson, Shirley
Campbell, Dale

Cuddy, Kim

Harding, Annie

Hurt, Shirley

Kotz, Norma

Kubiak, Helen

Ledbetter, Debbie
Lopez, Angelica
Luckey, Susie L.
MacDonald, Martha Frances Varnell
Mallory, Lois Holt

Montgomery, Bonnie C.

Morgan, Pat

Nava, Annette

Patton, Catherine Joyce

Payne, Myrna
Quinn, Mary Helen Spear
Rhoades, Connie Howarth

Russell, Sadie
Selman, Karon
Suchan, Glenn
Toler, Bliss
Trybyszewski, Janee M. Richardson

Valentine, Caroline

Vorloou, Olga
Walker, Dorothy

Wardlaw, Jane Williamson

Wendt, Arlene


Katherine Anne “Katie” Banks.

Katherine Banks was born March 14, 1898, in Fayette County, Texas to Francis Marion (December 4,1853–July 22, 1930) and Hemine Margaret Schaefer (December 21, 1862–July 30, 1957) Banks. Francis was born in Columbus, Mississippi and Hemine was born in Frankfort, Hesse, Germany, as were her parents. Hermine immigrated in 1883, the year she and Francis were married in Germany. Francis was in Germany, maybe working as an engineer as family members report. The family further stated that he lost an eye in a sword duel. German fraternities were famous at this time for duels resulting in injuries. If a German physician did not have a dueling scar on his face, you were to question his credentials. Francis, however lists his profession as farmer on the 1883 Hamburg-New York Passenger List. They traveled in 2nd Cabin and had 3 pieces of luggage.

Francis was a school teacher in the 1900 Census. He later ran the Rest Haven Cash Grocery at 3508 Duval St. (1927, 1929). Katherine was one of eight children, Mary “Mamie Sophie Banks Romberg (1883-1965), Thomas Gray (1887-1985), Edward “Ned” Schaefer (1890-1967), Fredrick Marion (1893-1990), Katherine Anne (1898-1954), Susie Frances Wakeley (1902-99), James Oliver (1904-97) and Hermine Margaret “Peggy” Casey (1909-2003). The children’s birthplaces include, Kinney, Nelsonville, and Fayetteville, Texas.

Katie’s sister Mamie married Ernst Romberg, the brother of Professor Arnold Romberg in the UT Physics Department. Click here for picture of them with Romberg family in Black Jack Springs, Texas. More about the Rombergs.




Katie's brother, Edward "Ned" Schaefer Banks is shown at right.

In April of 1929, Katie’s brother Thomas Gray Banks, a civil engineer living in Oklahoma City, applied for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution as a descendent of James Jones of North Carolina. James Jones was a member of the Provincial Congress of N. Carolina, 1776, Captain of 3rd Company, 1st Regiment of Eight Horse Calvary of NC and member of the State Senate of NC in 1777. Thomas, named for his grandfather, was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Engineers, U. S. Army, May 24, 1918 and assigned 47th Engrs. June 1918. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and served overseas. He was promoted to Captain in May 1919 and returned to US July 1919 and discharged in August. The application for membership in SAR was approved April 25, 1929.

In 1900, the family is living in Precinct 6, the west part of Austin. In 1920, Katie is living in Johnson County, TX on Garfield Road, she is single and teaching in the Garfield school along with her father and sister Susie.

Katie served as the physics department office secretary from 1929-54. She also was department librarian during some of this time. She apparently attended four years of college, which school is currently not known.

On November 11, 1954, Katie died of sudden heart failure at her residence, 3508 Duval Street, while serving as Secretary for the UT Physics Department. She never married. She was buried November 13, 1954 in Austin Memorial Park Cemetery. Informant on death certificate Mrs. Newman Casey. In 1932, Newman Fay Casey was a teacher at a Junior High School in Austin. He was the husband of Hermine Margaret Banks, so the informant was Katie’s sister, shown at right in 1928 in UT Cactus yearbook. She lived in Georgetown, TX.




