On August 24, 1999, Henry M. Bell, Jr., of Tyler departed this life, leaving behind a host of loved ones, friends, and admirers.
This beloved gentleman, a product of early Texas forebears, left giant footprints wherever he walked. After graduation from Yale University in 1948, Henry, who was to become one of Texas's leading bankers, provided unequaled leadership for his beloved Citizens First National Bank of Tyler (now Regions Bank of Tyler), serving as its President, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and retiring as senior chairman in 1993.
Henry's influence was statewide. As an example, for thirty-one years he was board member and chairman of the Teachers' Retirement System of Texas, the state's largest pension fund. In demonstration of the esteem with which he was held by this significant organization, its board room was named for Henry.
In Tyler, the name Henry M. Bell, Jr., is synonymous with civic accomplishment. He is credited with being one of the individuals directly responsible for Tyler's widely acclaimed medical facilities, the establishment and development of one of the area's most important educational institutions, the University of Texas at Tyler, and for attracting much of Tyler's noted industrial expansion. He was duly recognized as the recipient of both the T. B. Butler and W. C. Windsor awards as Tyler's outstanding citizen. Every community issue and proposal was filtered through Henry's relentless inquiry, "What good could come out of it for Tyler?"
He led such important local civic endeavors as the University of Texas Health Center Foundation, the Salvation Army, the Texas Chest Foundation, Texas Rose Festival Association, the United Way of Greater Tyler, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, the Tyler Industrial Foundation, the Tyler Better Business Bureau, and the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System as well as its foundation. Henry's entire career was a magnificent exemplification of the highest accomplishments. His life defined what it is to be a leader: strength overlaid with gentleness and good spirit.
Henry's interests were varied. Although Henry's schools were The Citadel and Yale University, he was a devoted supporter of the University of Texas at Austin. He and his beloved wife, Nell, actively supported the University of Texas athletic program. Henry and Nell probably had more influence upon Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell's enrolling at Texas than any other persons.
Henry Bell was a devoted and active churchman. He served Christ Episcopal Church as senior warden and was a past board member of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the Bishop Quin Foundation.
We sorely miss Henry. He was an inspiration to us, and we have benefited from his counsel and example on uncounted occasions. He was one of the best of men. The death of this splendid gentleman has left a vacuum in our lives and in this Society and our State.
Gerry Doyle was born and reared in Chicago, Illinois, on December 14, 1913. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Magna Cum Laude in 1935 and did graduate work at Columbia University. He later received a Master's Degree from Lamar University in Beaumont.
He was Export Manager for the Beaumont Rice Mills, where he worked to open markets in the Caribbean and Latin America. He also served as Chairman of the Export Trade Commission of the Rice Millers' Association and as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Regional Export Expansion Committee.
He retired in 1961 to pursue his love of language, education, and the art of calligraphy and its importance in communication. He taught Latin in the Beaumont Independent School District until 1977 and was active in numerous educational and civic organizations, including serving as a trustee of the Beaumont Art Museum, the San Jacinto Museum of History in Houston, and as Regional Director of the National Graphic Arts Society.
At the San Jacinto Museum, he volunteered for many years as Publications Director, when he wrote and edited many awarding winning publications, including A Picture Book Introduction to the San Jacinto Museum of History and Documentos Tejanos. In 1976, he created and served as curator for a major exhibition, "Calligraphy on the Spanish Borderlands," and in 1990, he was honored with the prestigious Jefferson Award from the American Institute of Public Service.
He died on February 23, 2000, and is survived by his wife, Katherine Belle Broussard Doyle, and five children. Friends can remember Gerry by a favorite quote from Emerson: "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
Dr. Joseph Hill was born on March 26, 1905, in Buffalo, New York. He was a graduate of Lafayette High School and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo. Following graduation from the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1928, he served an internship at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. He completed specialty training in pathology, served one year teaching at the University of Oklahoma Medical School, and in January 1934 became director of laboratories for Baylor Hospital in Dallas.
Dr. Hill was an internationally prominent physician and medical scientist. He was founder and first president of the International Society of Hematology, a founder of the American Association of Blood Banks, a founding professor of Southwestern Medical School, and founding CEO of the J. K. and Susie L. Wadley Research Institute and Blood Bank.
Dr. Hill was a pioneer in treatment of cancer, leukemia, and blood diseases. When the Texas City disaster occurred in 1947, Dr. Hill worked closely with Dr. William C. Levin, then director of the John Sealy Hospital Blood Bank in Galveston, to collect more than 2,500 pints of blood to supply the hospitals treating the injured in Galveston. One of Dr. Hill's greatest joys was his ability to administer new research treatments to children previously thought to have incurable diseases.
The J. K. Wadley Research Institute served as an internationally known blood and research center as well as Dallas's regional blood bank for more than 40 years. Dr. Hill served as its CEO until 1976 and served on its board of trustees for 40 years.
Dr. Hill was a philanthropist, donating all of the dollars from one of his most important patents for L-Asparaginase to the Wadley Institute for Research.
