Obituaries: October 2007

Ellen Hahn and Donald Morgan Browning

DIED Ellen Hahn, a prominent activist and educator who worked closely with the Houston Buyers Club, on August 11 of ovarian cancer. “Ellen became the standard by which we measure financial accountability here,” Houston Buyers Club founder Fred Walters wrote in an e-mail to OutSmart of Hahn, who had worked as an accountant. “She is the reason Houston Buyers Club is still here.” Hahn devoted time to other community organizations, including PoWeR, the Kindred Spirits Reunion, Legacy Community Health Services, and A Christmas Songfest. At Hahn’s request, no memorial service was held. Her many surviving friends have requested that people who wish to make a memorial gift consider a donation in Hahn’s name to organizations that support alternative care for HIV or ovarian cancer. Read a remembrance from Hahn’s friend Fred Walters at Memories of Ellen.

DIED Donald Morgan Browning, who donated his time and resources to several community organizations, on September 3 following a lengthy battle with cancer. “Don spent many years working up the ranks at AIDS Foundation Houston in the late eighties and early nineties, answering hotlines, volunteer staffing, and then serving on the board of directors for several years,” his life partner Sam (Trey) Yates III wrote in an email. “He was also on the board of directors for the Assistance Fund [now part of Legacy Community Health Services] for several years. Those were anxious times as friends were dying all around us, and the stigma of the disease was prevalent. It was tough work on a shoestring budget. Don’s talent was getting the media’s attention for the fundraiser we would be doing at the time, whether that was Shelby Hodge of the Chronicle or in the community press.” Browning was also involved with Friends of Hermann Park, Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, and organizations that helped find homes for abused and abandoned animals. Browning, who was 55, was born in Longview. In addition to Yates, Browning is survived by parents Carroll and Myrtis Browning, brother Robert Browning; older son Ben Browning and his wife, Leslie; younger son Ted Browning; and three rescued dogs, Joe, Scout, and Missy. A memorial service will be held on October 27, 11 a.m., at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, Browning’s family requests that donations be sent to Special Pals (3830 Greenhouse Rd., Houston 77084).


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