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In Memoriam: Dewey Lee Winburne (1957-1999)

Announcement to the Percy-L Community

Henry Mills, Director & Editor, The Walker Percy Project
Fri, 12 Mar 1999 10:38:23 -0600

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Dewey Lee Winburne

–Visionary Educator and Community Leader, 1957-1999
–Board Member and Major Contributor to the Walker Percy Project, 1996-1999

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As many of you are aware, Interactive Architex, a multimedia educational publishing company based in Austin, TX, has been a major sponsor for the Walker Percy Project since early 1996. Dewey Winburne, President of Interactive Architex, provided office space and equipment resources to the Percy Project—graciously sharing these practical gifts with us along with the priceless guidance and wisdom that came with his years of success and experience in the multimedia industry.

Dewey was one of the first to support the Project's vision and mission, and remained a steadfast supporter as the Project grew to be the educational learning community that it is today.

In memory of Dewey's immeasurable contributions to the Project, we wish to honor him now with this announcement to the WPP community.

Below is an article that appeared in the Austin American-Statesman that details the vast and broad-reaching contributions that Dewey gave to the community.

Dewey owned and had read all of Walker Percy's novels and was a personal friend of Percy Project director, Henry Mills.

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Dewey Winburne used his skills to help others

By Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff
Published: Monday, Feb. 15, 1999

High-tech colleagues and community groups are mourning the death of Dewey
Winburne, an Austin multimedia entrepreneur who used technology to educate
people.

Winburne, 41, won national awards for software that teaches teen-agers
about substance abuse. Recently, he was developing software for the State
of Texas to train entry-level workers.

Winburne was a co-founder of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival
and was a prominent player in Austin's multimedia industry. His death
brought an outpouring of grief from friends who remembered him as someone
more interested in using his skills to help others than to make money.

"Some people want to be a success, some people want to become rich, but
Dewey really wanted to make a difference in other people's lives," said
Rick Ligas, founder of Pantheon Design, an Austin software firm. "For him,
multimedia was a way to get messages to people that couldn't be reached any
other way."

Winburne had played a key role in bringing together the area's multimedia
development houses, both informally and through organized efforts such as
the South by Southwest festival.

"Dewey is the person most responsible for creating a sense of community in
a very competitive field," said Chipp Walters, co-founder of Human Code, an
Austin multimedia development house. "In San Francisco and other super-hot
multimedia areas, people don't even talk to each other. Dewey pulled us all
together because he understood we'd all be better off working together
instead of against each other. He was about doing the right thing."

Winburne became interested in educational software in the 1980s when he
taught at the American Institute for Learning, a charter high school in
downtown Austin. Under his guidance, the school created multimedia and
video courses for the education market and launched a multimedia training
studio for university graduate students and at-risk youth.

He worked with students to create an interactive laserdisc about alcohol
and drug addiction that won the 1994 New Media Invision best of show award,
the multimedia industry's highest award. The project, called Addiction and
its Processes, was also a finalist in the New York Film Festival and the
Charleston International Film Festival.

"The important thing to Dewey wasn't the awards, it was working with kids
who had dropped out of school and kids who had been blown off as learners,
and getting them excited about technology and its possibilities," said
Richard Halpin, founder of the American Institute for Learning. "He touched
the lives of hundreds of students because he believed in them, and he
taught them to believe in themselves."

Winburne left the school about four years ago to start his own multimedia
company, Interactive Architex.

Friends said volunteer work was also important to Winburne, who worked with
organizations including Habitat for Humanity, East Side Group and Down Home
Ranch, a community outside Elgin where people with mental retardation live
and work.

Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home
at 3125 N. Lamar Blvd. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St.
David's Episcopal Church, 304 E. Seventh St.

Winburne is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and son, Isaac.




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