Father of State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple Dies at Age 94 in Texas

The father of State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, whose 31st District includes the City of Falls Church, died at age 94 in College Station, Texas, on January 14.

Harrison Ewing Hierth was Professor Emeritus at Texas A. & M. University. Services for Dr. Hierth were held last Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church in nearby Bryan, Texas. Interment followed in Chenoa, Illinois.

Dr. Hierth was born in Pontiac, Illinois on January 5, 1913, the son of Henry Harrison and Bessie Ewing Hierth. He married Margaret Rowland on March 26, 1938. They were married until Margaret’s death in 2002.

Dr. Hierth received his B.Ed from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1935, his Masters from the University of Illinois in 1942, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1956.

He taught high school in Illinois for eight years before joining the English Department of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1946. He was Chairman of the Department from 1970 to 1975. He retired in 1978, at which time he was named professor emeritus.

Besides his teaching and departmental duties, Dr. Hierth was active in student affairs, serving as debate coach, sponsor of the debate team, advisor to Student Conference on National Affairs, member of the Student Publications Board, and member of the University Center Board. With his wife, he was a Danforth Fellow.

Dr. Hierth was the co-author of “The Unity of English, Five Basic Focal Points.” He was a member of a number of professional associations including the American Association of University Professors, Modern Language Association, Texas College English Association, and Conference on College Composition and Communication. He served as Editor of Texas College English, was Past President of the South Central Conference on Composition and Communication, was a member of the executive council and Secretary/Treasurer of the Texas Association of Department Heads, and Chairman of the South Central Association of Departments of English.

He is listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the South & Southwest, and Who’s Who in America. Among the honors he received are the College Appreciation Award, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 1961; the Distinguished Service Award, 1964 MSC Council; membership in Phi Kappa Phi; and the Illinois Wesleyan University

Distinguished Alumni Award, 1985.

Dr. Hierth was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, a founding member of OPAS and the Children’s Museum, served on the board of the Bryan City Mission, and was a long time member of The Kiwanis Club.

Survivors include two daughters and son-in law, State Sen. Mary Margaret & Thomas S. Whipple of Arlington, VA and Harriett Sue Driver of Houston; two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 1100 Carter Creek Pkwy, Bryan, TX 77803, or Harrison E. Hierth Endowment, Department of

English, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4227.

For those who wish, condolences for the family may be left at