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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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