Helen Hare Book (1924–2014)

Assistant to Katy Banks

Lucy Helen Hare was born on August 18, 1924, in Dallas, Texas to Elbert Lester and Alice Gertrude Roberts Hare. Lucy Helen Hare married Hubert Ellis "George" Book in Galveston, Texas, in 1947, when he was 28 years old and she was 23. Hubert was in the University of Texas School of Pharmacy and during that time Helen worked in the physics department as a secretary. Helen and John had three children: Nancy, Marilyn and John. Helen siblings included: Elbert L. Hare, Robert S. Hare, Almon Roberts Hare, Alice Novlyn Hare (Keeling) and Virginia Lee Hare (Durham). Her brother, Lt.Almon Roberts Hare, was killed in action on December 29, 19443 in Arawe, New Britain, Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific. He was a member of the 112th Cavalry. Helen died in 2014.



Hubert Book Obituary: Hubert Ellis "George" Book of North Little Rock, born November 20, 1919, in Calvert, Texas went to be with his Maker September 17, 2007.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Helen; daughters, Marilyn Book, of Bentonville, AR; Nancy Crockett and husband, John, of Evening Shade, AR; son, John Book and wife, Brenda, of Beebe, AR; seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

George proudly served in the South Pacific Theatre in WWII for which he earned a purple heart. He was an avid sportsman, member of Farmville, AR Hunting Club.

Graveside service will be 12:00 noon, September 19, 2007 at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, 1501 West Maryland Ave., North Little Rock, AR. Arrangements made by Roller-Owens Funeral Home (501-791-7400)















Above, left to right.we see Helen with granddaughter, Laura Kovach, (who provided these photos), Helen and ?, and Hurbert and Helen.

Shirley Burleson Espinosa

Shirley Burleson was the Physics Undergraduate Senior Secretary from January 1977 to 1979. She worked for Myrna Payne and Dr. Lothar Frommhold, the undergraduate adviser.

Shirley was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and attended MacArthur High School. She attended college at the University of Texas from 1971 to 1976, when she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. In January 1977, she came to work in the Physics Department. Dr. Thomas Griffy was the chairman and Dr. Austin Gleeson was the graduate adviser.

In 1979, she took a promotion and moved to the Office of Graduate Studies, where she worked with Dr. Phil Schmidt and Dr. Steve Hazlett. After marrying Ramon Espinosa in 1980, she returned to graduate school in Library and Information Science, still working part-time for the University in the Speech Communications Department with Dr. Martin Todaro.

In 1982, Shirley and her husband, Ramon, moved to Houston where they still live in Spring Branch. Her Houston career included librarian jobs with Houston Public Libraries, Brown and Root, The University of Houston, Houston Lighting and Power, Exxon, Shell Oil, and the Spring Branch Independent School District.

In 1987, her daughter Kimberley was born, who is a professional photographer and office manager in New York City. Kimberley has continued the UT tradition and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in photojournalism.

Shirley and Ramon still visit and enjoy Austin and the surrounding areas. They often wished they had never moved!!

Update: Ramon died in 2018.

Dale Campbell,

Administrative Associate

Kim Karalynne Burbach Cuddy

Born in 1957. Married Jimmy L. Johnson in 1971 She married Kevin P. Cuddy in 1979. Photo at righjt was junior year photo at Crockett High School, Austin, Texas. 1971.










Annie Harding

Annie Harding was administrative secretary for Center for Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics, University of Texas at Austin. The center was later later renamed Center for Complex Quantum Systems. Here is a entry about her from the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar website. Annie Harding is a recent retiree from The University of Texas as an enabler for a theoretical physics research group and coordinator of a graduate fellowship program in nanoscience. Now spending her days doing whatever she wants, often with the love of her life, Bruce Willenzik, some of her fave pastimes are working out, girl days, and epic road trips. Her first visit to the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in 1988 started a lifetime love of the show. Her first job was working the night box office (thanks Leea Mechling!) and now she is an Associate Producer. She’s excited to see Anne Johnson transition the show forward.





Shirley Hurt

Shirley Benwell Hurt worked for the Fusion Research Center as procurement officer. She retired in 1990. Shirly loveddto travel. See more about her at Shirley Benwell Hurt.





















Angelica Lopez


Norma Kotz

Norma was the Administrative Secretary for Graduate Affairs. She was honored in 1995 with a College of Natural Sciences Staff Award.

