Obituaries

In every Texas Almanac, we include short obituaries for people who had passed away in the previous two years that had made an impact in the state. We never have enough room to include everyone that deserves to be in these pages, but we do our best. Here are all of the obituaries we have published so far. Updated 3 weeks ago

A&M Twelve; Texas A&M students who died in collapse of campus bonfire; M. Adams, C. Breen, M. Ebanks, J. Frampton, J. Hand, C. Heard, T. Kerlee, L. Kimmel, B. McClain, C. Powell, J. Self and N. West; Nov. 18, 1999.

Abbott, “Dimebag” Darrell, 38; one of heavy-metal's top guitarists, gained fame in 1990s with group Pantera; Dalworthington Gardens resident was shot to death, along with four others, Dec. 8, 2004, while performing in Columbus, Ohio.

Abraham, Elias, 90; businessman who was the last of the 12 brothers and sisters who emigrated from Syria to start the Abraham dynasty in El Paso; July 17, 2004.

Acers, Ebby Halliday, 104; the first lady of Metroplex real estate, her 70-year-old company began with just her alone but grew to 1,700 sales associates and became the tenth largest real estate firm in the nation; born Vera Lucille Koch in Leslie, Ark., she adopted Ebby Halliday as her professional name in the 1930s when she was in retail sales; moved to Dallas in 1938; married for 27 years to ex-FBI agent and businessman Maurice Acers, who died in 1993; in Dallas, Sept. 8, 2015.

Adair, Paul N. “Red”, 89; oilfield firefighter for 50 years; immortalized by John Wayne in the movie, The Hellfighters, based on his life; in Houston, Aug. 7, 2004.

Adamcik, Charlie F., 81; longtime leader of Czech community in Dallas; state director of the Czech Catholic Union of Texas for more than 20 years and honorary state director until his death; in Dallas, Oct. 8, 1996.

Adams, Bud, 90; oilman who was one of the founders of the American Football League in 1960 and owner of the Houston Oilers, he moved the franchise to Tennessee in 1997; in Houston, Oct. 21, 2013.

Adams, John G., 91; served as general counsel for the Army in the 1950s when he was nemesis to Sen. Joe McCarthy during televised hearings; in Dallas, June 26, 2003.

Adams, Randall Dale, 61; former death row inmate, one of the first from Dallas to be exonerated, released from prison in 1989 following an outcry brought on by the documentary The Thin Blue Line; in Ohio, Oct. 30, 2010.

Adkisson, Doris, 82; matriarch of Dallas’ Von Erich wrestling family; Doris Juanita Smith married in 1950 her Dallas Crozier Tech high school sweetheart Jack, who became wrestling’s Fritz Von Erich, who died in 1997; tragically, five of their sons preceded her in death; in Hawaii, Oct. 23, 2015.

Adkisson, Jack (Fritz Von Erich), 68; patriarch of wrestling’s famous and tragic Von Erich family; in Lake Dallas, Sept. 10, 1997.

Agnich, Fred J., 91; business executive and legislator who in 1970 was the first Republican elected countywide in Dallas since Reconstruction; served in Legislature until 1988 where he was a member of the Dirty Thirty, a reform-minded coalition; Oct. 28, 2004.

Ahn, Suzanne, 51; neurologist and Dallas community leader, Korean native raised in Tyler, served on the Texas Air Quality Control Board and the State Board of Medical Examiners; from cancer, in Dallas, June 22, 2003.

Albritton, Ford D. 93; businessman, A&M Class of 1943, served as A&M regent 1968-75 and as president of former students, donated the landmark bell tower on campus in 1984; in Dallas, Jan. 26, 2014.

Alden, Norm, 87; television and movie actor for 50 years, played owner of Lou’s Diner in Back to the Future, Fort Worth native, TCU graduate; in Los Angeles, July 27, 2012.

