To quote Waco High School’s 1955 yearbook, the Daisy Chain, “Lucy Collins really gives it all she’s got,” and give all she’s got she did! Lucy lived a full and rich life filled with joy, passion, and service. She was a leader who led by example, encouragement, and with a great sense of fun. She made friends wherever she went, from Waco to The University of Texas to Tokyo to each and every church and school she served. Lucy devoted her boundless energy and enthusiasm to many endeavors, none more so than to the University of Texas, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School, and most of all, her family.
Lucy’s passion for her Longhorns was legendary and began at a very early age. One of her most prized possessions was her Bobby Layne Scrapbook, a tribute to the Longhorn legend known as the Blonde Bomber, that she made when she was ten years old. She treasured her days on the Forty Acres, where she made many lifelong friends and honed her leadership skills. She passed her love of The University on to her children and we all have so many happy memories of Texas-OU parties in Dallas, traveling to away games, and cheering on the Horns from Section 3 at DKR.
Lucy spent many years in service to Episcopal schools, culminating in her 32 years as Head of St. Andrew’s in Austin. She nurtured the St. Andrew’s family as if it were her own and knew each child by name, taking such pride in their accomplishments. She cheered on the Crusaders in all of their pursuits. When she arrived in 1980, St. Andrew’s was a small elementary school offering grades 1 though 6. Under Lucy’s guidance and boundless vision, St. Andrew’s grew with the addition of a Middle School in 1982 and an Upper School in 1998. Lucy’s devotion to St. Andrew’s was legendary throughout the Episcopal school world. Lucy served as President of The National Association of Episcopal Schools and was honored with the Ruth Jenkins Award for Outstanding Service to Episcopal Schools. She was awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from both Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and The Seminary of the Southwest. At St. Andrew’s, she created community that felt like family. She loved St. Andrew’s and St. Andrew’s loved her back.
Most of all, Lucy loved her family. She loved nothing more than to be with all of us, whether it be fishing and crabbing along the Gulf Coast, celebrating holidays with a feast prepared by Phil, spending summers at Camp Monterey, traveling the world, or Sunday nights at El Rancho. She and Phil particularly enjoyed hosting family at their home on Pirate’s Beach in Galveston and created so many treasured memories there. She was our biggest cheerleader and advocate and always made everything we did as a family lots more fun!
Lucy was born on March 29, 1937, in Dallas, Texas, to Burt and Lucy Gowdey Collins. She had a beloved younger sister, Frances Byrd Collins Cooper, who Lucy dubbed “T9E” because she was her tee-niney baby sister. The family moved to Hearne before settling in Waco where Lucy grew up. She was an active member of 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, served as president of Mortar Board, was honored as an Outstanding Student, and won the Silver Spur Award. Lucy graduated from UT in 1959.
In 1960, Lucy moved to Tokyo, Japan to teach English at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. She was initially to stay six months but loved the Japanese people and culture so much, she stayed for three years. This time in Tokyo was where she began her life-long ministry in Episcopal schools and prompted her to return to Texas and enroll in the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest. Lucy went on to become the first woman to graduate from the seminary with a Master of Theology. A newspaper article at the time was headlined, “Lipstick and High Heels enter the Seminary,” which always brought a chuckle to those who knew Lucy! It was there she met her husband of 52 years, and partner in all endeavors, Arthur Phillips Nazro, Jr.
Lucy and Phil married in 1964 and had four children, Frances Collins, Evelyn Penhallow, Mary Alice and Arthur Phillips III. Lucy and Phil made a formidable team, serving Episcopal churches and schools in Longview, Bellville, Clearwater, Orange, and Galveston, before moving to Austin in 1980 when Lucy began her 32 year career 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. She is preceded in death by her husband, Phil Nazro; her sister, Frances (T9E) Cooper; her parents, Lucy and Burt Collins; and her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ginny and John Fisher.
We would like to thank Mom’s many caregivers over the last few years, especially Barbara Williams.