Norma Kotz advising students.


Susie L. Luckey (1888-)


Susie Luckey was a stenographer and did most of the typing for the department in 1908–10. She was paid by the job as we can see in the Board of Regents report where she appears five time. In the 1910 Census, she listed her employer as UT Austin. Her mother, Lena Bergstrom Luckey (1856–1958), was born in Sweden and her father, John F. Luckey (1855–1908) was born in Texas. Both are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, TX. They lived at 2708 Nueces Street. Brother Raymond was stenographer also.









Martha Frances Varnell MacDonald

Martha was the Undergraduate Secretary from 1968 to 1971. Martha was born in Shreveport, LA, but moved to Corpus Christi when only a year old. At ten, the family moved to Waco where Martha where earned a B. Music Ed. degree from Baylor University in 1961. She next earned a Masters in Music from the University of Michigan in 1963. It was in Michigan that she met her husband Robert “Bob” Claude MacDonald. In 1986, Martha received a DMA from the University of Texas. She is an active chamber musician and has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe as clarinetist with the Austin Chamber Ensemble and Trio Contraste, a violin, clarinet, piano trio. She can be heard in recordings on the International Clarinet Association CD Project and Chamber Music of Kathryn Mishell. She has taught woodwinds formerly in the Detroit and Houston areas, and at the American School of The Hague, The University of Texas and St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin. In addition to performing she is Executive Director of the Austin Chamber Ensemble, President of Austin Young Artists Concerts, and maintains a private music studio of clarinet, flute and piano students.

Martha was married to Robert “Bob” Claude MacDonald (1941-2014). Bob (at right) met Martha at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she was a graduate student in the Music School. They married September 7, 1962, in Waco, Texas, and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012. Bob earned a PhD at UT in Petroleum Engineering. After living in Houston, Austin, and The Hague, Netherlands, through the 1960s and 1970s, Bob and Martha moved their family to Austin for the second time in 1978, where they have lived since. They have two sons, Robert Scott MacDonald and wife Glenda Pittman of Austin and Richard Charles MacDonald of Los Angeles, and two grandchildren, Katherine MacDonald of New York and Thomas MacDonald of Austin. Bob died in 2014.


Lois Holt Mallory

Lois Holt was a secretary and typist as well as a physics student in the physics department in the period following WWII, 1947–51. it was a time of many returning service men and a time in which faculty left their military-related research to return to more main stream physics. Lois knew many of the faculty, staff and graduate students. She typed manuscripts, letters, research papers, reports and even the book on photography written by Professor Kuehne. Lois also has continued her support for the physics department. From her home in Albuquerque, she has dedicated countless hours to proofreading the articles in this website. For more information about Lois click her name above.


Bliss Toler

Bliss Toler was a secretary in department about 1950s.





Bonnie C. Montgomery

Bonnie Montgomery was born Austin, Texas. She graduated from Travis High School. She worked at the old Scarborough’s Department Store downtown while in high school. She married her high school sweetheart, Philip Montgomery, who was in the service and they lived in Germany for a year or so. When they came back to Austin she started her UT career. She worked in the Registrar’s Office before joining the History Department, where she was Graduate Secretary for five years. Then she went back to Registrar’s Office as Assistant Registrar. She was there when they first held registration in the Frank Erwin Center, and it was her responsibility to work out the logistics of making registration work in the new quarters. She next joined the Physics Department as Graduate Secretary and served about a year. After the year, the History Executive Assistant, who was planning to retire, asked her to come back to History. She worked as the Chairman’s secretary and Administrative Associate, while being trained to assume the Executive Assistant position, which she held until she retired 15 to 20 years later. In all, she worked for UT more than 30 years. During her time in History she was was honored with two Staff Excellence Awards, and maybe even awards given by College of Liberal Arts. (From information provided by Mary Helen Quinn.)

Pat Morgan

Pat was the Administrative Secretary for Undergraduate Affairs.





Susan and Pete Antoniewicz, Pat Morgan, Mel Oakes, Olga Vorlou, 3/14/07, home of Mel Oakes

Debbie Ledbetter














Undergraduate Secretary 1990s


Myrna Payne

Myrna Payne was born in Muskogee, OK in 1942. She attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, OK, graduating in 1960.
One of Myrna’s long time interests was singing. While at Will Rogers High School, she was a member of several choirs. She is shown in the picture below as a member of the LassO’s, a sophomore vocal organization. Myrna is second from the left in the second row.



