Remembering 'The Emeritus Family' of SPC

October 11, 2018

Public Information Officer


The legacies of two outstanding late St. Philip's College faculty members who are literally woven into the rich fabric of startup community history in Texas are the subject of a recent obituary on one of the faculty members.

The late faculty members are Ralph Edward Weaver (1923-2018) and Dolly Weaver. Both first made college history as the parents of four former college programs. While Ralph Weaver started the college's upholstery, furniture refinishing and tailoring departments, Dolly Weaver started the college's interior decorating department, responsible for the formal educations of many entrepreneurs who went on to start and run successful businesses in the contract interior design and furniture-making sectors.

When the Weavers retired from service with the 120-year-old college in 1986, they were both awarded Professor Emeritus status.

"This was the first time the College had awarded this status to any Vocational Teacher." according to Weaver's October 2018 online obituary. He passed Oct. 10, according to the obituary from Hurley Funeral Home in Lytle.

Prior to the Weaver era at St. Philip's College, Ralph Weaver served as an Airman in the Army Air Corps in WWII. In post-war life, the Weaver family ran a custom upholstery and drapery business in Harlingen before moving to San Antonio.

After retiring, the "Emeritus Family" moved to Lytle where Weaver built and developed affordable business properties for area entrepreneurs to lease for their start-ups.

The history-making faculty member who helped the start-up community of Texas will be interred at Lytle Community Cemetery with full military honors. Both Weavers served under the leadership of Artemisia Bowden before she became both a Saint and President Emeritus of St. Philip’s College. Not insignificantly, Saint and St. Philip’s College President Emeritus Artemisia Bowden started the unique college in 1898 as a sewing school for the daughters of former slaves, and it was during her administration that leadership of studies in the textile industry---the original DNA of the college that now educates globally---was entrusted to the Weavers. Today, the legacy of education in the fabric industry continues through the faculty and students of the St. Philip’s College Collision/Refinishing Technician program. Both Weavers join such esteemed retired faculty members as Dr. William Conan Davis as members of the Alamo College District emeritus cohort that most recently (2018) includes Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Bruce Leslie

Join the conversation on Weaver at his obituary page at Hurley Funeral Home. The definitive document on the eras of the St. Philip’s College upholstery, furniture refinishing, tailoring and interior decorating programs is the reference book St. Philip's College: A Point of Pride on San Antonio's Eastside by author Marie Pannell Thurston. Additional information on the programs led by the Weavers is available through inquiry with college archivist Rebecca Barnard at 210-486-2583