Dr. Grace K. Jameson died peacefully at home at The Meridian in Galveston--the city she loved and called home since 1945--on Monday, May 28, 2012. She was 87. A pioneer in child and adolescent psychiatry, Dr. Jameson dedicated herself for over fifty years to children’s welfare through her professional practice and community service.
Dr. Grace K. Jameson
J Levy & Termini Funeral Home
Born October 19, 1924 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Dr. David B. Klein and Rosa Schaffer Klein, she grew up in Austin, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas in 1945, and earned her M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1949. She married Dr. Henry E. Jameson, a veterinarian, May 2, 1943. The Jamesons were the parents of four children, Elizabeth (Betsy), Alice, David, and Philip, and were active in civic affairs, particularly as advocates for children and for racial equity. By her own admission, Grace Jameson “wanted it all and got it: a loving, liberated husband, exactly four children (two blonds, two brunettes, two boys, two girls,” a busy medical practice, a distinguished academic career.
Grace Jameson completed her internship at UTMB in 1950 and her psychiatry residency in 1953. She combined clinical practice at the Titus Harris Clinic with teaching at UTMB until she retired at age eighty as Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. A passionate advocate for children’s mental health services, in a 2008 Galveston Daily News interview she attributed her commitment to her mother’s example. She explained that “My husband and I both had mothers who were social workers. My mother started a lot of things where I grew up in Austin, like free school lunches for school children. As soon as she talked the local grocers into donating food for the lunches, she got going on getting free breakfasts. I grew up believing that if you see a problem, you should try to do something about it. Serving the community came naturally to me.”
During her long career, Dr. Jameson served as President of the Titus Harris Society, the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians, the Gulf Coast Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center Board of Trustees, and as a governor’s appointee to the Board of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. Her innovative approach to her work was reflected in the in-patient psychiatric units she designed at John Sealy and St. Mary’s Hospitals to treat severely troubled adolescents, which combined a clinical therapeutic team with an in-patient school and teacher.
Dr. Jameson provided psychiatric treatment for youth at the Galveston County Juvenile Probation Department and was particularly proud of her work to get a new juvenile facility for the community’s troubled youth who previously had been housed in the county jail, which she considered at the time “sort of a medieval horror.” She considered the development of a good juvenile probation facility one of her major accomplishments. She worked to found the Jameson Center, now a program of The Children’s Center, Inc., a licensed Child Placing Agency (CPA) that recruits, trains, evaluates, monitors and provides supportive services to foster care homes in the greater Galveston – Houston area. The program serves children with special needs and youth from birth through age seventeen. Dr. Jameson served on the Board of The Children’s Center for decades until shortly before her death.
Dr. Jameson’s community service included terms as President of Temple B’nai Israel in Galveston, President of the Temple B`nai Israel Sisterhood, on the Board of the Galveston County Jewish Welfare Association, as a volunteer at Our Daily Bread, and as a member of the Galveston Parks and Recreation Board. She was a member of the American Psychiatric Association, The Titus Harris Society, and the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians.
In 2001 she received the Rabbi Henry Cohen Humanitarian Award and a commendation from the Texas House of Representatives for, among other contributions, “devoting herself wholeheartedly to the Children’s Center of Galveston, from helping redesign the center to providing leadership on its board as its current chair, and for serving on the board of the Galveston Orphanage” and “assisting with the first facility in Galveston County to house juvenile offenders.” The Gulf Coast affiliate of the National Association for the Mentally Ill recognized her in 2005 for devoting her life to helping people with mental illness. In 2008, at age 83, the Galveston Historical Foundation honored her with the Steel Oleander Award, given annually since 1994 to a woman who has made significant contributions to the development of the community and to the education of the public about the role women have played in the history of the city.
Dr. Robert Hirshfeld, Chair of the UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, called her “a legendary figure in our department.” He continued: “Grace was a pioneer in many ways. She was among the first women to attend UTMB, to train here in psychiatry, and to serve on our faculty. She specialized in child and adolescent psychiatry long before there was separate child training. She was a tireless advocate for the mentally ill, particularly children.”
“She was one of the warmest and most generous people I have ever known,” Hirschfeld added. “I will miss her greatly.”
Dr. Jameson was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Henry E. Jameson; her brothers, Philip A. Klein and Stephen A. Klein; and by her son, David A. Jameson, a Galveston attorney. She is survived by her daughters, Betsy Jameson and Alice Caddow, her son, Philip Jameson, her daughter-in law, Marjorie Cypress and son-in-law, Thomas Caddow, and three grandchildren, Daniel Lenfest-Jameson, Ariel Caddow, and Nicole Caddow.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 11 AM at Temple B’nai Israel in Galveston, followed by internment at Hebrew Benevolent Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Dr. William Bondurant, Thomas Curtis, Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, Terry Keel, Dr. Richard Noel, and Wayne Swift.
Those wishing to honor Dr. Jameson’s memory may make donations to The Children’s Center, Inc. or Temple B’nai Israel.
J Levy & Termini Funeral Home