October 24, 1942 – May 1, 2020
Lou loved a good argument! Highly intelligent, prolific reader, crossword expert, master of the art of conversation with razor-sharp wit, she held her own in any debate. She lost her final argument, succumbing to the disease she denied for two years. Such was her life force that she astonished her doctors and all of us with her tenacity and determination, never complaining and always with her trademark sense of humor.
These years were precious time spent with family and friends, especially watching her toddler grandson, Rivie, who made Yaya’s bedroom “a destination” as he roared through the house.
Born and educated in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1942, Lou was named Marie Louise Dryden after her mother’s favorite convent school nun. She died peacefully in her home with her beloved son, Andrew, his partner Amy, and devoted friend, Jo Ann at her side.
Lou is survived by her son Andrew, light of her life, his loving partner Amy, and grandchildren Avery, Opal and River, her greatest joys. Lou has three surviving siblings. In South Africa, Father David Dryden, Jesuit priest and brother; Ann Gear, sister; niece Sasha and nephew Fraser. Her sister Jan Dryden lives in the UK as do her nephews Owain and Gareth. Family was very important to Lou and she loved their families and her cousins all over the world.
Lou’s parents, Claire and Lisle Dryden, both died when she was in her late teens. Their loss and the responsibilities she shouldered shook and shaped her life in many ways.
Lou became second mother to both Kirsten Drysdale Klindworth and Greg Drysdale when her lifelong friend, Jean Drysdale, passed away suddenly. Lou stepped in and raised them both to adulthood. Their loss is profound.
After university, Lou immigrated to Great Britain and worked in advertising and traveled throughout Europe. In 1973 Cliff and Jean Drysdale sponsored her immigration to the United States where she eventually became a naturalized citizen. Lou worked with Cliff at the Lakeway World of Tennis, and for a time lived in Dallas working for the Lamar Hunt and Al Hill, Jr. families at World Championship Tennis, the professional tennis organization.
Lou was Broadcast Traffic Director at GSD&M from 1988-2009. ‘Reverend Roy’ Spence, Co-founder, writes: “Lou Dryden was Lu Lu to me. And she was something special to everyone. Her title was perfect for this one of a kind. For Lou could indeed Broadcast. From her ‘Bloody Hell’ phrase ringing to her beloved bird clock which would chirp every 15 minutes with a different bird sound, Lou was constantly keeping us all awake and alert and yes alive. She also had a way to coach and mentor anyone who would have lunch and do some crossword puzzles with her.
But do you know what I loved about my Lu Lu? Everything. She embraced the spirit of Freedom and Responsibility that is at the heart of the GSD&M culture of high performance. We will all miss her. Bloody Hell, yes, we will. God Speed and Love you so—Lou Dryden.”
Friendship was key to Lou’s life and she treasured lifelong friends as well as making new ones wherever she went. Much of her traveling was to visit friends and family, in Switzerland, Israel, France, Australia and New Zealand. They will cherish her deep loyalty, good stories and joyful laughter.
A champion of the poor and the underdog, Lou herself lived thriftily. She drove a tiny car and shopped in second-hand stores, victorious when she scored a bargain! She recycled and composted before recycling and composting was a thing. Lou lived in her South Austin home for over 30 years and creatively used her many pictures, photographs and fabrics to make it aesthetically pleasing. She became a touchstone for her neighbors through her daily walks and cheery banter. She was the first on her street to use native Texas plants in her roadside garden instead of thirsty decorative shrubs.
Lou gave time and money to her favorite charities. She delivered Meals on Wheels to homebound senior citizens for many years, staying for long chats with those on her route, some of whom became close friends.
Our family extends heartfelt thanks to Lou’s oncologist, Dr. Richard Helmer, for his expert care, consistent kindness, and readiness with an off-color or irreverent joke. Incredibly, Lou looked forward to her weekly chemo treatments as she loved Dr. Helmer and the kind, proficient staff at Texas Oncology.
Right At Home, her caregiver agency, ensured Lou had someone with her round the clock. Her favorite was Robin Mulbaney who was the one Lou most trusted with her personal needs. Robin developed an easy rapport with Lou through her competence and sense of humor. They became close.
Capitol Hospice provided tender, expert nursing in her final months.
Lou Dryden lived life on her own terms. She was not religious but saw the Divine in each person and embraced the sanctity of community. She will be missed by so many.
When we can again travel and come together, a memorial service will be held, or as Lou prefers we call it, “a big party.” In lieu of flowers, Lou would suggest you donate to your favorite charity in her name, or make a donation to Meals on Wheels.
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Memorial Park
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Memorial Park
October 22, 2020
This is my first memory of Lou when we sang together in a university production of the musical Oklahoma! Friends for life ever since.
Jeremy and Jacky Martin
October 18, 2020
How do we capture in a few words a friendship that lasted sixty years? We shared the same sense of humour and fun, laughed at the same jokes, saw life in the same way. We met and parted many times during those years, in various corners of the world, at different stages of our lives, but with Lou this did not matter. We could take up the dialogue where we had left it when last we saw each other. That sort of friend is Special, and that’s what Lou was to us, an extension of our own family. May she rest in peace. We send our condolences to Andrew and all her family whom she loved so dearly and share her loss with her many friends scattered about the world
October 7, 2020
Lou and I got along famously. She is one of the most memorable people I met during my years at GSD&M. Happy trails, Lou.
Kimberly Iverson (Waller)
June 1, 2020
I remember your mom fondly when I worked for Al Hill, Jr. during our tennis tournaments and she was a beautiful and engaging person that I so enjoyed. She was unique and I always valued our conversations
May 9, 2020
Dear Andrew and Family,
Thinking of you and sending my deepest sympathy. Lou and I worked together at World Championship Tennis (WCT) in Dallas in the early 80’s. What a gal! Lots of laughs ..Will miss her so much.
May 6, 2020
Oh dearest Lou how fondly you’ll be remembered and missed. The smell of rose lotion will forever make me think of you as well as the way you said bloody hell. So many good times and fond memories and yuks did we make together at GSDM. Godspeed love. ❤️
May 3, 2020
Lou was an incredible friend, colleague, mentor, and she was like family to me with her generous support. A truly beautiful soul and I will miss her wit, wisdom, and honesty. My thoughts are with you Andrew.
May 2, 2020
Dear Andrew and Family,
I'm sorry for your loss. A treasure has left this world. I am extremely grateful for having Lou in my life. She was always so generous with her time, knowledge, passion, opinions and experience. She was an amazing friend and an excellent listener. I will never forget her and will miss her powerful presence and curiosity. My heart is with you.
Love and peace,