Alger, Bruce, 96; staunch conservative member of Congress for 10 years from Dallas, the lone Republican in the Texas delegation when elected in 1954, led a group of demonstrators that in 1960 accosted Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird at a campaign appearance in Dallas; in Florida, April 13, 2015.

Alkek, Albert B., 85; oilman who helped establish the Texas Medical Center in Houston; in San Antonio, March 1995.

Allbritton, Joe L., 87; communications baron from Houston, after success in banking he bought the Washington Star and its TV station in 1974 becoming an important figure in D.C. social hierarchy, Baylor graduate; in Houston, Dec. 12, 2012.

Allen, Bob, 70; one of the nation’s longest-tenured sports anchors serving for more than 40 years, beginning at Houston’s KTRK Channel 13 in 1974 and moving to KHOU Channel 11 in 2013; covered Oilers, Astros and Rockets; grew up in West University Place, attended Houston Westbury High School and Stephen F. Austin State University; in Houston, Oct. 19, 2016.

Allen, J. B., 67; one of the West’s best known cowboy poets who worked from his ranch in Whiteface, only starting to write poetry at age 50; in Lubbock, Dec. 13, 2005.

Allison, Joe, 77; McKinney native co-wrote Jim Reeves hit “He’ll Have to Go,” and other songs; helped form the Country Music Disc Jockey Assoc., which later became the Country Music Assoc.; in Nashville, Aug. 2, 2002.

Allred, Sammy, 84; nationally known as one of the Geezinslaw Brothers (with Dewayne Smith) from gigs starting on Arthur Godfrey’s radio program to later appearances on late-night television talk shows; Austin humorist, country singer, and a deejay for more than 30 years; Austin native; in Austin, May 10, 2018.

Ammerman, Dan, 76; television news anchor at Houston’s KTRK in 1960s and 1970s, actor with roles including doctor who dug the bullet out of J.R. on Dallas, in the film Local Hero and in several TV movies; in Houston, May 11, 2009.

Anderson, Brad, 91; creator of Marmaduke, the cartoon featuring the outsized Great Dane; the internationally-syndicated single-panel and strip cartoons first appeared in 1954; since 1994 the New York native had lived and worked in Texas; at a hospital in The Woodlands near his Montgomery home, Aug. 30, 2015.

Anderson, Carl, 83: Taylor native, A&M professor of agricultural economics, considered one of state’s leading cotton analysts, provided the Texas Almanac with agriculture analysis from 1978-2010; in College Station, Aug. 30, 2014.

Anderson, M. J. “Andy”, 96; one of Austin's first black real estate agents, political science professor at Huston-Tillotson College and political power broker; was national director for minority affairs for Lyndon Johnson's presidential campaign; Oct. 10, 2004.

Anderson, Pat, 63; co-founder of Half Price Books, one of the largest used-book chains in the United States; in Dallas, Oct. 6, 1995.

Andrews, William “Rooster”, 84; diminutive UT Longhorn booster, team manager, player in 1940s, became giant in sporting goods retailing; in Austin, Jan. 21, 2008.

Andujar, Elizabeth R. “Betty”, 84; former state senator from Fort Worth and matriarch of the Tarrant County Republican Party; in Fort Worth, June 8, 1997.

Applewhite, Marshall H., 65; Spur native and Texas minister’s son who led Heaven’s Gate cult into suicides in California; March 26, 1997, buried in San Antonio.

Ardoin, John, 66; spent 32 years as music critic with The Dallas Morning News, becoming internationally known; in Costa Rica, where he moved after retiring in 1998, March 19, 2001.

Arhos, Bill, 80; founder of Austin City Limits in 1974, Teague native raised in Bryan, Rice University graduate, began working with Austin’s public TV station in 1961; in Austin, April 11, 2015.

Armstrong, Anne, 80; Texas Republican stalwart, born Anne Legendre in New Orleans, married into South Texas ranch family, adviser to four presidents, served as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, was Kenedy County commissioner at time of her death; in Houston, July 30, 2008.

