Mary Jane Zwiener died peacefully on September 3, 2011. She was born on June 28, 1918 to Arthur W. and Willa DuFresne Stout, during a trip to Chicago. After her birth, the Stouts returned to their home in New Orleans, Louisiana, where they later had two sons, Arthur W. Stout, Jr. (R.T.) and Thomas A. Stout. Mary Jane grew up in New Orleans, went to the public schools and graduated from Sophie Newcomb College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
During WWII, the family moved to Houston, Texas, where Arthur Sr. worked with Todd Shipyards Corporation, supervising the building of Liberty Ships. Mary Jane was given the honor of christening one of these ships prior to its maiden voyage. Also, during that time, her uncle introduced her to a young marine architectural engineer from Austin, Texas, by the name of Charles L. Zwiener. They fell in love, and were married at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, in April 1942.
The Zwieners moved to Galveston and together they enjoyed sailing, fishing, skeet shooting, hunting, the arts and community theater. Charles and Mary Jane had three daughters; Jane, Wendy and Catherine.
In the late 40’s and early 1950’s, Mary Jane pursued her career as an interior designer. She created interiors for various offices and residences and recounted that Old Red at UTMB and the Balinese Room were some of her favorite jobs. She was active in the design trade until daughter Catherine entered elementary school. She gave up her design work and took a job at Trinity Episcopal School as an art and humanities teacher, a calling she loved for over 30 years. In the 1970’s, she designed needlepoint cushions for Trinity Episcopal Church. The designs were stitched by many women of the church. Mrs. Zwiener retired from Trinity School in the 1980’s, but didn’t really retire. She cared for her mother, Willa Stout until her death and then cared for her husband, Charles, until his death in 2007.
Mary Jane Zwiener will be remembered by her family, friends and many former Trinity students as a free-spirit, a watercolorist, gardener, great cook, hostess and a lover of birds. She sketched, painted, photographed, and created works of art on her computer and often, her subject was a bird. Mary Jane was an avid badminton player, a sport she enjoyed with "The Badminton Girls" at Kempner Park until she was 88 years old. Mrs. Zwiener was a devoted member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, and in addition to teaching at the school, she was a Sunday school teacher and member of Group IV Bible study group.
Mary Jane Zwiener was preceded in death by her parents, brother, A.W.Stout, Jr., husband Charles L. Zwiener, and daughter, Jane L. Zwiener Cooper.
She is survived by her brother Thomas A. Stout Sr., and wife Kitty Stout, daughter Wendy D. Zwiener and Nick Daughtrey, daughter Catherine Z. Glesener and Russ Glesener, grandaughter Willa Jane Glesener, grandson Brooks A.S. Broyles and wife Jeannine G. Broyles and their children, Nicolas and Sophia. She is also survived by nieces, nephews on both sides of the family.
The family would like to acknowledge Mary Jane's devoted caregivers: Mackenzie Koch, Gail Toussant, Rhonda Rios, Sherry Champion and Alisa Beckman and the Hospice Care Team.
The memorial service for Mary Jane Stout Zwiener will be September 8, 2011 at 4 pm, Trinity Episcopal Church. A reception will follow in Eaton Hall. For those desiring, memorials may be directed to: Trinity Episcopal School, 2216 Ball Street, Galveston, Texas 77550, or to the charity of your choice.