Haggerty was generous supporter of education

JAMES AUER

Haggerty was generous supporter of education, arts

By JAMES AUER jauer@journalsentinel.com, Journal Sentinel

Monday, December 1, 2003

A funeral will be held in Dallas Tuesday for Beatrice M. Haggerty, a Milwaukee-born philanthropist and arts patron whose name, along with that of her late husband, Patrick E. Haggerty, adorns buildings on campuses in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Universally known as “Bea,” Haggerty, 90, died Friday at her home in Dallas, in the company of her five surviving children. She was preceded in death by her husband, one of three founders of Texas Instruments Inc., and by a daughter, Rosemary Ellen.

Born May 4, 1913, in Milwaukee, the former Beatrice Menne attended Mount Mary College and earned her master’s degree in social work from Loyola University in Chicago. Throughout her life, she actively championed family and children’s issues, education and the arts.

In 2001, she was named by the Catholic Foundation as the recipient of the prestigious McGill Award for her work throughout her life as an “exemplary Catholic leader.” In honoring Haggerty, the foundation said, it was also recognizing her achievements as a wife and mother.

Despite her strong ties to Dallas’ business and social communities, Haggerty never forgot the state where she was born. She was a summer resident of Fish Creek, in Door County, and was a generous supporter of Mount Mary College and Marquette University, from whose School of Engineering her husband graduated in 1936.

She and her husband, who died in 1980, made major gifts to Marquette’s Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art and Haggerty Engineering Building, as well as to Mount Mary’s Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Library.

They also made substantial naming gifts to the Haggerty Art Center at the University of Dallas and the Beatrice Haggerty Library at Ursuline Academy, a Catholic girls school in Dallas.

Other recipients of the Haggertys’ generosity included the University of Dallas, the Visiting Nurse Association and many other service and educational institutions.

In May of this year, the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas named its chapel the Beatrice Menne Haggerty Chapel in recognition of a $1.4 million pledge by the Haggerty Foundation to help fund expansion efforts under way at the hospital.

A vital, outgoing woman with broad interests, Haggerty was a cultural populist as well as a supporter of the high arts. In 1985, she told a writer for the Dallas Morning News that her favorite comic strip was “Peanuts,” her favorite comedian Carol Burnett, her most valued material possession her wedding ring and her hero was her husband.

Prior to the opening of the Haggerty Museum on the Marquette University campus in 1984, the Haggertys gave the museum 105 works from the Bible series of Marc Chagall. In response to her many years of support, the Haggerty Museum gave Beatrice Haggerty its Kairos Award for service to the arts in 1990.

Curtis L. Carter, who as director of Marquette’s Haggerty Museum worked closely with Haggerty for two decades, called her “an exemplary benefactor, always encouraging and supportive of the Haggerty’s efforts in the most positive ways.”

Monsignor Milam Joseph, president of the University of Dallas, told a writer from the Dallas Morning News: “I think she really enjoyed helping educational and charitable entities. I think that was her great joy in life.”

Sheila Haggerty Turner of Sturgeon Bay put it equally succinctly, albeit from a daughter’s viewpoint.

“Our mother,” said Turner, “was born wanting to make a difference. She died with that wish totally fulfilled.”

Haggerty is survived by three daughters, Sheila Turner and her husband, Davis, of Sturgeon Bay; Kathleen Haggerty of Austin; Teresa Parravano and her husband, Dennis, of Dallas; and two sons, Patrick Haggerty and his wife, Mary, of Dallas, and Michael Haggerty and his wife, Jeane, of Austin.

Tuesday’s Mass will be at 10 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas.

Gifts are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice, or to Dignity Memorial Sparkman Hillcrest, 7405 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75225.

James Auer is the Journal Sentinel’s art critic.

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