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Texas Obituaries

 

Baker, Edith, 78; founding member of the American Women in Radio and Television in Houston; credited with helping Tejano music onto the airwaves iin 1980s; in Houston, Nov. 1, 2003.

Baker, O. T., 95; Center native who founded the Texas Folklife Festival in 1972 in San Antonio and served as director for its first five years; in Austin, Jan. 21, 2006.

Baker, Paul, 98; legendary theatre figure in Texas, headed drama departments at Baylor and Trinity, founding artistic director of Dallas Theater Center; in Waelder, Oct, 25, 2009.

Ballard, Clint Jr., 77; songwriter born in El Paso, attended University of North Texas, graduated from UTEP, best known for 1965 hit “Game of Love” and Linda Ronstadt’s hit “You’re No Good;” in Denton, Dec. 23, 2008.

Ballas, George C. Sr., 85; Houston entrepreneur and dance studio owner who invented the Weed Eater in 1971 after watching the whirling soap brushes at a car wash; in Houston, June 25, 2011.

Banner, Bob, 89; Ennis native who after SMU went on to produce TV shows beginning with Kukla, Fran & Ollie and going on to The Carol Burnett Show, Gary Moore Show, Candid Camera and many others; in Woodland Hills, Calif., June 15, 2011.

actress Etta Moten Barnett
Etta Moten Barnett.

Barnett, Etta Moten, 102; Weimar native played romantic roles in movies in the 1930s when most black actresses were relegated to roles as maids; was featured in the show-stopping "Carioca" number in Flying Down to Rio; named one of Texas' 100 most influential women of the 20th century by the state's Women's Chamber of Commerce in 1999; Jan. 2, 2004.

Barr, Candy, 70; born Juanita Dale Slusher in Edna, she became famed stripper in Dallas in the 1950s, making headlines for her drug arrests; in Victoria, Dec. 30, 2005.

Barrios, Viola B., 76; matriarch of San Antonio restaurant family, started in 1979 Los Barrios, one of the city’s best-known Mexican restaurants; in San Antonio, April 24, 2008.

Barrow, Charles W., 84; Texas Supreme Court justice, chief judge of the U.S. 4th Court of Appeals and dean of the law school at Baylor University; in San Antonio, June 25, 2006.

Barshop, Philip, 61; founded the La Quinta Inns chain with his brother; in San Antonio, Nov. 20, 1998.

Bass, Harry W. Jr., 71; oil executive who headed the Harry Bass Foundation, established by his father, which supported Dallas museums and charities; in Dallas, April 4, 1998.

Bass, Perry R., 91; prominent philanthropist and businessman whose family led the transformation of downtown Fort Worth; in Westover Hills, June 1, 2006.

Bass, Richard D., 85; scion of Dallas oil family, adventurer and mountain climber, co-wrote in 1986 Seven Summits chronicling his being the first to climb highest peak of every continent, graduate of Highland Park High School; in Dallas, July 26, 2015.

Baugh, John F., 91; founder in 1946 of the nation’s largest restaurant supplier, Sysco; gave $25 million to Baylor University in his hometown of Waco; founding trustee of Houston Baptist University; in San Antonio, March 5, 2007.

Baugh, Sammy, 94; record-setting quarterback “Slingin’ Sammy” led TCU and Washington Redskins to national championships in 1930s and '40s, born near Temple, completed high school in Sweetwater; in Rotan, Dec. 17, 2008.

Baxter, Norman E., 79; illustrator best known for his drawings of city skylines used as covers for the Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages for more than ten years; in Houston, Aug. 19, 1998.

Beaty, Zelmo, 73; Hillister native, attended school in Woodville, Prairie View A&M basketball star who left the NBA in 1970 to lead the Utah Stars to the ABA championship; in Bellevue, Wash., Aug. 27, 2013.

Belden, Joe, 90; polling pioneer who in 1940 founded the Texas Poll, the first statewide opinion survey in the country and a model for others that followed; born José Belden to Mexican parents in Eagle Pass; worked in Austin and Dallas; June 16, 2005.

Bell, Ray Howard, 71; former Fort Worth NAACP president who helped guide city through school desegregation; in Fort Worth, June 11, 1997.

Bellard, Emory, 83; creator of the wishbone offense in college football, head coach at Texas A&M in the 1970s and at Mississippi State; in Georgetown, Feb. 10, 2011.

Bellows, George Ferris, 80; head of the family construction firm that built the San Jacinto Momument and other Houston landmarks, such as the Alley Theatre, the Wortham Center and the Tenneco Building; on the board of the Texas Medical Center and Texas Children's Hospital since 1967; May 30, 2005.

