Shudde Fath’s 100th Birthday Party

“If you dropped a bomb on this place,” said Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea, “you’d wipe out the entire progressive movement in Austin.

Shudde Fath and Brigid Shea at Shudde Fath’s 100th birthday party.

Political fire, college spirit and fond regards for civic activist Shudde Fath warmed her 100th birthday party at the University of Texas Alumni Center.

Indeed, the place was packed with politicos, organizers and grassroots followers of the woman who helped spearhead causes from civil rights to ecological awareness and consumer protection. You can read all about her accomplishments and life in a long profile by reporter Marty Toohey and yours truly.

“I’ve often said that every day is a blessing,” Fath said after dinner. “I can’t believe I’ve accumulated 100 years of days!”

Sharp, funny and feisty, she thanked by name most of the influencers in attendance, but said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett couldn’t be there.

Lamar Smith is my Congressmen these days,” she sighed. “He doesn’t believe in climate change and it goes down from there. I still claim Lloyd as my Congressman.”

She left the youngsters in the house with a final tip: “You gotta give a damn about something, then do something about it.”



Author: Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history for the Austin American-Statesman and

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