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Texas Obituaries

 

LaFave, Jimmy, 61; singer-songwriter of Americana style of music called Red Dirt; devotee of Woody Guthrie of Oklahoma, where LaFave spent part of his youth; Kerrville Folk Festival’s songwriter of the year in 1996; his 2007 album Cimarron Manifesto reached No. 1 on the Americana Music Association chart; Wills Point native relocated to Austin in 1992, where he died May 21, 2017.

Lama, Tony Jr., 81; son of the founder of the iconic boot company, was CEO through the 1970s-80s, instrumental in getting brand known worldwide; in El Paso, Dec. 9, 2012.

Lampman, Hugh W., 69; 50-year broadcast veteran; hosted for nine years Music til Dawn at KRLD in Dallas; won Peabody Award; in Dallas, July 15, 2002.

Lancarte, David Allen, 53; co-owner of the landmark Fort Worth Tex-Mex restaurant Joe T. Garcia’s, founded by his grandfather; in Plano, Aug. 12, 2005, of heart failure.

Lancarte, Esperanza “Hope,” 86; grande dame of the Fort Worth restaurant trade and mother of seven children, ran her family’s iconic Joe T. Garcia’s for decades; in Fort Worth, Nov. 20, 2014.

Landes, James H., 84; former Hardin-Simmons University president and former executive director of Baptist General Convention of Texas; in Waco, Dec. 28, 1996.

Landry, Tom, 75; football stalwart was Dallas Cowboy coach for 29 seasons; born and raised in Mission in the Rio Grande Valley; World War II veteran who went on to play for UT Longhorns and New York Giants; in Dallas, Feb. 12, 2000.

Lane, Dick “Night Train,” 73; Austin high school athlete whose football career with the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions earned him a place in the NFL Hall of Fame; in Austin, Jan. 29, 2002.

Laney, Jean Moroney, 79; granddaughter of Dallas Morning News founder George Bannerman Dealey; active in civic groups, benefactor; in Dallas, Sept, 22, 1999.

Lanier, Bob, 89; real estate developer who was elected Houston mayor in 1991 on a promise to reduce the crime rate which plunged in his first term, served three terms; in Houston, Dec. 20, 2014.

Lary, Yale, 86; Fort Worth native was NFL Hall of Famer who played football for Texas A&M from 1949 to 1951 and baseball from 1950 to 1952 when the Aggies made the College World Series; he was safety and punter for the Detroit Lions in the 1950s when they won three national championships; served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives while playing pro football; in Fort Worth, May 12, 2017.

LaSelle, Dorothy Antoinette “Toni,” 100; painter who during her 44-year tenure at Texas Woman’s University inspired generations of young artists; in Denton, July 26, 2002.

Laurenzo, Ninfa Rodriguez, 77; the founder of Ninfa’s restaurants, popularized fajitas, tacos al carbon; grew up in Lower Rio Grande Valley; widowed in 1969, she converted tortilla company in 1973 to first restaurant, which grew to the chain; in Houston, June 17, 2001

Laws, Clarence A., 87; leader of the NAACP, “Mr. Civil Rights” to a generation of Dallas blacks; in Dallas, March 15, 1995.

Lay, Kenneth, 64; founder of Houston’s Enron Corporation who fell into disgrace amid national scandal and bankruptcy; in Aspen, Colo., July 5, 2006.

Tom Lea and one of his paintings of wife Sarah.

Lea, Sarah C. Dighton, 96; widow of celebrated artist Tom Lea who served as a subject for his paintings, first woman to become a bank director in El Paso in 1974, headed many local civic and service groups including YWCA; in El Paso, May 2, 2008.

Lea, Tom, 93; internationally-known artist and author first won fame in the 1930s as a landscape painter and muralist, and later as Life magazine correspondent during World War II; in El Paso, Jan. 29, 2001.

Leachman, Robert, 68; led the surgical team that performed the first heart catheterization in 1964 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston; in Houston, April 1, 1996.

Leddy, James, 66; legendary Abilene bootmaker whose exotic leathers of snake and ostrich drew many famed customers from George Jones to Jane Seymour; Sept. 30, 2003.