Benavidez, Roy P., 63; retired Army master sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War; in San Antonio, Nov. 29, 1998.

Beneke, Gordon “Tex,” 86; singer and sax player who took over the Glenn Miller Orchestra after Miller’s death; Fort Worth native known for singing “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and saxophone solos on “In the Mood”; in Costa Mesa, Calif., May 30, 2000.

Bennett, Kyle, 33; bicycle motorcross racer, three-time world champion, represented the United States in the Beijing Olympics; in a car accident near his home in Conroe, Oct. 14, 2012.

Lloyd Bentsen.

Bentsen, Lloyd M. Jr., 85; born in Mission in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, represented Texas in the U.S. Senate for 22 years; vice presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket in 1988; former secretary of Treasury; in Houston, May 23, 2006.

Berlin, Paul, 86; longtime radio personality in Houston beginning in 1950; was deejay for rock ‘n roll to country to easy listening music; retired in 2004 but returned to Houston radio in 2010 to host a Saturday night show until 2016; in Houston, June 22, 2017.

Berman, Leo, 79; Brooklyn native, son of Jewish immigrants from Europe, became city council member in Arlington and from 1999-2012 conservative GOP legislator from Tyler; in Tyler, May 23, 2015.

Bernal, Eloy, 61; Tejano star described as one of the great bajo sexto (12-string guitar) players and well-known Spanish gospel singers; in a bus accident near Corpus Christi, April 22, 1998.

Besser, Saul, 62; rabbi at Temple Shalom in Dallas for 20 years, catalyst for Jewish-Christian dialogue in city; in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 30, 1996.

Biffle, Kent, 82; reporter for 50 years, mostly with the Dallas Morning News where he wrote a Texana column from 1984–2008, as well as a long-running language column; born near Clifton and raised in Gainesville; in Royse City, Aug. 23, 2015.

Biggers, John T., 76; pioneering muralist known for portraying the African-American experience; he founded the art department at Texas Southern University in 1949; in Houston, Jan. 25, 2001.

Biggs, Electra Waggoner, 88; sculptor of Fort Worth’s Will Rogers statue and other statues in the state; member of Waggoner ranching family; in Vernon, April 23, 2001.

Birdwell, Lloyd, 70; Comfort native grew up in Dallas, St. Mark’s grad, free-spirited artist founded Austin’s annual Eeyore’s Birthday Party in 1963; in Dallas, Jan. 9, 2014.

Bittle, Jerry, 53; Dallas-area cartoonist of the nationally syndicated Geech and Shirley & Son comic strips; of a heart attack while scuba diving in Honduras, April 7, 2003.

Bivins, Teel, 61; served in state Senate for 15 years, was U.S. ambassador to Sweden 2004–06; in Amarillo, Oct. 26, 2009.

Black, Edgar Jr., 91; pitmaster at Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart from 1962 when he took over from his father who started the family business in 1932; Black’s is said to be one of the first barbecue joints in Texas to cook brisket; in Lockhart, June 2, 2017.

Blanchard, Doc, 84; Heisman Trophy winner and three-time All-American at Army in 1944 to 1946 where he was “Mr. Inside” to Glenn Davis’ “Mr. Outside;” in Bulverde where he had lived the last 20 years, April 19, 2009.

Blanton, William W. “Bill,” 90; five-term legislator 1977-87, sponsored bills for free summer school and standardized graduation testing; in Carrollton, April 11, 2014.

Blocker, John R., 76; Houston oilman and former Texas A&M University regent, contributor to Aggie causes; in Houston, Jan. 1, 1999.

Bock, George “Pete,” 86; longtime Dallas conservative and business leader; in Dallas, Feb. 8, 1995.

Bock, Harry, 80; Lithuania native survived a Nazi concentration camp, became known for his Dallas jewelry business, Bachendorf’s, and for his radio commercials; in Dallas, July 12, 2010.

Bode, Mary Jane, 71; a former state representative and longtime Texas newswoman; in Barrington, Ill., while visiting her daughter, Sept. 23, 1998.

Bond, Thomas Ross, 79; Dallas native played Butch the bully in the Our Gang and Little Rascals serials in the 1930s; in 1940s played Jimmy Olsen in two Superman movies; in Los Angeles, Sept. 24, 2005.

Bonham, Donald L., 74; co-founder in 1972 of Fiesta Mart supermarkets specializing in international foods, one store grew to chain of 49 across Texas; in Houston, April 5, 2003.

