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Texas Obituaries

 

Wacker, Jim, 66; colorful former football coach at Texas Christian University and Southwest Texas State University; in San Marcos, Aug. 26, 2003.

Wade, David, 77; nationally-known food writer and broadcast personality; in Tyler, March 20, 2001.

district attorney Henry Wade
Henry Wade.

Wade, Henry, 86; served as district attorney of Dallas (1951 to 1986), including the murder trial of Jack Ruby and the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion case; compiled one of the nation’s highest conviction rates; in Dallas, March 1, 2001.

Wagner, Helen, 91; Lubbock native played mild-mannered Nancy Hughes on the soap opera As the World Turns for more than 50 years; in Mount Kisco, N.Y., May 1, 2010.

Walker, Billy, 77; Ralls native and Grand Ole Opry star sang “Cross the Brazos at Waco” and “Charlie’s Shoes”; in an accident on an Alabama interstate along with his wife and two band members, May 21, 2006.

Walker, Charlie, 81; Grand Ole Opry member and well-known disc jockey at KMAC in San Antonio starting in 1951, born in Copeville, had singing hit “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down;” in Hendersonville, Tenn., Sept. 12, 2008.

Walker, Cindy, 87; Mexia resident wrote classic country songs, such as “You Don’t Know Me,” and “Bubbles in My Beer,” and pop songs, including “Dream Baby” for Roy Orbison; in Waco, March 23, 2006.

Walker, Doak, 71; Heisman Trophy winner who propelled Southern Methodist University football into the national spotlight in the 1940s; in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Sept. 27, 1998.

Wallace, Mack, 73; former Railroad Commission chairman, Athens native was legal counsel to Gov. Dolph Briscoe; in Dallas, June 28, 2003.

Wallach, Eli, 98; Brooklyn-born actor came to study drama at UT-Austin in the 1930s because of the low tuition and, he said, it was in Texas that he learned to ride horses; in New York, June 24, 2014.

Walls, B. Carmage, 90; newspaper entrepreneur who ended racial discrimination practices in his Southern papers; in Houston, Nov. 22, 1998.

Walser, Don, 72; country singer out of Brownfield and Lamesa whose yodel earned him the label “Pavarotti of the Plains”; in Austin, Sept. 20, 2006.

Walton, Cedar, 79; pianist who played with John Coltrane and who composed many jazz standards, Dallas native was first taught by his mother, an aspiring concert pianist, he was in the band at Lincoln High School in Dallas; in Brooklyn, Aug. 19, 2013.

Ware, Browning, 73; for 20 years, beginning in 1976, pastor of First Baptist Church in Austin, community and ecumenical leader; in Austin, Oct. 29, 2002.

Warnock, Barton H., 87; Trans-Pecos icon and leading authority on the botany of the Big Bend and the Chihuahuan Desert; in Alpine, June 9, 1998.

Watkins, Ross C., 81; regent for Texas A&M; innovative bridge builder who constructed two international spans over the Rio Grande; in Uvalde, May 29, 2001.

Watson, Johnny “Guitar,” 61; rhythm and blues musician; Houston native’s recordings included "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”; on tour in Japan, May 17, 1996.

Watson, Willard, 73; one of the region’s leading folk artists; in Dallas, June 12, 1995.

Weber, David J., 69; historian of the Southwest who focused on the relationship between Mexico and the United States, professor at SMU in Dallas; in Gallup, N.M., Aug. 20, 2010.

Webster, Roger, 91; electrical engineer who led the Texas Instruments team that developed the pocket-size transistor radio in 1954; in Dallas, Oct. 6, 2011.

Weirus, Richard “Buck,” 76; headed Texas A&M University former students association from 1964 to 1979; in College Station, May 8, 1997.

Welch, Christopher Evan, 48; actor best known as venture capitalist Gregory on HBO’s Silicon Valley, a graduate of Irving MacArthur High School and the University of Dallas; in Santa Monica, Calif., of lung cancer, Dec. 2, 2013.

