Lucy Nazro Obituary, Death – Lucy Ann Collins Nazro died peacefully on August 21, 2023. At the time, she was 86 years old. Lucy was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, educator, and sports fan. “Lucy Collins really gives it all she’s got,” according to the Daisy Chain, Waco High School’s 1955 yearbook, and she did! Lucy lived a rich and vibrant life filled with love, passion, and service.
She was a strong leader who led by example, supported others, and had a great sense of humour. She made friends wherever she went, from Waco to The University of Texas to Tokyo, and at every church and school where she served. Lucy devoted her boundless energy and enthusiasm to a multitude of organisations, including the University of Texas, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, and, most significantly, her family.
Lucy’s love to her Longhorns was legendary, and it began when she was a child. Her Bobby Layne Scrapbook, a ten-year-old tribute to the Longhorn star known as the Blonde Bomber, was one of her most prized possessions. She treasured her time at Forty Acres, where she made lifelong friends and honed her leadership skills. She instilled a love of The University in her children, and we all have happy memories of Texas-OU parties in Dallas, road trips to away games, and cheering on the Horns from Section 3 at DKR.
Lucy served in Episcopal schools for many years, culminating in her 32-year stint as Head of St. Andrew’s in Austin. She reared the St. Andrew’s family as if they were her own, knowing each child by name and taking pride in their accomplishments. She was a staunch supporter of the Crusaders in all of their undertakings. When she arrived in 1980, St. Andrew’s was a small primary school with classes 1 through 6. Under Lucy’s supervision and vision, St. Andrew’s grew to include a Middle School in 1982 and an Upper School in 1998. Lucy’s devotion to St. Andrew’s was famous among Episcopal school parents.
Lucy served as President of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and was awarded the Ruth Jenkins Award for Exceptional Service to Episcopal Schools. Both Yale Divinity School and The Seminary of the Southwest bestowed honorary doctorates on her. At St. Andrew’s, she created a community that felt like a family. St. Andrew’s cherished her, and she adored St. Andrew’s. Above all, Lucy treasured her family. She loved spending time with us all, whether it was fishing and crabbing on the Gulf Coast, celebrating holidays with a feast prepared by Phil, summers at Camp Monterey, seeing the world, or Sunday nights at El Rancho. She and Phil especially enjoyed hosting family members at their home on Galveston’s Pirate’s Beach, where they created many fond memories. She was our staunchest supporter and advocate, and she made everything we did as a family more fun!
Lucy Gowdey Collins was born on March 29, 1937, in Dallas, Texas, to Burt and Lucy Gowdey Collins. Lucy’s cherished younger sister, Frances Byrd Collins Cooper, was dubbed “T9E” because she was her tee-niney baby sister. Lucy grew up in Waco when her family moved to Hearne. She attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and graduated from Waco High School in 1955. She went on to the University of Texas, where she pledged Tri Delta, was a member of the Orange Jackets, was president of Mortar Board, was awarded an Outstanding Student, and received the Silver Spur Award. Lucy earned her bachelor’s degree in 1959 from the University of Texas.
Lucy moved to Tokyo to teach English at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in 1960. She had only planned to stay for six months, but she fell in love with the Japanese people and culture and ended up staying three years. During her stay in Tokyo, she began her life-long ministry in Episcopal schools, which inspired her to return to Texas and enrol in the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. Lucy was the seminary’s first female Master of Theology graduate.
The headline of a newspaper article at the time was “Lipstick and High Heels Enter the Seminary,” which always made Lucy chuckle! She met her husband of 52 years and business partner, Arthur Phillips Nazro, Jr., there. Lucy and Phil had four children in 1964: Frances Collins, Evelyn Penhallow, Mary Alice, and Arthur Phillips III. Lucy and Phil were a dynamic duo who served Episcopal churches and schools in Longview, Bellville, Clearwater, Orange, and Galveston before arriving to Austin in 1980 to begin Lucy’s 32-year tenure as Head of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
Lucy is survived by her children and their spouses, Francie and Trent Thurman, Evelyn Nazro, Alice and Mike Nezzer, and Phillips Nazro and Neal Thomas; her grandchildren, Sam and Ben Thurman and Raleigh and Rebecca Nezzer; brother-in-law Mike Cooper; nieces and nephews and their spouses, Lucy and Ellis Oglesby, Michael and Marjann Cooper, Stephen and Taryn Cooper, Greg and Becky Fisher, Tim and Deidra Fisher and Vicki Fisher. Her husband, Phil Nazro, sister Frances (T9E) Cooper, parents Lucy and Burt Collins, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Ginny and John Fisher all died before her.
We’d want to express our gratitude to Mom’s numerous carers over the years, particularly Barbara Williams. Lucy’s memorial ceremony will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Upper School Chapel, 5901 Southwest Parkway, Austin, Texas, 78735, on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, 1112 W. 31st Street, Austin, Texas, 78705 (www.sasaustin.org), All Saints Episcopal Church, 209 W. 27th Street, Austin, Texas, 78705 (www.allsaints-austin.org), or El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission, 7000 Woodhue Dr, Austin, TX 78745 (www.elbuen.org).