In addition to serving as President of GHF from 1963-1965, Inez tireless devoted her time and knowledge to the preservation of Ashton Villa in the early 1970s. She started by gathering research on the house and family, but after the untimely death of Patty Steph, Inez graciously agreed to lead the Ashton Villa committee in cooperation with Tim Thompson, Sally Wallace, Joe Levy, and Anne Brindley through the arduous restoration of the house. In her address to the first docent class in 1974, Inez said “Galvestonians seem to have a particularly warm spot in their hearts for Ashton Villa. It was on the assurance of this interest that we in the Historical Foundation felt we had a ‘mandate from the people’ to proceed with preservation of the property.” Armed only with their passion for preserving Galveston’s history, she added: “I shudder to think what novices we were. We had never written a grant proposal –we had never seen one—but we wrote them, and they were well received.” Her leadership and determination kept the Ashton Villa project alive and led to GHF’s management for over forty years. “It is not particularly early as those of you thinking of Williamsburg and Sturbridge Village may think of restoration. It is going to be unique in that it will be ‘our’ place, ‘our’ town; the Browns were our family, and we are going to present their house to the public.” Thanks to Inez another piece of Galveston’s rich and vibrant story is preserved for the future.
A memorial service in Inez’s honor will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m., with a reception following in the parish hall. Memorial donations can graciously be made to Grace Episcopal Church or Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston. A private burial will be held at a later date.