PATMAN, CARRIN M. (1931 ~ 2018). The following is an obituary for Carrin Patman, wife of Congressman William "Bill" Patman. The obituary was provided by Austin Peel and Son Funeral Home of Austin.
Carrin Mauritz Patman
Carrin Foreman Mauritz Patman passed away on May 22, 2018, joining her beloved husband Bill in Heaven.
Carrin was born on March 1, 1932 to Fred Mauritz, a Jackson County farmer, rancher, and businessman, and Carrin Foreman Mauritz, one of Texas' first female school superintendents. After Carrin's mother died in childbirth, Carrin was given much love and care by Fred, who adored her, and by her aunts, Sallie and Jen Mauritz.
As a young girl in Ganado, Carrin licked stamps and knocked on doors for her father's successful campaign for the Texas Senate, beginning a deep interest in the Democratic process and public service that remained a constant throughout her life. After Fred died of cancer when Carrin was 15, she moved to Austin and lived with Jen. They traveled the world and enjoyed many fun adventures together.
Carrin graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 1954 with a degree in philosophy and English. In the meantime, at Barton Springs, she met law student Bill Patman, who bought her a double-frosted root beer, became enchanted with her keen intellect, charisma and radiant beauty, and not long thereafter threatened to go away and join the Marine Corps if she didn't marry him, which she did, on September 5, 1953. On April 20, 1956, Carrin gave birth to their only child, daughter Carrin Foreman Patman, whom Carrin and Bill loved beyond measure throughout their lives, and whose love was fully reciprocated by "Little Carrin." The three of them have had an extraordinary bond. When "Little Carrin" married Jim Derrick in 1997, they became a close foursome.
Soon after their marriage, Carrin and Bill settled back in her hometown of Ganado, where Bill managed the family farming, ranching, and business interests and Carrin became involved in all aspects of the church and community. She led a two-year campaign to establish an elementary school library in Ganado, insisting that it be equipped with a broad spectrum of books, be a state-of-the-art and inviting space, and be air-conditioned, unlike any other room in the school. The library won an award from the American Library Association, and Carrin was made a lifetime Honorary Member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Outstanding Women Educators.
In 1960, with the encouragement of Carrin and his father, Wright Patman, Bill ran for the Texas Senate seat held by Fred Mauritz twenty years before. The campaign was the first of many that Carrin managed for Bill during his 24 years in public service. In 1961 Bill was sworn in as a State Senator, where he served for 20 years before moving to the United States Congress for four years.
Carrin made her own independent mark on the state and national Democratic Party. For two decades, Carrin served on the Democratic Party's State Executive Committee, and in 1969 was elected Democratic National Committeewoman for Texas. Carrin successfully lobbied for a bill requiring both Texas political parties to write down, publicize and distribute their rules for participation prior to beginning their decision-making processes. Carrin then surmounted party leaders' initial resistance to compliance by having copies printed and widely disseminated largely at her own expense.
At the national level, she was a leader in instituting reforms that led to broader participation of women and minorities, and in 1976, she successfully led the fight at the Democratic National Convention, against the political powers in control, to ban winner-take-all presidential primaries.
Though her interest in the Democratic party and its values never waned, in the 1980s, Carrin embarked on a new career in fitness, mastering aerobics and becoming a certified instructor. Membership in her Austin seniors class was highly prized, and she took great pleasure in enhancing the health and well-being of her students and friends.
As the grandchild of Swedish immigrants, Carrin also made a mission of promoting her Swedish heritage. She raised over $1 million to establish the Swedish Studies Excellence Endowment in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. The Endowment supports scholarships, fellowships, symposia, study abroad opportunities, lectures, and cultural exhibits and performances. In 2003, on behalf of the King and the government of Sweden, Carrin was inducted into the Swedish Royal Order of the Polar Star, the highest honor the Swedish government can bestow upon someone who is not a Swedish citizen.
She also was committed to the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas, serving on its Foundation Advisory Council for 12 years. In 2004 Carrin received the College of Liberal Arts' highest honor, the Pro Bene Meritis Award.
Carrin was predeceased by her parents and her husband, Bill Patman. She is survived by her daughter, Carrin Foreman Patman, and her son-in-law, Jim Derrick. The family would like to think the staff at Westminster for providing Carrin wonderful care, and would like to express particularly appreciation to her friends and caregivers Ann Ndebueze, Barbara Speller, Malike Hunter, Silvia Flores, and Blanche Pichon.
A celebration of Carrin's life will be held on May 31, 2018, at 2:00 p.m., at University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas 78705, with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, 116 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, Texas 78712-1140, to Battleground Texas, P.O. Box 11525, Austin, Texas 78711.
Published in Houston Chronicle from May 30 to May 31, 2018.