March 13, 1927February 16, 2021

Mary Catherine (Katy) Clancy Towbin, 93, of Little Rock Arkansas died peacefully on 2-16-2021. Katy believed in the Unitarian principles for social justice causes of civil rights, educational equity, community well being, and women’s health rights. She was a member of the Women’s Emergency Committee to Save Our Schools in the 1950’s, protested the Vietnam War in the 1970’s and volunteered with the League of Women Voters, the A.C.L.U. and Planned Parenthood.

Katy was born in Cairo, Illinois and educated at Antioch College and University of Arkansas School of Social Work. In a college chemistry lab she met the love of her life Eugene Towbin. During their long marriage of 50+ years they raised a family and dedicated themselves to ensuring that good things happened for all people in Little Rock and all of Arkansas. They were among the early Unitarians in Little Rock, working to support a church welcoming of diverse experiences and beliefs. She was known for the multitude of bumper stickers on the back her car which proclaimed many versions of “War is Not the Answer” and often wore a silver heart of simple design representing that “Love endures all things”.

Katy is survived by her children Lucy Towbin (Little Rock, AR), Dr. John Towbin (Little Rock, AR), Dr. Laura (and Dr. Maynard) Dyson (Fort Worth, TX) and Dr. Peter Towbin (CA) and her grandchildren Elisa, Nicholas, Ethan, Carter, and Aaron.

Katy will be reunited with Gene at a later date at the Unitarian Memorial Woodland at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock. In lieu of flowers, in memory gifts are welcomed to be directed to League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.



have a memory or condolence to add?

Vicky Kessel

February 26, 2021

Hello, Katy’s children and grandchildren —
My husband, 5-year old son and I moved to LR in 1998 from the northeast. We promptly joined UUCLR — we had recently become friends of the UU church in White Plains, NY — and were so happy to get to know Katy and Gene. Katy had a wonderful mix of warmth, smarts, levelheaded-ness and stories to tell. I was an advocate for Planned Parenthood, but not sure how to make that work in Arkansas; she was an inspiration.
Sincerely, Vicky Kessel