Welch, Frank, 90; renowned architect of residences and public buildings across Texas including the Cole Theater and other buildings in Midland where he worked for 30 years before moving to Dallas in 1985; one of his best known structures is a small, remote shelter called “The Birthday” which was built on a bluff overlooking ranchland in Sterling County; native of Sherman and graduate of Texas A&M University; in Dallas, June 22, 2017.

Welch, June Rayfield, 70; former chairman of the history department at the University of Dallas who was widely known for his Texas history radio shows; in Dallas, Sept. 2, 1998.

Welch, Louie, 89; five-term mayor of Houston from 1963 to 1973 after four terms on the city council beginning in 1949, led city’s chamber of commerce after leaving political office; in Houston, Jan. 27, 2008.

Wells, Henrietta Bell, 96; only female member of the 1930 Wiley College team that took part in the first interracial collegiate debate; Houston native later taught in public schools and served as dean of women at Dillard University; in Baytown, Feb. 27, 2008.

Wells, Marshall F., 78; served 37 years as grants coordinator for Houston Endowment, the charitable trust; in Houston, Nov. 5, 1996.

Wenglein, George Herman, 88; CEO and chairman of Luby's Cafeterias from 1972 to 1988 when the company made Forbes list of 200 Best Small Companies; in San Antonio, April 12, 2005.

Wentworth, Margaret Stafford, 75; leader of the Republican Party in Bexar County; in San Antonio, May 2, 1996.

West fatalities from the fertilizer plant explosion in the north-central town of West; M. Bridges, P. Calvin, J. Chapman, C. Dragoo, K. Harris, J. Matus, J. Monroe, J. Pustejovsky, C. Reed, M, Saldivar, K. Sanders, R. Snokhous, D. Snokhous, B. Uptmor; April 17, 2013.

West, Arch, 97; leader of the Frito-Lay team that developed in 1964 the Doritos chip, which became one of the firms top-selling snacks; in Dallas, Sept. 20, 2011.

West, Buddy, 71; eight-term legislator from Odessa, supported UT-Permian Basin and Presidential Museum there; in Odessa, June 25, 2008.

West, James T., 86; Corsicana native was former co-owner and president of Wolf Brand Chili and son of the founder; in Dallas, Aug. 14, 2002.

West, Mary Nan, 75; South Texas rancher and civic leader who steered the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo for nearly 20 years; chaired Texas A&M University board of regents; in San Antonio, Jan. 1, 2001.

Westmoreland, Harry Lee Jr., 65; inventor of a portable drilling rig that could be carried in a pickup; founder of a charity to provide safe drinking water to Third World countries; in Sugar Land, Feb. 16, 2007.

Wheeler, John A., 96; nuclear physicist taught at UT-Austin from 1976 to 1986, involved in Manhattan Project, coined term “black hole” in 1967; in New Jersey, April 13, 2008.

Wheeler, Nina Daniels, 60; civil rights crusader and Democratic party activist; in Dallas, July 10, 1995.

John C. White
John C. White.

White, John C., 70; longtime Texas agriculture commissioner and Democratic party leader; in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1995.

White, Richard C., 74; Democratic member of Congress 1965 to 1983 from West Texas; in El Paso, Feb. 18, 1998.

Whiteaker, Mildred, 75; journalist who pioneered coverage of women’s issues in the San Antonio Express-News where she worked for 32 years; in Alamo Heights, July 8, 1996.

Widman, Ralph Jr. “Buddy,” 90; voice of sports play-by-play at Dallas’ WFAA in 1940s–1960s; in Arlington, Nov. 17, 2009.

Wier, Rusty, 65; singer-songwriter was a Texas music legend, part of the Austin scene of the 1970s, wrote “Don’t It Make You Want to Dance”; in Driftwood, Oct. 9, 2009.