After working for three years on the Keystone Dam and Reservoir project (near Sand Springs, OK) as a Clerk Stenographer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, she attended Abilene Christian College in Abilene, TX, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1966. While at ACC, she was selected for Kappa Delta Pi, an honor society for outstanding future teachers. Its membership is limited to the top 10 percent of those entering the field of education. She is shown at left end of first row.


For four years she taught language arts and arithmetic to sixth graders in the Tulsa Public Schools, while beginning graduate study at UT Austin during the summers.

She relocated to Austin in 1970 to continue graduate study while working as the Graduate Secretary in the UT philosophy department.

After living abroad (in London) for a year, she returned to Austin to finish a Master of Arts degree from UT in 1975, while working in the English education department. Her thesis was entitled, “ The Concept of Self and Its Influence on Achievement.”

She joined the physics department as Graduate Administrator in 1975, and five years later left the department to accept a position in the office of the Dean of Engineering.

In 1981, she moved to New York where she enjoyed a 32-year career with Tishman Construction Corporation, the construction manager for many of New York’s skyscrapers, including the original twin towers at the World Trade Center.

For 30 years, Myrna has participated in a recorder consort— a group of musicians all playing the same instrument in concert. The group performs at churches, nursing homes and receptions.

She retired in August 2012, and continues to make New York her home. In the summer of 2013 she visited Austin. Below is a picture, L to R, Myrna, Martha and Janee Trybyszewski and Mel Oakes.


Catherine Joyce Patton

Cstherine Joyce Patton was born August 16th, 1932, in Amarillo, Texas, to Edd and DeEtte Lovell. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth "Red" Patton; and her brother, Leslie Lovell. She was survived by her two sons, Edd and Patrick Patton; Pat's wife, Lisa and daughter, Gracie; and Edd's daughter, India. Joyce and Red lived in Round Rock since 1980.

Joyce was a lifelong lover of books and reading, graduating from Southwestern University in Georgetown. At right are several pictures of Joyce from the 1952 and 1953 Southwestern University Yearbooks. She taught school for a short time before working at Austin White Lime in Round Rock for years. Her longest career was at UT Austin in the Physics Department. She was greatly valued and respected there, and helped many students.

She once attended dinner with Stephen Hawking at his request while at UT, since she had been of such help arranging his visit. She also helped a faculty member from France, Cécile DeWitt-Morette, set up a school there one summer. The Patton family frequently hosted foreign students at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners as the students were unable to travel to their home countries.

Joyce was an excellent wife and mother and touched many lives at UT and elsewhere. Many nieces, nephews, and others remarked on how special she was. She mostly held herself above the fray, being respectful and relentlessly courteous. She was sharply intelligent but was judicious in offering opinions. Joyce died June 18, 2014.












Mary Helen Spear Quinn

Mary Helen Spear Quinn worked in the Undergraduate Office. She later became the Graduate Coordinator for the History Department served there from August 1979 to August 2002 until she retired.


Mary Helen was born in 1932 in Cameron County, Texas, to Wilfred G. and Irene Kaatz Spear. Her father was born in Indiana and her mother in Wisconsin. Mary Helen was a childhood friend of David and Janie Gavenda. All three attended Rio Hondo High School. She was in the Class of 1949. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas in 1953. Her Daily Texan staff picture is shown at right. She lives in South Austin. A Summer Research Fellowship in the UT history department bears her name.



Connie Howarth Rhoades





Darla Faye Rowan

Darla Faye Rowan passed away on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at the age of 74. She was born on January 21, 1947, in Houston, TX, the youngest of three to John Bennett Bouse and Willie Faye Bouse. She was preceded in death by her parents and elder brother, John Bennett Bouse. 

Darla is survived by her husband of 20 years William Rowan, her sister and brother-in-law Judy and Jimmy Hill, her son and daughter-in-law William and Paulette Selman, and grandson Bennett Selman. She also counted among her family many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. 

