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Caruth Park Stormwater Detention Project - May 2020.  

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Friday, June 5, 2020 - Emergency City Council Meeting


City remembers Barbara Hitzelberger

August 5, 2019
The City of University Park salutes the life and civic accomplishments of Barbara Hitzelberger.  Barbara passed away on August 3 at age 93.  Barbara was the first woman elected to the City Council, and is the only woman to serve our community as Mayor.  In noting her important contributions to the City, Mayor Olin Lane Jr. stated, “Barbara was a remarkable individual, with an abundance of talent, interests and leadership skills.  She will be dearly missed by all who worked with her and knew her.”       

Photo: During the 2010 Hitzelberger Park dedication ceremony, Barbara listens to remarks from former Mayor “Blackie” Holmes.

Moving to University Park in 1962, her service to the City began in the mid-1980’s with her involvement on various boards and committees.  In 1988, she was appointed a City Commissioner.  After her election to the City Council in 1990, she served a two-year term as Mayor from 1992 to 1994.  Barbara was a constant supporter of the City’s park system.  In addition to her involvement with various park beautification projects, while Mayor she worked to establish a separate Parks Department, instituted the City’s Mile-per-Year utility improvement program and oversaw the completion of the Fondren Water Tower project.
Aside from her duties at City Hall, Barbara served the community and the greater Dallas area in a number of other capacities.  That list includes: the Highland Park Junior High PTA, Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Delta Delta, Village Review Book Club, SMU Panhellenic Council, and the HPISD Education Foundation.  Her board memberships include the Dallas Woman’s Club, SMU Alumni Association, La Fiesta de la Seis Bandera, Park Cities YMCA, Cornerstone Bank, and honorary chairperson of the Dallas Museum of Natural History.  Among her civic honors: the naming of a scholarship in her honor at Highland Park High School awarded annually to the female senior who excels in leadership, the Highland Park High School’s Highlander Award and her selection as Grand Marshal of the 2004 Park Cities July 4 Parade.

In 2010, Hitzelberger Park, located at the intersection of Lovers and Hillcrest was dedicated in Barbara’s honor.  The park has two prominent features, a six foot high water wall on the park’s northwest corner, and a sculpture on the park’s northeast corner. The sculpture is called “Parental Embrace.” Making it a gift to the community, Barbara commissioned noted Dallas stone-carver Harold F. Clayton to create the piece.  It depicts one of the community’s core values – the bond between parents and their children.
Barbara was born in 1926, in Wichita Falls, Texas.  Her family moved to Dallas in 1933.  Barbara attended Southern Methodist University where she served on the Student Senate and was president of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. 

Preceding her in death were her parents, her husbands, Bill Hitzelberger and Jim Wooten, her infant son, John Alan, and her sister, Louise. Survivors include: sons, William H. Hitzelberger III, his wife Linda, their children Will and wife, Jaki, their sons Wm. H. Hitzelberger IV “Quinn” and Parks, Kristen and husband, Chase White, their daughters Elle and Mary Mills, and Scott; Robert Lomax Hitzelberger, his wife Debra, their children Kay and Jack; James Lee Hitzelberger, his wife Laurie, and his sons Christian, Michael, and Mark; nieces, Catherine Howell, Ruth Howell Medlyn and husband Gregg, Barbara Howell Christopher, husband Ian, and son, Thomas, and Jim Wooten’s sons & their families. 

A memorial service and reception will be held this Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church at 9200 Inwood Road.