submitted by C Yang [Email address: c0resident #AT# gmail.com - replace #AT# with @ ]

Ed Van De Vort’s passion for Austin was greater than his 6+
foot frame, and evident whether he was giving a tour of Austin dressed in his
classic black hat, bolo tie, denim shirt, belt buckle and boots, as Sam Houston
during the Austin History Center Association’s annual Angelina Eberly luncheon,
or as Colonel Jesse Lincoln Driskill for special events at the hotel of the
same name.

Jan Triplett considered Van De Vorther mentor and knew him
well through her mother, Jane Dinsmoor, who was his business partner and moved
to Austin with him in 1977 from Evansville, Illinois.

Van De Vort’s extensive knowledge of Austin led him to start working on a book on
its history. We can only surmise his love for our city started in 1983 when he
worked first as a volunteer and then as a staff member for the Austin History Center. Later, he gained and
shared this knowledge at the Austin Convention &Visitors Bureau where he
gave walking tours. Van De Vort was also the resident historian for “Downtown,”
a locally produced television show on KLRU. Van De Vort had a bachelor’s and
master’s degrees in theater.

As quoted in the Austin American-Statesman, “He’ll be
remembered for his extensive knowledge and ‘for his almost personal affection
for Austin; not
only for its past, but its future,’ said his former supervisor Betty Baker.”
The article also quoted Sharmyn Lilly, executive director of the association
which Van De Vort had served on the board and as its president, who said, “He
loved Austin so much . . . Not just the
historical part, but he loved the city that Austin was becoming and was very
interested in preserving the historical aspect ofAustin . . . He embraced
change and the evolution of the City.”