Elizabeth “Lib” Brewer Delery, a vibrant wife, mother, and friend, and the former Director of Women’s Athletics and Chair of the Department of Physical Education at Tulane University, passed away on January 28, 2022, in North Carolina. She was 89.
Lib was born in Jamesville, NC, on February 29, 1932,to the late William C. Brewer and Gladys Ange Brewer. She enjoyed celebrating her unique leap year birthday. Lib received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from The Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro) in 1954 and a Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1961.
In 1954, Lib moved to New Orleans as an instructor of physical education at Newcomb College of Tulane University, where she began her career teaching tennis and golf. She became an assistant professor in 1961 and Head of the Department of Physical Education in 1967. After some time away and part-time service while focusing on her young children, she returned in 1976 as Head of Physical Education at Newcomb and became Tulane’s first Director of Women’s Athletics.
Lib led the women’s athletics program for 10 years, more than doubling the number of sports and scholarships. During her tenure, every athlete but one who completed her eligibility also graduated on time. She was also integral to the development of the Newcomb Dance Program, which became part of the Tulane Department of Theatre and Dance. She championed the curriculum that allowed students to minor and later major in dance. The annual Elizabeth "Lib" Delery Award for Excellence in Dance recognizes a graduating senior dance major for performance, choreography, and leadership.
Lib also served Tulane in a range of other capacities, including as Chair of the Senate Committee on Affirmative Action. She retired with emeritus status in 1991. She developed and valued relationships with others passionate about the advancement of women, particularly through her membership in P.E.O. and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.
Lib’s husband of 32 years, Gustave F. Delery III, passed away in 1996. They cherished their lives together raising their children, enjoying their professional careers, being active members of Woodland Presbyterian Church, and making time for good fun. They relished times nurturing friendships at sporting events, on the golf course, travelling, celebrating Mardi Gras, and raising a glass over a good meal.
In 2001, Lib married Harry Bentley Towe. They spent several enjoyable years together in Gretna, LA before moving to Galloway Ridge at Fearrington Village in North Carolina in 2006. Harry passed away in 2020, after which Lib moved to Davidson, NC, to be with her daughter Janet.
Along with her parents, Lib was preceded in death by her sister Grace Brewer Corey. She is survived by a brother, William C. Brewer, Jr. (Anne) of Greenville, NC; two children, Stuart F. Delery (Richard Gervase) of Washington, DC, and Janet E. Delery of Davidson, NC; two grandchildren, Michael and Sebastian Gervase; and five nieces and nephews. She is also survived by stepdaughters Lynne Towe Hobbs (Bill) and Margaret Towe Kirtland (Craig), as well as their children and grandchildren.
The family is forever grateful to Lib’s caregivers over the last several years, particularly Jan Campbell.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to: Newcomb Dance Program and Newcomb Dance Company of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Tulane University, 215 McWilliams Hall, New Orleans, LA, 70118.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 19th at 11:00 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.
Please note that the link to purchase memorial trees is provided by the funeral home and is not a specific request of the family.