Wiesenthal, Harold, 84; Houston retail icon known for his TV commercials and flashy style, his store Harolds in the Heights was a fixture for more than 60 years; in Houston, May, 27, 2012.

Wilkerson, David, 79; Lindale resident was evangelical minister and author of The Cross and the Switchblade, founder of Teen Challenge International and the Times Square Church in New York; in Cuney, April 7, 2011.

Wilkerson, Floyd F., 89; Dallas educator, journalist and civic leader; in DeSoto, Nov. 18, 1996.

Wilkin, Marijohn, 86; born Marijohn Melson in Kemp; was Nashville Hall of Fame songwriter, including “The Long Black Veil”; prominent Music Row publisher; Oct. 28, 2006.

Williams, Bert, 91; former mayor of El Paso who in 1962, as city councilman, proposed a civil rights act that was passed and which made the city the first in Texas and the South to end Jim Crow segregation laws; Arizona native grew up in El Paso; mayor from 1971 to 1973; in El Paso, May 25, 2017.

Williams, Clarence, 69; longtime civic leader in East Side San Antonio; in San Antonio, Aug. 24, 1996.

Williams, Helen White, 81; Manor native was, along with her husband Eugene, longtime personal assistant in the Lyndon Johnson household beginning in 1950 and until President Johnson left the White House in 1969; Johnson, in his memoirs, wrote that his discovery of what the Williamses faced every time they drove back to Texas was an awakening to the indignity of discrimination against blacks; Feb. 25, 2005.

Williams, Lawton, 85; composer of 1957 country hit “Fraulein,” performer and emcee in early 1960s of “Big D Jamboree,” which was broadcast from Dallas; in Fort Worth, July 26, 2007.

Williams, Mack, 77; founding president of the Press Club of Fort Worth and publisher of the Fort Worth News-Tribune; in Fort Worth, March 12, 1995.

Williams, Milton Redd “Chief,” 72; Texas high school basketball legend led Dallardsville-Big Sandy to state championship in 1952, member of Alabama-Coushatta tribe; in Woodville, Oct. 31, 2007.

Williams, Van, 82; TV’s Green Hornet in the 1960s; Fort Worth native; the ABC series was an introduction for American audiences to martial arts master Bruce Lee who played the sidekick; Williams, a TCU graduate, later had occasional TV appearances, including The Beverley Hillbillies and The Dick Van Dyke Show, until he retired in the 1980s; in Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 28, 2016.

Williamson, Ric, 55; chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission who championed toll roads, Abilene native was former legislator 1985 to 1998; of a heart attack in Weatherford, Dec. 30, 2007.

Willingham, Noble, 72; Mineola native was character actor best-known for role as lawman C.D. Parker on th long-running Walker, Texas Ranger series; ran unsuccessfully for Congress from East Texas in 2000; Jan. 17, 2004.

Willis, Doyle Sr., 97; from 1947 to 1997 served four separate stints as state representative and senator from Tarrant County and in between served on the Forth Worth city council; in Fort Worth, June 22, 2006.

Willis, Phillip, 76; captured the first World War II prisoner after Pearl Harbor attack, served in Legislature; in Dallas, Jan. 27, 1995.

Wilson, Burton, 95; New Englander studied photography at UT-Austin, his photos of the Austin music scene in the 1970s, including the Armadillo World Headquarters and Vulcan Gas Company, became lasting historical documents; in Austin, June 2, 2014.

Wilson, Charlie, 76; congressman from East Texas for twelve terms, his advocacy for the Afghan struggle against the Soviet Army was the subject of Charlie Wilson’s War; in Lufkin, Feb. 10, 2010.

Wilson, Glen Parten Jr., 82; aeronautical engineer who helped create NASA; Waco native earlier was assistant to then Sen. Lyndon Johnson; in Fort Worth, Jan. 8, 2005.

Wilson, Mary Robert, 87; the first woman to be awarded the Silver Star for her heroics as a nurse in World War II; Tom Brokaw wrote a chapter on her in his book The Greatest Generation; in Duncanville, Nov. 19, 2001.