Boothe, Powers, 68; Snyder native and actor known for portraying dark characters in projects such as Rev. Jim Jones in the television drama Guyana Tragedy for which he won an Emmy Award in 1980, and in movies such as the 2005 Sin City; attended Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and received a master’s degree in drama from Southern Methodist University; in Los Angeles, May 14, 2017.

Borlaug, Norman, 95; Nobel Prize-winning plant scientist and father of the “green revolution” that increased crop yields worldwide, distinguished professor at Texas A&M; in Dallas, Sept. 12, 2009.

Bowers, Elliot, 83; associated for 52 years with Sam Houston State University where he was president from 1970 until 1989, its greatest period of growth; in Huntsville, May 30, 2003.

Box, Harold, 81; Commerce native was dean of the UT architecture school 1976–92 where he raised a $6 million endowment; in Austin, May 8, 2011.

Bradley, Tom, 80; former mayor of Los Angeles was born in Calvert; in Los Angeles, Sept. 29, 1998.

Bradshaw, A. G., 65; labor leader and United Way worker; former president of Dallas Council of the AFL-CIO; in Garland, Jan. 16, 1997.

Bragan, Bobby, 92; manager of three major league teams, nicknamed “Mr. Baseball,” associated with the Fort Worth Cats beginning in the 1940s; in Fort Worth, Jan. 21, 2010.

Bragg, George, 81; founder and director for 29 years of the Texas Boys Choir, which won numerous awards including two Grammys; in Fort Worth, May 31, 2007.

Bramhall, Doyle, 62; drummer and noted songwriter was Texas blues legend, part of the 1970s Austin music scene, collaborator with Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughn and others; in Alpine, Nov. 13, 2011.

Braubach, John H., 80; longtime San Antonio civic leader; helped form the San Antonio Tennis Association and Alamo Boys’ Ranch; in San Antonio; Aug. 9, 1996.

Breazeale, George, 80; sports writer for the Austin American-Statesman for 45 years, he was considered the authority on high school sports in Central Texas; in Austin, Sept 25, 2010.

Breeden, Leon, 88; longime director of jazz studies at the University of North Texas in Denton beginning in 1959, making it an international mecca for jazz training, raised in Wichita Falls; in Dallas, Aug. 11, 2010.

Brent, Eve, 81; played Jane in Tarzan movies opposite Gordon Scott, had roles in other movies and TV over six decades, born in Houston, raised in Fort Worth; in Sun Valley, Calif., Aug. 27, 2011.

Bright, H. R. "Bum," 84; owner of Dallas Cowboys 1984 to 1989; Dallas businessman; longtime member of the Texas A&M University Board of Regents; Dec. 11, 2004.

Brinker, Norman, 78; Dallas restaurateur who launched Steak & Ale in 1966, built Brinker International empire of more than 1,000 restaurants including Chili’s and On the Border; while on vacation in Colorado Springs, June 9, 2009.

Brinkley, David, 82; famed television newsman with NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report and later with ABC; in Houston where he had retired, June 11, 2003.

Dolph Briscoe

Dolph Briscoe.

Briscoe, Dolph; 87; scion of Southwest Texas ranch family who served as governor during the oil boom years of 1972–78, restored credibility of state government following the Sharpstown scandal; in Uvalde, June 27, 2010.

Briscoe, Frank, 84; a power in Houston politics for three decades, Harris County district attorney 1961-66, ran for mayor twice; in Richmond, Jan. 4, 2011.

Briscoe, Janey, 76; the former Texas first lady as wife of Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. (1972 to 1978); helped develop the sheltered workshop program with the state’s mental health department and the state’s first runaway hotline; in San Antonio, Oct. 12, 2000.

Brockett, Oscar, 87; UT professor whose 1968 book, History of the Theatre, became a standard text for students over the last four decades; in Austin, Nov. 6, 2010.

Brooks, Donald Arthur, 83; the first black doctor in Texas to be board certified in surgery in 1957; became chief of surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Worth; March 5, 2005.

Brooks, Jack, 89; liberal Democrat spent 42 years in Congress representing Southeast Texas, one of only 11 Southerners to vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964; in Beaumont, Dec. 4, 2012.

Brown, Caro, 93; reporter for the Alice Daily Echo whose coverage of Duval County political boss George Parr earned her a Pulitzer Prize in 1955; in Boerne, Aug. 5, 2001.

Brown, Charles, 83: basketball player who was the first black athlete at Texas Western (UTEP) a decade before the Glory Road 1966 championship team; became school administrator in San Francisco; in California, May 11, 2014.