Armstrong, Garner Ted, 73; evangelist known for radio program World Tomorrow; founded Church of God International in 1978 after his father, Herbert W. Armstrong, excommunicated him from the Worldwide Church of God; in Tyler, Sept. 15, 2003.

Armstrong, John B., 83; former King Ranch CEO and third generation rancher; ran unsuccessfully for agriculture commissioner in 1964 and served on the Texas Animal Commission; in San Antonio, Feb. 20, 2003.

Armstrong, Neil, 82; the astronaut who was the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, lived most of the 1960s at El Lago while working at NASA; in Cincinnati, Aug. 25, 2012.

Armstrong, Tobin, 82; descendant of pioneer South Texas ranching family; director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raising Association for 48 years; in Houston, Oct. 7, 2005.

Arrambide, Lilia Natalia De-Cory, 93; founder of Pancho’s Mexican Buffet, which grew into a chain of restaurants throughout the Southwest; in El Paso, May 10, 2001.

Artis, Orsten, 74; the 6-foot-1 co-captain of the Texas Western (now the University of Texas at El Paso) basketball team; in 1966 they were the first team of African-American starters to win the NCAA national championship, defeating the University of Kentucky; the story was portrayed in the 2006 film Glory Road; born in Gary, Ind., where he had a long career as a police detective; in Merrillville, Ind., Dec. 26, 2017.

Ash, Mary Kay, 83; her cosmetics company (known for its signature color pink) grew from 11 employees in 1963 to a multimillion-dollar global empire at her death; in Dallas, November 22, 2001.

Aston, James W., 83; Dallas business leader pivotal in building Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and UT Southwestern Medical Center; in Dallas, Oct. 2, 1995.

Astronauts of Columbia; all had spent training in Texas and were seen as Texas’ own; two had strong Texas ties, Rick Husband to Amarillo and William McCool to Lubbock; others where Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon; shuttle broke apart over Texas, Feb. 1, 2003.

Attlesey, Sam, 56; distinguished reporter of Texas politics for 28 years for The Dallas Morning News, serving as deputy director of the Austin bureau at his death from cancer; in Sulphur Springs, April 2, 2003.

Atwell, Ben “Jumbo”, 82; Democratic legislator 1951 to 1975 from Dallas who wrote several tax bills during the 1960s that drew opposition from business interests; in Austin, June 29, 1998.

Autry, Gene, 91; the singing cowboy born in Tioga; besides his movie and television work, he was a sports team owner, broadcast tycoon and philanthropist; in Los Angeles, Oct. 2, 1998.

Avery, James, 96; creator of the jewelry empire that began as a one-man operation in Kerrville in 1954; at his death the company had 80 stores across the South; Wisconsin native’s service at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio during World War II brought him to settle in the Hill Country a few years later; in Boerne, April 30, 2018.

Avezzano, Joe, 68; colorful special-teams coach who helped the Dallas Cowboys win three Super Bowls in the 1990s; in Italy where he was coaching a Milan football team, April 5, 2012.

Azpiazu, José, 100; priest who founded the popular San Juan del Valle shrine in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in 1954; in San Antonio, July 29, 2004.

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

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 1940s, 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.

Bean, Alan, 86; in November 1969 became fourth person to walk on the moon; returned to space in July 1973 as commander of the flight to the orbiting space research station Skylab; native of Wheeler in the Panhandle, grew up in Fort Worth, University of Texas 1955; he left NASA in 1981 to became a full-time artist; in Houston, May 26, 2018

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 Monument 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.

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, Elroy, 86; the author of ten books about El Paso and the Hill Country was born in Kerrville; after serving as an officer in the Air Force he moved in 1958 to El Paso, a city he came to love and where he taught high school creative writing and English for 30 years; his work also appeared in the Southwest Review, the Texas Observer, and other publications; at his home in El Paso, Sept. 10, 2017.

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.

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