Saturday, July 30, 2011
Dallas philanthropist Nancy Hamon passed away
She was a major contributor to Dallas arts scene.
DALLAS Dallas philanthropist Nancy Hamon, 92, died on Saturday, reports Angus Wynne.
Hamon's contributions to arts in Dallas were many; institutions named for her include the Nancy B. Hamon Education and Recital Hall at the Winspear Opera Center and Southern Methodist University's Hamon Arts Library. She served as a member of the Meadows School of the Arts executive board at SMU, and she was a major figure in in cultural and civic organizations including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Zoo, the Museum of African American Life and Culture, and UT Southwestern Medical Center.
But her generosity extended beyond Dallas. In San Francisco, where she had a her second home, she funded the Herb Caen Center at the San Francisco Main Library and California Pacific's J. David Enright IV Medical Education Conference Room.
According to a bio compiled by SMU, she was born in San Antonio and attended the University of Texas at Austin. She married oilman Jake Hamon in 1949 and moved to Dallas, then took over as owner and president of Hamon Operating Company after her husband died in 1985.
She was known for her lavish cocktail parties thrown at her Turtle Creek penthouse, where she kept "a large Sub-Zero freezer stocked with frosted martini and champagne glasses and bottles of Ketel One."
In a statement released on Saturday, AT&T Performing Arts Center board chairman D. Roger Nanney said, "Her tremendous generosity helped make this Center — this gift to the city of Dallas — a reality. Her great passion for the arts certainly has had a lasting impact on this city."