Wilson, Robert A., 76; father of actors Luke, Owen, and Andrew Wilson; led Dallas public television station KERA beginning in 1967; hired Jim Lehrer who anchored the innovative Newsroom in a format that went on to become the long-running national MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour on PBS; in Dallas, May 5, 2017.

Wilson, Tom, 72; Texas A&M University football coach from 1978 to 1981 after Emery Bullard resigned; Corsicana high school athlete went on to be All-Southwest Conference quarterback at Texas Tech University 1963–1965; coached high school football at Palestine and Coriscana; in Coriscana, Aug. 10, 2016.

Wilson, Will, 93; Dallas native was known as crime-busting Texas attorney general in the 1950s, taking on illegal gambling in Galveston; made unsuccessful runs for governor and senator in the 1960s; in Austin, Dec. 14, 2005.

Windham, Thomas, 61; headed the Fort Worth police department for 14 years; advocate of neighborhood-based police programs; helped win creation of city crime tax in 1995 to funnel additional money to crime-fighting; in Fort Worth, Jan. 12, 2000.

Winter, Johnny, 70; blues guitar legend from Beaumont, known for lightning-fast riffs and for collaborations with Jimi Hendrix and childhood hero Muddy Waters; in Zurich while on a European tour, July 16, 2014.

Wisch, Jessard “Jimmy,” 85; publisher and co-founder of the Texas Jewish Post, and a fixture in the Jewish community in North Texas; former president of the American Jewish Press Association; in Fort Worth, Jan. 26, 2002.

Wisenbaker, Royce E., 84; East Texas businessman and benefactor to Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Tyler; in Tyler, Sept. 11, 2001.

Witherspoon, Joseph, 78; professor emeritus of law at the University of Texas in Austin and one of the founders of Texas Right to Life Committee; June 21, 1995.

Witts, David, 85; Dallas attorney who along with his friend Carroll Shelby started the famous Terlingua Chili Cook-off in 1967; chaired the Texas Aeronautics Commission; Oct. 25, 2006.

Wood, Gordon, 89; second-winningest coach in Texas high school football history, mostly in Brownwood where he won seven titles; Dec. 17, 2003.

Woodward, Halbert Owen, 82; Coleman native, federal judge in northwest Texas (1968 to 1987); in Brownwood, Oct. 3, 2000.

Wolff, Melvyn, 86; Houston native took over the low-end Star Furniture business from his Russian-immigrant father and turned it into one of the nation’s most successful retail furniture operations; a graduate of the University of Houston, for which he was a keen supporter; the university in 2008 honored him and his wife, naming the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship for them; in Houston, May 25, 2017.

Woolf, Jack R., 90; described as “the founding father” of UT-Arlington, he was president 1959-68 during tremendous growth, steered its transfer from A&M to UT system; in Arlington, June 10, 2014.

Woolley, Bryan, 77; newspaperman for several Texas papers including the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News and an author who grew up in Fort Davis, his 1983 November 22, a fictional account of the JFK assassination, was praised as the best depiction of what Dallas was like in 1963; in Dallas, Jan. 9, 2015.

Wright, Charles Alan, 72; renowned constitutional scholar and professor at the University of Texas beginning in 1955; represented President Richard Nixon before the Supreme Court in 1974; in Austin, July 7, 2000.

Wright, Jim, 92; long time member of Congress from Fort Worth, elected majority leader in 1976 and Speaker in 1987, resigned in 1989, started political career in 1947 in the Legislature at the age of 23, then became mayor of Weatherford before he went to Congress in 1954; in Fort Worth, May 6, 2015. 

Wyvell-Dickson, Dorothy, 83; one of the first medical specialists in Midland in the late 1940s, conservative political activist who ran for Congress in 1960; in Midland, May 20, 1997.


 

 

 

 

 

Texas Almanac

Texas Almanac