In a statement Tuesday, City of Houston Mayor Bill White confirmed that former councilwoman Eleanor Tinsley has died. She was 82 years old.
Tinsley last served as a councilwoman in 1995 during the mayoral administration of Bob Lanier. She was first elected to City Council in 1979 when she won an at-large position.
The Baylor University alum served on Council for 16 years, but had to leave office in 1995 because of term limitations.
Tinsley moved with her husband to Houston in 1953 from her birthplace of Dallas. Her first elected office position was as a Houston Independent School District board member from 1969 until 1973. During her time serving as an HISD board member, Tinsley helped put an end to segregated schools and form Houston Community College.
Eleanor Tinsley Park is part of Buffalo Bayou Park and has been the site of major Independence Day events for the last several years.
Mayor White released the following statement regarding Tinsley:
Houston has lost a great citizen with the passing of Eleanor Tinsley. She’s a shining example of a life dedicated to making our community a better place for all its citizens. Just two weeks ago, she stood with us as we took down one of the last of thousands of unsightly billboards we’ve removed to make Houston neighborhoods more beautiful. It was the realization of a goal she helped set years ago and she proudly shared the moment with us. I admired Mrs. Tinsley’s courage and commitment that day, and I will continue to admire the legacy she left for Houston. You can see that legacy with your own eyes in many places around Houston. Today, for example, hundreds of children all over the city will enjoy one of the many Spark Parks she championed. She was admired by so many and she will be missed.