At a recent “Celebration of Life” service for Taylor Willingham, I heard these words that so resonated with me as a member of the Coffee Party that I felt compelled to share them:
As we consider the details of our work, it is important to keep focused on the eventual goal of developing a deliberative and thoughtful public that is capable of tackling tough issues without the rancor and destructive tactics that we so often find in our public life.
These words of Taylor’s were imparted to us by Betty Sue Flowers, former director of the LBJ Library and Museum.
Among Taylor’s many causes was enthusiastic support of Coffee Party Austin. Many of us will recall her as a guest speaker at our meeting at the Austin History Center last October, and before she was diagnosed with what turned out to be her final illness, she was bubbling over with ideas for our Community Conversations project. Her death on 5 Sep 2011 leaves a void that can’t be filled, but her words should inspire us to carry on as she would have.