Darla graduated from Galena Park High School, Houston in 1965. While a full-time parent, she received her BA in history from the University of Houston. She worked for over 20 years in public education. In 2005, she retired from The University of Texas as there was no longer space for work in her very full life. At UT she worked in the Fusion Research Center.


Darla led a full life of her own making and filled with people she loved. She organized a neighborhood welcoming committee and was active in her neighborhood book club. She shared her love of history as a Docent and volunteer at the LBJ Presidential Library educating visitors about one of her favorite historical figures and earlier as a Docent at the Bob Bullock State History Museum. Her favorite pastimes were travel, reading, and a succession of crafts, each of which she pursued until she mastered it. Early in the pandemic when she realized that masks were hard to get, she made hundreds, and gave most of them to neighbors, friends, and family. Her greatest joy was her son Bill, his wife and most importantly her grandson Bennett. The one goal that she set out for herself but did not achieve was to see her grandson graduate from high school. 

Darla was and will remain an inspiration to her family and friends. We were very fortunate to have known her, and she will be missed.

Sadie Chenault Russell

Sadie Chenault Russell, 84, of Austin passed away on February 2, 2006. Sadie was born September 14, 1922, in Sweeney, Texas, to William Hall and Lillian Hester Chenault. She graduated from West Columbia High School in 1939 and eventually moved to Austin with her family. She attended the University of Texas and graduated in 1943 with a B.A. in Business Administration (senior photo at right). Her first job was with Dow Chemical, but later went on to work for the University of Texas in the Defense Research Laboratory (DRL). It was here that she met and later married her beloved husband of 58 years, Andrew L. Russell, Jr. When she retired from U.T. in 1982, she was an Administrative Secretary in the Physics Department. After retirement she and Andrew traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. They also took many cruises and included their children and grandchildren on these adventures. She was a long time member of the Highland Village Church of Christ and devoted her life to serving God and her family. She and Andrew made many sacrifices in making sure their children and grandchildren were well cared for. She is preceded in death by her husband Andrew and their son David Gordon Russell. Her two sons, Randy and Frank, survive her, along with a daughter- in-law, Meredith Russell. She is also survived by five grandchildren; and a sister from Sweeney, Texas, Mary Hester Brown.



Karon Selman





Saralyn Stewart

Saralyn worked in the Institute for Fusion Studies and the Fusion Research Center. She currently is an administrator for the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics. She is also Conference Manager at University of Texas - Austin 





Glenn Suchan



Janee M. Richardson Trybyszewski

(May 22, 1924–March 3, 2021)

Janee M. (Richardson) Trybyszewski was born in San Saba, Texas, May 22, 1924 to Louis and Marion Emily Gerrells Richardson. She was their third child. Jerrell and Louise were her older brother and sister. Louis became a barber following a baseball career in the Chicago White Sox farm system. Janee attended San Saba High School, graduating in 1941. Following graduation at seventeen, she entered Durham’s Business College in Austin, Texas. She lived in the home of Rebekah Baines Johnson, widowed mother of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Mrs. Johnson taught her to make wild mustang grape jelly. She completed her training there in 1942 and was employed as a stenographer by the State Department of Public Welfare, Child Welfare Div. She also lived with Mrs. Price, who owned Price’s Dress shop. She modeled for Mrs. Price, jitterbugged at the USO and met, Felix J. "Tryb" Trybyszewski, a handsome air cadet from Ohio who she married in 1943. They were married by the Reverend Chester Crow.

Before she married, Janee worked as a secretary for Jim Novy at the Austin Metal and Iron Works east of downtown Austin and for a title company. In 1945, Janee was a Legal Secretary for the Wilkinson, Johnson, Griffin, Hohanon & Ragsdale Law Firm in Brownwood, Texas. For the next years she lived the military life, their daughter Martha was born in 1946 in Henderson, Nevada and son Joseph in 1949 in Sacramento, CA. ”Tryb” flew in India and the South Pacific. Tragically he died during the Korean War in 1952. At that time Janee and the kids were living in Virginia.

