You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it! Yvonne LePhiew, 17, and her daughter, Bunnie LePhiew, 16-Months | Vintage Baton Twirler

Yvonne LePhiew, 17, and her daughter, Bunnie LePhiew, 16-Months


Yvonne LePhiew (1933-1970), 17, appears in a photograph alongside her daughter Terrie Lynn “Bunnie” LePhiew (1949-2008) 16 months, at a football game at Farrington Field, Fort Worth, on September 27, 1950. When we first became captivated by this photo, we didn’t know the little tot was the young teenager’s daughter!

Yvonne was a drum majorette for Trimble Technical High School School when the Fort Worth Star Telegram published the picture on September 29, 1950. Bunnie was Yvonne’s totally adorable mini-me. It’s a very special photo because it is from an era when unwed pregnancy and single parenthood was a sociological crime in the United States. This harsh reality makes this “me and mini-me” photo and its proud publication in the Fort Worth Star Telegram noteworthy and even unusual.

Disclosure

In full disclosure, we can’t document that Yvonne was unwed, but she is listed as Yvonne LaPhiew in the 1949, 1950 and 1951 Bulldog, the yearbook for Technical High School. Also, her parents were Glynn and Lois LaPhiew. In addition, Bunnie’s last name was also LaPhiew, although later, Yvonne married Clinton B. McCutcheon and Bunnie took his name. She may have been adopted by him.

Bunnie Photographed with Steve McQueen

The photo below of actor Steve McQueen appears on a profile of Yvonne LePhiew McCutcheon on the geneology site, Geni. The picture was taken in 1960, during promotion of the movie The Magnificent Seven. Some sources identify the girl in the photo as Yvonne; however, after some research, we believe it is Bunnie.


Steve McQueen promoting The Magnificent Seven, 1960 - Houston - Pictured with Bunnie McCutcheon

Deaths

Yvonne LePhiew McCutcheon died of Acute Myelocytic Leukemia in 1970. She was only 37. Additional research revealed that Yvonne was a beloved baton twirling instructor who led the Houston Spinnerettes. In 2016, Deborah W. left a tribute for her on Geni:

“I was so very young when I first met Yvonne to begin my studies and competition as a twirler/dancer with the Houston Spinnerettes. I will always cherish those special years and thank Yvonne for the structure and obedience of learning and honing a delightful and fun skill. Her teachings at such an early age in life, developed the person I am today. Thank you Miss Yvonne, I will always hold you dear and close in my heart. With much love. We miss you…”

Deborah W.

Bunnie, who was born on Easter Sunday in 1949, died in 2008. Her touching obituary pays tribute to Yvonne and provides more details about her life:

“Her mother, Yvonne McCutcheon, was the creator and director of the Houston Spinnerettes, “Houston’s Official Hostesses” for 13 years during the 50’s and 60’s. Terri had taken great pride in participating in her mother’s twirling team by being chosen Miss Spinnerette as well as dancing, singing, and meeting numerous celebrities at Hobby Airport. Also, she had the honor of winning the USTA Texas State Strutting Championship. “

The Houston Spinnerettes

Unfortunately, we were not able to locate any pictures of the Houston Spinnerettes in the usual archives we access. We found one photo of a spinnerette, Linda Hancock, which was taken in 1968, for sale on Historic Images. If anyone has any information about the Spinnerettes or photos to share we’d love to post them.

Required Citation of Yvonne and Bunnie

Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ If used, please attribute using one of the citations provided. Source: https://library.uta.edu/digitalgallery/img/20151904


2 Comments

  1. PATRICIA TERRY PELLEIRN

    I was one of the Spinnerettes in Houston when Yvonne integrated the group in 1969. It was 5 og us Black girls from Jack Yates High School. I have pictures!

    Reply
    • Primary Editor

      I would love to share those pictures with the Vintage Twirler community. Yvonne seems like she was a very special person. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

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