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Save Austin's Cemeteries

Mailing Address: Telephone: Meeting Place:
PO Box 16411 512-917-1666 Oakwood Cemetery Chapel
Austin, Texas 78761 1601 Navasota Street, Austin, Texas
Save Austin's Cemeteries Group E-mail

President: Beth Pickett
Originally from Amarillo and an Austin resident for 17 years, Beth cites the Halloween tours at Oakwood as her introduction to SAC. She fosters a wide variety of interests and participation, most recently serving on boards at the state, region, and local levels of Citizen Police Academy Alumni Associations. After running the gauntlet of jobs familiar to wanderers in the liberal arts, she has worked as a technical writer for over 25 years, primarily in federal contracting. She holds a degree in Art History with a minor in Interior Design from Texas Christian University. Art, symbolism, and the stories of those who have passed on—true, untrue, and imagined—are what draw her to cemeteries. She enjoys photography and often participates in the monthly documentation sessions at Oakwood. Her photographs frequently appear in the annual Save Austin’s Cemeteries calendar.
Vice President: Sally Victor
Sally Victor started visiting cemeteries at a young age and enjoyed sharing the unique and decorative features with others in high school. She studied cemeteries professionally as a historic consultant during the 1980s in east Texas and marveled at the folklore and traditions exhibited. Sally has prepared several National Register nominations for historic cemeteries near Amarillo and San Antonio. She also does presentations on cemetery symbolism and cemetery walking tours. Sally has degrees from the University of Texas in American Studies and Community & Regional Planning with emphasis on Historic Preservation and History. The City of Austin cemeteries are really special and sincerely need better preservation.
Treasurer: Leslie Wolfenden
A founding member of SAC, Leslie is an architectural historian with degrees in Historic Preservation, Architecture, and Interior Design. Her work takes her all over Texas assisting Main Street towns with design and display recommendations. Leslie's education and work experience have been instrumental in leading the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel Rehabilitation project.
Secretary: Barbara Surles
Barbara is fascinated with all things old and historical, and she joined SAC after attending the 2008 Murder, Mayhem and Misadventure Tour (thanks to the write-up in the Austin American Statesman). As a member, she is involved with the headstone documentation project and volunteers at walking tours. Barbara’s husband, Jeff, has a great-great-great-great grandfather buried at Oakwood (Benjamin Franklin Grumbles) who fought in the War of 1812.

Historian: Kay Boyd
Kay has been a member of SAC since its inception. She is keenly interested in the preservation and care of Austin cemeteries. Her great-grandparents were Swedish immigrants who came to Austin and Texas in 1870 and are buried in Oakwood Cemetery. She also has family buried in the Oakwood Annex and Austin Memorial Park. Kay is also a member of the Austin Genealogical Society where she works with the Travis County cemetery project and county records. She was instrumental in beginning the Travis County Pioneer program. Besides cemeteries and genealogy, she is very interested in Travis County history

Founder & Liaison: Dale Flatt
Dale is a professional firefighter/EMT with the City of Austin and is the founder of Save Austin's Cemeteries. He is a past Master of a Masonic Lodge and chairman of the local Masonic cemetery. For the past 10 years, he has dedicated a large portion of his off-duty hours to the study and practice of preservation efforts for the historic cemeteries in the Austin area. Dale volunteers on projects with the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation in gravesite documentation in Travis County. He also works with cemetery groups on how to form non-profit organizations and how to best manage their cemeteries. He is a member of the International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA), Save Our Cemeteries (New Orleans), and Historic Oakland Foundation (Atlanta), along with several other organizations, in order to keep abreast of historic and current cemetery trends.