LeDoux, Chris, 56; country singer-songwriter; raised in Austin, former rodeo champion had hit duet, "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy," with Garth Brooks in 1992; March 9, 2005, from cancer.

Lee, Amy Freeman, 89; painter, author, art critic and art patron in San Antonio; headed board of trustees at the University of the Incarnate Word from 1973 to 1990; July 20, 2004.

Lee, Gordon “Porky,” 71; Fort Worth native was one of The Little Rascals in the 1930s, appearing in more than 40 Our Gang short films; later taught school in Post; in Minneapolis, Oct. 16, 2005.

Leeds Swanson, Lana, 63; was known as Lana Phillips in 1966 when she was hit in the UT Tower shootings, became music teacher and founded Austin Children’s Repertoire Company; in Austin, Feb. 15, 2009.

LeMaistre, Charles, 92; physician, medical educator, and academic administrator who served as chancellor of the University of Texas at Austin from 1971 to 1978 and president of the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston from 1978 to 1996; his early work beginning in 1964 was educating others about the dangers of smoking, serving on the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health; in Houston, Jan. 28, 2017.

Lemons, Abe, 79; one of college basketball’s winningest and wittiest coaches, at the University of Texas from 1977 to 1982, also coached at Pan American University; in Oklahoma, Sept. 2, 2002.

Leslie, Warren, 84; Dallas Morning News reporter who wrote the controversial 1964 best-seller contending a climate of right-wing extremism in Dallas set the scene for the Kennedy assassination; in Chicago, July 6, 2011.

Levitt, Zola, 67; national televangelist who emphasized his own Jewish roots and those of Christianity; in Dallas, April 19, 2006.

Lewis, Guy, 93; hall of fame basketball coach who led the University of Houston team for 30 years including the Phi Slama Jama teams of the early 1980s; his teams were in 14 NCAA tournaments; among the players he coached were Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Elvin Hayes; native of Arp, attended Rice University and U. of H. where he played on the inaugural team in 1946; in Kyle, Nov. 26, 2015.

Lewis, Sam, 80; West Texas public relations figure who promoted jalapeños and armadillo racing; one of the original supporters of the Terlingua Chili Cook-off; in San Angelo, Jan. 10, 2003.

Lezar, Harold J. "Tex" Jr., 55; member of the staffs of Presidents Nixon and Reagan, assistant to William F. Buckley; ran unsuccessfuly for lieutenant govenor in 1994; Jan. 5, 2004, of a heart attack at his Dallas home.

Lich, Glen Ernst, 49; former history professor at Baylor University and Schreiner College, wrote The German Texans in 1981; slain at his ranch near Kerrville, Oct. 15, 1997.

Lieberman, Harry (Larry Kane), 62; Houston broadcaster who hosted a teen dance show in the 1950s and ’60s; in Houston, Jan. 26, 1998.

Liedtke, J. Hugh, 81; oilman founded Zapata Petroleum Corp. in 1953 in Midland with future President George H. W. Bush, the firm became Pennzoil Co. where he was CEO; in Houston, March 28, 2003.

Linbeck, Leo Jr., 78; leading Houston businessman, headed family’s construction company, a leader in battle to reform Texas tort laws, chaired probe of fatal Aggie bonfire collapse; in Houston, June 8, 2013.

Ling, James J., 81; pioneer of the modern-day conglomerate, tycoon of LTV Corp., which helped propel Dallas into world financial spotlight in 1960s; Dec. 17, 2004.

Linthicum, Virginia Murchison, 83; philanthropist and arts patron, was wife of oilman Clint Murchison Sr. and rancher Edward B. Linthicum; in Dallas, Dec. 25, 1996.

Lipscomb, Al, 86; Dallas political and civil rights leader, city council member for 15 years; in Dallas, June 18, 2011.

Locke, Randall, “Poodie,” 60; Willie Nelson’s stage manager for 34 years and owner of Poodie’s Hilltop Bar in Spicewood where Willie’s crew hung out between tours; at Briarcliff, May 6, 2009.

Lockett, Clodovia, 81; nationally recognized educator, longtime University of Dallas science professor, Catholic nun; in Magnolia, Miss., July 18, 1994.

Locklin, Hank, 91; Grand Ole Opry member who hosted TV shows in Houston and Dallas in 1970s, had hits “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On” and “Please Help Me I’m Falling”; in Alabama, March 8, 2009.

