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UST Celebrates Life of Barbara Franzheim Dror
Longtime University of St. Thomas friend and benefactor Barbara Franzheim Dror passed away on Dec. 17, with her children and family by her side, at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. While Barbara lived vibrantly for more than seven years with a liver transplant, her death was the result of a fire in her home. Her beloved dog Bella survived the fire having been bravely rescued by neighbors.

A celebration of her life will be held on her upcoming birthday on at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, on the University of St. Thomas campus, Chapel of St. Basil, 3802 Yoakum. The St. Basil Schola, directed by Lowell A. Davis, will perform Gregorian Chant for the service. A reception will follow at La Colombe d'Or, 3410 Montrose Blvd.

Dror was born to Helen and Peter Kowalczyk in Harrison, New Jersey in 1939. She began her education at NYU and completed her Master of Arts studies in early English literature and French poetry at Seton Hall University. She founded a company called Historic Home Restoration specializing in restoring and reconstructing major historic residences in Manhattan, Southampton, Palm Beach, Lexington, and Houston.

Dror found time to work with many charities especially brain tumor research, organ donation, and opera and arts foundations in New York, Houston and Kentucky. She served on the board of the Houston Grand Opera, The Thoroughbred Club of American, the Houston Ballet and the Houston Symphony. She devoted her most recent effort to helping raise funds for the nursing school at the University of St. Thomas.

A patron of the arts to end, she was a woman truly devoted to studying, appreciating and recognizing beauty and passion in the world. Her amazing intelligence and ebullient story telling made tales of her life a delight to all who knew and loved her. "While alive, she lived."

She was preceded in death by her parents and her youngest daughter, Melita Franzheim. She is survived by her three children: Pamela Franzheim Forrestal, Sabrina Franzheim Fleming and Daniel Dror, II; her grandchildren: Sass Allen, Whitney Tower III, Pandora Forrestal, Jared Forrestal, Phoenix Melita Fleming and Atticus Mungo Fleming; one sister, Doris Tansey Lausten; and niece, Donnamarie Saultz; and nephew, Joseph Tansey.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the University of St. Thomas, School of Nursing, Department of Institutional Advancement, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX   77006.  Or you can give online at

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