By Michael Corcoran | Sunday, November 29, 2009, 05:47 PM
Bess Hawes, the youngest child of legendary University of Texas folklorist John A. Lomax, passed away Friday in Portland, Ore. She was 88.
A former member of the Almanac Singers, with Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and her husband Butch Hawes, Bess Lomax Hawes was born in Austin on Jan. 21, 1921 and spent her childhood at the family home on West 26th Street. She often accompanied her father and brother Alan on folk song-collecting trips in the south.
Throughout her life, she carried on her father’s work, tirelessly teaching traditional folk music at festivals, schools, and universities. In the ’70s and ’80s, she directed the Folk and Traditional Arts Program for the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 1993, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton.
Hawes attended the University of Texas for two years, but graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
She is survived by her three children, Corey Denos of Bellingham, Wash,, Naomi Bishop and Nicholas Hawes of Portland, Ore., and by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.