Brown, Clarence “Gatemouth,” 81; singer and guitarist famous for juke-joint stomp numbers but who also performed jazz, country, blues, zydeco and Cajun; in Orange, where he grew up, Sept. 10, 2005.

Brown, Reagan, 78; served as state’s agricultural commissioner 1977 to 1983; Texas humorist who traveled country speaking at events; spent 30 years at Texas A&M University as extension sociologist; on his Brazos County ranch in tractor accident, Nov. 16, 1999.

Browning, Edmond L., 87; Corpus Christi native served as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States for 12 years beginning in 1986; a liberal who consecrated the church’s first female bishop; as a young priest served in Corpus Christi and Eagle Pass before going overseas; in Dee, Ore., July 11, 2016.

Bruner, Cliff, 85; fiddle player, pioneer in Western swing; in Houston, Aug. 25, 2000.

Bruner, Millie, 61; served Grand Prairie in a variety of Democratic Party positions; political strategist at state and national level; in Arlington, Aug. 2, 1997.

Buckley, James H. “Jim” Jr., 83; co-founded the Texas Famous Chili Co. in the 1950s, selling refrigerated bricks at supermarkets throughout the region; in Fort Worth, June 12, 2010.

Buckmeyer, Jerry, 76; Overton native, federal judge beginning in 1979, ruled for open housing and single-member council districts in Dallas; in San Marcos, Sept. 21, 2009.

Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock
Bob Bullock.

Bullock, Bob, 69; former Democratic lieutenant governor who crafted state policy for four decades; in Austin, June 18, 1999.

Bumgardner, Max, 81; Wichita Falls native was University of Texas co-captain in 1947 when he caught passes from Bobby Layne; coach at Angelo State University 1950 to 1968; on football staff at Texas A&M until 1978; April 12, 2005.

Bunton, Lucius D. III, 76; federal judge in Midland, known as friend to environmentalists; in Austin, Jan. 17, 2001.

Burleson, T. E. Sr., 88; started honey-packing operation in 1929 in Waxahachie where he later served as mayor; in Waxahachie, Sept. 14, 1996.

Burnett, Warren, 75; legendary Odessa trial lawyer who fought for school integration, the United Farm Workers Union, defended La Raza Unida activists; in Fort Davis, Sept. 23, 2002.

Burns, Stoney, 68; a leading voice for 1960s Dallas counterculture when he was editor of the alternative newspaper Dallas Notes; in Dallas, April 28, 2011.

Burns, Robert, 60; University of Texas drama graduate who did special effects for several movies, best known as art director for the horror classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre; in Seguin, June 4, 2004.

Burton, Wendell, 69; actor born in San Antonio; starred with Liza Minnelli in the 1969 film The Sterile Cuckoo; made several other movies in the 1970s including Fortune and Men’s Eyes; in his later years did ministerial work at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church; in Houston, May 30, 2017.

Busby, Horace, 76; longtime Washington consultant; grew up in Fort Worth; as editor of University of Texas Daily Texan in 1945 attracted attention of Lyndon Johnson and became one of President Johnson’s most trusted advisers; in Santa Monica, Calif., May 30, 2000.

Buss, Frances, 92; rose from receptionist at CBS in 1941 to be a director in early television, helped establish the talk show, game show and cooking show as TV staples, raised in Dallas; in Hendersonville, N.C. Jan. 19, 2010.

Bustin, John, 70; covered Austin entertainment for more than 50 years, 24 of those with the Austin American-Statesman; in Austin, April 8, 1998.

Butler, Eugene, 100; longtime crusading editor of the Progressive Farmer, known by many as “Mr. Texas Agriculture;” in Dallas, June 5, 1995.

Butler, Joe Kelly, 87; Houston oilman, former chairman of the Texas State Board of Education and the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation; in Houston, Sept. 19, 1998.

Butler, Roy, 83; businessman who headed the Austin school board for many years and was mayor of Austin 1971–75; in Austin, Nov. 13, 2009.

Bybee, Faith P., 96; former president of the Texas Historical Foundation and art patron in Houston, Round Top and Dallas; in Houston, Oct. 26, 1996.

Byers, W.B. “Bo,” 90; longtime political reporter and bureau chief in Austin for the Houston Chronicle; in Austin, May 23, 2010.

Bynum, Raymond T. "Prof," 96; orginator of Texas' first high school marching band during halftime at an Abilene High School football game in 1926; Aug. 1, 2003.

Byrd, James Jr., 49; victim whose brutal killing generated national attention as a racially-motivated act; in Jasper, June 7, 1998.

 

 

 


 

Texas Almanac

Texas Almanac