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Texas Obituaries


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.

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.

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, 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, 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