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Share Dincins Steen

SHARON DINCANS STEEN

Apr. 13, 1938 – Nov. 30, 2021

Sharon Dincans Steen was born in Dallas, Texas on Apr. 13, 1938 to Louise Todd and was adopted at birth by Jennings and Florence Dincans of Houston. She was raised in Houston with her brother Burton Dincans enjoying a loving and idyllicchildhood. Sharon attended Lamar High School in Houston, the Hockaday School in Dallas and the University of Texas in Austin.

Sharon is predeceased by her parents Jennings and Florence Dincans, her brother Burton Dincans, her birth mother, Louise Todd Madsen, her stepfather Jack Madsen and her remarkable friend, E. M. “Buck” Schiwetz.

Survived by her loving husband Gary Dunnam of Victoria and by her children Lias Jeff Steen (Barbara) of Houston, Shannon Steen Mann (Jamie) of Houston, Jennings Steen (Yuniedth) of Austin and stepdaughter Katharine Dunnam Tretter (Kevin) of Austin.

Her lasting legacy is bright as she is survived by six wonderful and talented grandchildren, Jake Steen of Houston, Fauye Bennett of Austin, Ian Jennings Mann of San Antonio, Emma Louise Mann of Fort Collins, CO, Scarlett Jennings Steen of Austin and Lias Fletcher Steen of Houston. The grandchildren called her “Ma’am” because she was forever telling her oldest grandchild Jake to say “Yes Ma’am” when he was a baby and she has been “Ma’am” ever since.

She is also survived by her lifetime friend and the father of her children, Lias “Bubba” Steen of Westhoff and a wonderful group of nieces and nephews. Barbara Steen Smith of Corpus Christi, Tricia Mayfield Crane (Joe) of Bay City, Mark Steen (Terrie) of Corpus Christi, Russell Mayfield (Dawnica Owens) of Corpus Christi, Casey McDonough (Julie) of Edmond, OK, Brady McDonough (Kelly) of Edmond, OK and Kyle Burton Dincans (Nikki) of Hockley, TX. Also surviving Sharon are multitudes of creative and successful cousins and cherished friends.

Sharon’s life can best be described as a “life well lived”! Her engaging smile was an open invitation to friends and strangers alike. While she grew up in Houston, her personality was better suited to a smaller community, and over the past 60 years, Cuero and Victoria repeatedly reaped the benefits of her civic enthusiasm and her refusal to take “no” for an answer!

She took great pride in breaking barriers and upsetting apple carts. Sharon was the first woman to run for and be elected to the Cuero City Council, opening the door for many qualified women to serve in elected office over the next 50 years.

She ran for Mayor and only came up a few votes short in a still-standing record turnout, but a woman running for Mayor certainly got the “good ole boys” at the Cuero Dairy Queen stirred up.

Sharon was proudly progressive, open minded and a champion for those individuals less fortunate than herself. While many folks adopted pets, she adopted people, especially those that may have been in a rough place in life. While she was long on advice, she was even longer on compassion, love and empathy. Sharon was never happier than when a troubled friend recovered and went on to lead a healthy, happy life. She was vulnerable and emotional while extending a gentle hand that was strong and secure, a wonderful trait that comforted many people who faced difficulties in their lives.

She was a tireless advocate for all things artistic and for historic preservation, even after surviving her “Tie-Dyed, burlap bag and zebra wallpaper phase” as a FoundingMember of “Mama Mussett’s Terrell Street Mod Squad” in the mid 1960’s.

She survived breast cancer when she was 44 years old and found her birth mother in the process. That event opened a wonderful chapter in the second half of her life and her combined and expanded family was greatly enhanced and all get alongsplendidly to this day!

She met the love of her life 35 years ago and crafted a life and marriage with Gary Dunnam. It was a loving union filled with incredible music, art, unstoppable laughter, fine wine and special times with creative and engaging friends from all walks of life. Legendary dinner parties under grand crystal chandeliers with spirited conversation was the order of the day. She could not cook a lick, but Gary’s culinary prowess in the kitchen made an invitation to Liberty Street and Glass Street a coveted ticket. Sharon’s table settings and dining decor were ornate, eclectic and chocked full of unmatched whimsy.

Sharon’s personal sense of style could best be described as unique, bold and elegant….. You knew the moment she entered any room, it demanded your attention and it generally made you smile… Gary loves to tell the story of when they were appearing before the Victoria City Council in support of a historic preservation project. It was required to step up to the microphone and give your name, Sharon steps up and says confidently, “I am, Sharon Steen!” Once she finished her impassioned remarks, Gary steps up and says, “I am Mr. Sharon Steen!” Everyone in the room had a good laugh! That’s just the way Sharon Steen rolled.

In Victoria, she never saw a civic project she could refuse to support when they issued a call for help. Over the years she served in leadership and key volunteer positions in a long list of civic and philanthropic organizations.

Sharon served three terms as President of the Victoria Regional Museum Association, President of the Victoria Fine Arts Association and President of Victoria Parks and Recreation. She served as Chairperson for the Victoria Holiday Lights Project, Member of the Victoria Planning Commission and on the Steering Committee for the Restoration of the 1892 Victoria County Courthouse. Sharon served on the Board of Habitat for Humanity, Victoria Preservation Inc. and was honored to be selected as one of three South Texas Women of the year in 2000.

She served for years as part of the Reach to Recovery team of the American Cancer Society.

During her lengthy terms as chairman of the exhibits committee at the Nave Museum, Sharon’s extensive knowledge of art and connection to notable Texas artists enabled the museum to have numerous exhibits of a recognized standard of excellence.

Along with like-minded friends she worked to establish the DeWitt County Historical Museum, reinvigorate The Turkey Trot into Turkey Fest and served on the board of Bluebonnet Youth Ranch.

She was not overly religious, but deeply and profoundly spiritual. She lived and taught the importance of “listening to your inner voice”, not letting the difficulties and distractions of daily life get in the way of your intended destination. She  encouraged everyone who would listen to “get off the beaten path and to march to a different drummer,” if it so suited you.

Sharon was passionate about teaching her children and grandchildren to embrace diversity, extend compassion and always to respect others, no matter what differences existed. Like most mothers and grandmothers, she would bend your ear about how proud she was of her brood and how well they were prepared for the bumps in life.

She fought a graceful and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s and left on her own terms in a peaceful way.

In a private ceremony, her ashes will be interred at Evergreen Cemetery in the Dincans’ family plot next to her parents. Per her specific instructions, a festive and appropriate memorial service will be planned at her beloved Windy Hill Ranch inDeWitt County in the coming months. As her friend Buck Schiwetz would say, the memorial service will be an occasion for “urologies (eulogies) to be given!”

The family is grateful for the care and concern of Pola Gutierrez, Natalio Marquez, Del Staten, Ronnie Acosta, Reyes Sherman, and her loving team of care givers.

Memorials can be made to Hospice of South Texas, 605 E. Locust Avenue, Victoria, Texas 77901, The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, PO Box 866, Cuero, TX 77954, the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, FL. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or to any organization of your choice.

GOD BLESS YOU “MA’AM!” Thank you for the difference you made in this world and ALL our lives!

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