Laura Lee Lanigan
Oct. 22, 2009 at 5:22 a.m.
Laura Jean (Lee) Lanigan of Texas City passed from this life on October 19, 2009. Mrs. Lanigan was the first woman elected to the school board of TCISD. She was born on December 12, 1931, to Clarence Edward “Buzz” Lee and Nantie Duncan Pier in Bay City, Texas and grew up there. Her father and uncles were rice farmers and cattle ranchers by trade, so she was familiar with farming and ranching her whole life. Later in life, she took over part of the family business in cattle ranching.
Mrs. Lanigan graduated from Bay City High School in 1949, Wharton County Junior College in 1951 and Sam Houston State Teacher’s College in 1953. After graduating from Sam Houston with a BBA, she began her teaching career at Flour Bluff High School and later taught P.E. and business education at La Marque High School for 11 years where she also served as cheerleader sponsor. Mrs. Lanigan served as state president and recording secretary of the Texas Girls Recreation Association which preceded girls involvement in UIL athletic competition. She later attended the University of Colorado, Boulder and received a Master of Arts degree in education in 1963. She met her husband while teaching in La Marque and they married in the chapel at First United Methodist Church, Texas City on May 19, 1961.
Following the births of her children, Mrs. Lanigan retired from teaching to become a fulltime mother. She was very active in her children’s lives but continued to pursue her own interests as well, giving her time and energies to many athletic and educational pursuits in the Texas City Area. She served as a Girl Scout Leader and as Director of the South Texas Girl Scout Council; was involved with Little League Baseball, Texas City Rebels football, Art League of the Mainland, and PTA. Mrs. Lanigan was made a lifetime member of the national PTA because of her devotion to education. She served on the Texas City Independent School District Board for 13 years and served as president of the board in 1984. With her love for teaching, she also worked as a substitute teacher in the TCISD, taught courses at College of the Mainland, and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma (a professional teachers society) for 30 years. Mrs. Lanigan was a member of First United Methodist Church of Texas City for over 50 years.
Mrs. Lanigan was most proud of her family and family heritage. She is the descendent of the Alden, Bradford, Brewster, Mullins, and Warren families that came to America on the Mayflower as well as other early settlers of New England. Other ancestors colonized Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Maryland, including Gov. Thomas West (Lord Delaware) of Jamestown. Her ancestors later fought to win independence in the American Revolution, then migrated west to Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Eventually they migrated to Texas in the 1820’s and 1830’s, where they fought for Texas independence, some giving their lives at the Alamo and Goliad while others were victorious on the battlefield at San Jacinto.
Mrs. Lanigan has been very active in heritage and historical organizations for many years. She served in numerous offices for these organizations including the following: Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, San Jacinto Descendents, U.S. Daughters of 1812, Colonial Dames (Regent), and Daughters of American Colonists. Mrs.Lanigan received the Sam Houston Award from the San Jacinto Descendents for her dedicated promotion and preservation of Texas History. She served on the Board of Management of the DRT which manages the Alamo for the State of Texas. Mrs. Lanigan also served two terms as chairman of the Cradle Committee which manages the historic law office of William Pitt Ballinger in Galveston.
She is survived by her husband of 48 years, William F. “Bill” Lanigan, of Texas City; a daughter, Vasser Lanigan, of Dallas, TX; son and daughter-in-law Rev. William F. “Bill” and Katherine Lanigan of Maud, Texas; 3 grandsons: Will, Andrew, and Daniel Lanigan of Maud, Texas; sister-in-laws Dorothy Wolfe of El Campo, Texas; and Shannon Lanigan of Metairie, Louisiana; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, C.E. Lee and Nantie Pier Lee; brothers, John Knox Lee and Pier Edward Lee; and nephew, Pier E. Lee, Jr.
Visitation will be 5 - 8 p.m., Thursday, October 22, at Emken-Linton Funeral Home in Texas City. Funeral services will be held at First United Methodist Church, Texas City on Friday, October 23, 2009 at 10am. A graveside service will be held at Cedarvale Cemetery, on Golden Avenue, in Bay City at 2:30pm. Active pallbearers will be cousins: Jack Lee, Gary Alberts, James Pier, Thomas Pier, and Andrew Pier, and grandnephew, Coy Radley. Honorary pallbearers will be cousin Jon Abshier and grandsons Will Lanigan, Andrew Lanigan, and Daniel Lanigan; and grand-nephew Cade Radley. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: either “The Cradle Fund” or the “Laura Lanigan Texas History Educational Fund” of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas address: Karen Clogston, DRT Treasurer General, 25203 Aughton Drive, Spring, TX 77389-5405; or First United Methodist Church, Texas City - 317 5th Avenue N., Texas City, Texas 77590.