Loetscher, Ila, 95; nicknamed “The Turtle Lady” for her campaigns for sea turtles on South Padre Island; in Brownsville, Jan. 4, 2000.

Loftis, Jack, 80; Hillsboro native, editor of the Houston Chronicle 1986-2002, which in the early years included adding news bureaus across Texas and in Latin America; in Bellaire, Dec. 29, 2014.

Logan, Horace Lee, 86; began country music’s radio program Louisiana Hayride in 1948 where artist such as Elvis Presley and Hank Williams got their breaks; in Victoria, Oct. 13, 2002.

Long, Emma, 98; Austin’s first female city council member in 1948, liberal firebrand served until 1969 when she was defeated after proposing a fair housing ordinance; in Austin, Jan. 16, 2011.

Long, Huey, 105; jazz great born in Sealy, played guitar with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and as part of the famed Ink Spots vocal group; in Houston, June 10, 2009.

Long, Travis, 86; Bellville native and highway engineer for 37 years who oversaw the construction of Austin’s main two expressways, I-35 and MoPac; Jan. 5, 2007.

Longoria, Beatrice, 88; widow of war hero Pvt. Felix Longoria whose reburial in 1949 became a national incident when a South Texas funeral home refused use of its chapel because the Longoria’s were Mexican-American; in Colorado, March 27, 2008.

Longoria, Raul, 80; Democrat represented the Rio Grande Valley in the Texas House 1960 to 1973; state senate 1973 to 1981; district judge in Hidalgo County 1981 to 1994; in Houston hospital, May 7, 2001.

Longoria, Valerio, 76; innovator in conjunto music, taught accordion to children of San Antonio for many years; in San Antonio, Dec. 15, 2000.

Look, G. D. Sonny, 84; legendary Houston restaurateur whose Sir-Loin House and Inn were noted steak houses from 1959 to 1991; active supporter of Houston rodeo; in Houston, Dec. 29, 2003.

Lopez, Arturo, 77; restaurateur who helped make the puffy taco a staple of the San Antonio food scene; he put it on the menu after he acquired Ray’s Drive Inn in the mid-1960s, the first to give the fried food its lasting name; in San Antonio, Oct. 16, 2015.

Lopez, Isidro, 75; saxophonist and singer from Alice who combined conjunto with Orquesta to forge Tejano music in 1940s to 1960s; half Apache, his nickname was "El Indio"; in Corpus Christi, Aug. 16, 2004.

Lounge, John M., 64; astronaut who flew on three shuttle missions, including the first after the 1986 Challenger disaster; in Houston, March 1, 2011.

Love, Jim, 77; Houston sculptor born in Amarillo; highly visible works include Portable Trojan Bear in Houston's Hermann Park; May 10, 2005.

Lowe, James E. Jr. “Jim,” 73; voice of giant Big Tex at State Fair; in Dallas, May 28, 2000.

Luby, Robert M., 88; founded the Luby’s Cafeteria chain in San Antonio in 1947; in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 13, 1998.

Luedecke, Alvin R., 87; retired Air Force general who headed the Atomic Energy Commission for six years and served as Texas A&M University president in 1970; in San Antonio, Aug. 9, 1998.

Luksa, Frank, 77; sportswriter for five decades at the Fort Worth Star-TelegramDallas Times-Herald and Dallas Morning New, covering the NFL Cowboys from their first years; in Plano, Oct. 23, 2012.

Luna, Earl, 74; politically active lawyer; in 1963 as president of school board cast deciding vote to desegregate Garland schools; in Dallas, Aug. 15, 1996.

Luna, Greg, 66; Democrat served in Texas House 1985 to 1992 and state senate 1993 to 1999; honored for work in education; helped found the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund in 1968; in San Antonio, Nov. 6, 1999.

Lyle, Eldon W., 89; known nationally as the “Tyler rose doctor,” made major contributions to rose research; in Tyler, Dec. 28, 1997.

Lyle, John Emmett, 93; former legislator and congressman from Corpus Christi during the 1940s and '50s; Nov. 11, 2003.

Photo credit: Victor Calzada.


 


 

Texas Almanac

Texas Almanac