Janee and the children returned to Texas, and she became a Legal Secretary for Alvis & Carsow Attorneys in Austin until 1960, when she left to become the secretary for State Representative Robert Fairchild in Center, TX. During the period 1964 to 67, she was first secretary to State Representative Charlie Jungmichel from La Grange and then secretary to Senator Murray Watson of Waco. In 1967, she was hired as the Administrative Secretary for the University of Texas Chemistry Department. She left this position in 1970 to become Administrative Secretary and Executive Assistant to the University of Texas Physics Department. A position she held until her retirement on January 31, 1987 after 16 years.

Janee's daughter, Martha, writes affectionally of her mom, Mom knew little about string theory, but she knew how to save string. Her stringball became a monument to her administrative stint at the University of Texas Physics Department where she became friends with eminent and renowned scientists She watched the sunrise on the early morning walks to work with Hans Bethe and was rolled down Congress Avenue on occasion by  John Wheeler in his vintage convertible. She was helpful to foreign professors, and was offered gifts from a box of cereal to land in New Jersey, when they returned to their countries. Some  physicists made a game  of hiding Mom’s stringball in some unlikely place.  Sometimes she showed mock anger and sometimes she was angry, but she often invited the ribbing. She was fun to tease and liked to play the sucker…. mostly. She was popular and well known at UT for many years."

Martha continued, "She loved her idyllic childhood in  San Saba in the midst of the Great Depression. San Saba was not simply the hub of the universe, it was paradise! She fondly remembered walking with her friend, Chukie in fields, picking bluebonnets forever  and coming home with their  skirts full. She remembered her Dad, Louie,  playing  baseball and getting paid for it, then later when he opened a barber shop and a beauty shop on Main street, cutting hair till midnight for a quarter or trade during the depression. She had an uncle, Doss Richardson who taught music to half the county. When the family would get together, everyone would play an instrument. Her Grandad played the fiddle, her Dad, the piccolo or the clarinet. She was a true Texas girl, always announcing, anywhere she might be in the world, that she was from San Saba! She also came from industrious and vital ancestors who were players in the beginnings and development of our country. '

"Janee loved the earth. She lived in awe of the many aspects of nature and saw miracles in things that others might take for granted. The rocks, shells and and fossils in every room of the house lay testimony to that. fact. She loved to garden, plant, pull weeds, get dirty, then eat what she grew, tomatoes, artichokes, onions, radishes, chard, peppers, lettuce, squash, cucumbers and more at Sunshine Community Gardens where she enjoyed the comradery of other gardeners, like old farmers."

Through the years, Janee volunteered through service organizations and independently, aiding the mentally ill, the impoverished and troubled teens. In her later years she enjoyed travel, playing bridge with various groups, and studying her ancestors while continuing her volunteer work with the Hyde Park Church of Christ.She once made a missionary trip to South Korea with members of her church, Chris and Fay Chrisner. She also volunteered at UT, welcoming foreign students.

Janee loved life, loved God,  her church, her family, her neighbors and her work. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tryb, her brother, Jerry Richardson and her sister, Louise Lacy. She ass survived by her daughter, Martha Trybyszewski, her son, Joe Trybyszewski, and his wife, Katy Levine, among other beloved family members.


(Many thank to Martha Trybyszewski for sharing information about her mom.)

Bliss Toler

Bliss Toler was a secretary in department about 1950s.





Dorothy Walker

Dorothy Walker was hired as Mel Oakes’ secretary in Plasma Physics. She was first African-American hired in the department. She later became a senior technical secretary for the department, serving in this position until she retired in 2003 for health reasons. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in April of 2002. Her cheerful willingness to help was highly appreciated by faculty, staff, and especially graduate students. She died in 2004 leaving a son, Steven Walker. Here is the eulogy given by Mel Oakes at Dorothy’s funeral.

“To be around Dorothy for any length of time would not lead you to conclude that here was a trailblazer. In fact, a running joke I had with her involved my question "When are you going to go see Ben White Boulevard, maybe on your next vacation?" Yet Dorothy was a trailblazer. As the ‘60's came to an end, Dorothy joined the physics department as one of the secretaries in the plasma physics group. The Personnel Office sent her for an interview. She was fresh out of secretarial school and eager to learn, so fresh, in fact, that the first day of work she requested permission to go to the restroom.’

“When Dorothy joined us, I believe there was only one black secretary at the time in the College. Despite the general goodwill of the people around her, I knew it would be a lonely environment. What impressed me, however, was that Dorothy did not think there would be a problem. She simply wanted to do a good job for everyone That is her legacy.’

“Over the years she worked hard at learning the new skills that technology introduced into her profession. I knew she was working after hours to become proficient with computers and new software. She kept accounts, did appointments and travel, and even learned to do the most difficult and dreaded job at the University- purchasing.’

“A hallmark of Dorothy was her cheerfulness. I don't recall a single occasion where a student or staff member made a request and received other than an enthusiastic promise to take care of it. She was willing to seek help if she didn't know the answer. She did not like to tell anyone no. All of us here today can tell stories about Dorothy. Most would involve her kindness, humility and her eagerness to serve.’

“She won one of the first University Staff Excellence Award.'

“Dorothy loved her family and her church. She was extremely proud of her son Steve. Those of us who have witnessed over the last months Steve's loving care of his mother understand that her pride was not misplaced.’

“When she retired, it was obvious that she missed her UT family and that this family missed her. The day Dorothy received the nightmarish news of her illness was very difficult for her as it would have been for any of us. Few of us would have resolved as quickly as she did to do everything in her power to fight the disease and trust in her faith to see her through. I think we can all hope that we could be as courageous in such circumstances. She not only taught us much about living but much about dying.’

“Dorothy was a much-valued colleague and we all feel saddened and cheated by her most premature death.”

Carolyn Valentine

Carolyn was administrative secretary for the Fusion Research Center. At right is photo of Carolyn at her desk on 11th level of RLM. The early Macintosh computer behind her would place the photo about 1984-85.










Olga Vorloou

Jane Williamson Wardlaw

Jane Wallace Williamson Wardlaw, (July 3, 1918–Feb 24, 1969) was born in Black Swamp, Florence, South Carolina to George L. and Harriett Brown Williamson in South Carolina. She married Frank Wardlaw in 1940. Frank was head of University of Texas Press. They had two daughters and two sons.. Jane was daughter of George L. Williamson and Harriet Brown. She was Harold Hanson's administrative assistant during his term as Chair. She is buried in Austin Memorial Park Cemetery.


Arlene Rose Teinert Wendt

Arlene was born in 1952 in Austin Texas, to Reinhold Anton and Irene Elizabeth Spatz Teinert.







Arlene attended Trinity Lutheran School and Lanier High School in Austin, Texas. She was a member of the National Honor Society and a violinist in the school orchestra. She was member of the tennis team. She graduated in 1970 and received a Merit Scholarship.

Arlene married Harold Gordon Wendt in 1972 in Austin, Texas.

In 2013, Arlene was selected as a member of Covington Who's Who registry of Executives and Professionals. In 2014, Arlene was honored by the International Society of Business Leaders as Member of the Year. Each year the ISoBL honors members who made a strong impact in their respective industry.


Arlene worked as an Executive Assistant at the University of Texas for 32 years, retiring in 2015. At UT she worked for the Fusion Research Center and the Institute for Fusion Studies.

She currently does volunteer work and is the Head of the Prayer Shawl Ministry at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas.

















Staff Photo Album

Janee M. Richardson Trybyszewski
Myrna Payne
Myrna Payne

Karen Selman and Tom Griffy


Unknown, please identify
Tom Griffy and Shirley Burleson
Walter "Wally" Reuter Procurement Office
Tammy Hudson
Shirley Hurt with Ken Gentle
Olga Vorloou, Executive Assistant
Norma Kotz And Annette Nava
Norma Kotz
Mary Nell Gamboa
Janee M. Richardson Trybyszewski And Roger Bengtson
Jan Dunn Chair's Secretary
Jan Dunn, Chair Secretary
Glenn Suchan, Procurement Officer
Dottie Peterson
Dottie Peterson
Dorothy Walker, Department Secretary
Dorothy Walker, Department Secretary
Donna Williams
Annette Nava, Undergraduate Secretary
Annette Nava, Undergraduate Secretary

Adele Traverso, Theory Group Secretary








Sadie Russell, Myrna Payne, Mary Helen Spear Quinn, Karon Selman



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