Dr. Hill held an honorary professorship at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico where he received an honorary degree in 1944. In 1945, he was honored by Baylor University in Waco with an honorary degree. He received numerous other civic and medical society recognitions.
Dr. Hill died on May 21, 1999.
[Substantially derived from the TMA Library listing in Austin.]
Werdner Page Keeton, born August 22, 1909, in the unincorporated community of McCoy, Red River County, Texas, entered the University of Texas as a 16-year-old, 89-pound freshman in 1925. Subsequently he rendered outstanding service to the University of Texas School of Law during six decades. This included 25 years (1949-1974) as the school's highly respected and revered dean. The law school deans following Page Keeton have praised him as "the greatest dean" the school ever had and as the person who built the law school into "one of the greatest law schools in America." Dean Mark Yudof said, "Page taught all of us on the faculty that it is possible to achieve excellence while nurturing civility, respect, and community." After retiring as dean, Page Keeton taught for an additional 21 years in his beloved law school.
Page graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1931 as first in his class, practiced law for one year, and returned to his law school as an Assistant Professor in 1932. Adding to his B.A. and LL.B. from Texas, Keeton earned an S.J.D. degree from Harvard in 1936. In 1940, he served as Assistant Dean of the UT Law School. Rejected for military service in World War II, he was Chief Counsel for the Fuel Division of the Office of Price Administration. He returned to his law school in 1945 to teach the large classes of veterans then beginning the study of law.
From that point on, Page's career surged. In 1946, at age 36, he became dean of the University of Oklahoma Law School and presided over the integration of that school. Three years later, Keeton returned to Texas as dean, and-a giant among deans-spent 25 years moving the school into the top ranks of the country's law schools. He greatly increased private financial support of the law school, primarily by creating the University of Texas Law School Foundation. The Law School Alumni Association was created during his tenure as dean.
Dean Keeton's influence went far beyond the law school itself. He prepared a widely adopted casebook on torts and he was an active participant on the advisory committee in writing the Restatement of Torts (Second). In later years he was the co-author of a highly popular textbook on the law of torts. In 1961, Dean Keeton served as President of the Association of American Law Schools.
Page Keeton also actively participated in many civic activities for the betterment of Texas. These endeavors included active involvement in an effort by the State Bar of Texas during 1965-1970 to revise the Penal Code and in the Texas constitutional revision process of the 1970s. He chaired the State of Texas Medical Professional Liability Study Commission, 1975-1979, and he was Chairman of the State of Texas Ethics Advisory Commission in 1983-1985. In 1988, he received the Anti-Defamation League's Torch of Liberty Award.
Yet a catalog of Page Keeton's accomplishments and recognitions does not fully describe the great strength and charisma of this astute, warm, affable, gentle, aggressive, tenacious, friendly man. He was sought out by lawyers and non-lawyers alike because of his rare combination of good sense, keen judgment, practical insights, and sound theoretical scholarship. Perhaps fully as important, Page had the unique ability to skirmish-indeed, to "go to the mat"-with anyone and everyone who intentionally or unintentionally tried to slow his progress in raising the quality of his law school while at the same time remaining dearly loved and greatly admired by all who knew him. And everyone knew it was "Page's" law school.
In 1998, the name of Austin's 26th Street was changed to Dean Keeton Street in his honor. More recently, the classroom wing of the Law School was formally dedicated as the Page Keeton Wing.
Dean W. Page Keeton died January 10, 1999. He is survived by his wife, Madge Stewart Keeton; a daughter, Carole Keeton Rylander, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; a son, Richard Page Keeton, a Houston lawyer; a sister, Willie R. Keeton Spencer; two brothers, Judge Robert E. Keeton and Dr. Morris T. Keeton; and several grandchildren.
Bill Topazio was the epitome of what the phrase "scholar and gentleman" was intended to convey. His record of scholarship is clear and unequivocal. To those who knew him, there is no doubt that he was the consummate gentleman. He was well mannered, suitably reserved, sometimes animated when the proper occasion arose, and always interactive with those around him.
His biography depicts his scholarly contributions well. Sufficient to say here that he had a deep interest in eighteenth-century French literature, especially in the works of Voltaire, about which he published a number of articles plus a book, Voltaire: A Critical Study of His Major Works, published by Random House in 1966. He also was an authority on the works of Baron Paul Heinrich Dietrich d'Holbach, a French philosopher of the eighteenth century. In 1976, the French government named him an Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques.
Following receipt of his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1951, he joined the University of Rochester faculty and left there as professor in 1964. He was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Rennes in France in 1964-1965.
He came to Rice University in 1965 as chair of the Department of French and Italian. He was Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science from 1967 until 1981. He then resumed the departmental chair he started with until he retired in 1983. In all of this time in administration, Dr. Topazio maintained his scholarly output. Indeed he accepted the Lawrence H. Favrot Chair of French Literature in 1972 and held it until his retirement eleven years later.
He dealt with both undergraduate and graduate students and got good marks from both groups. He was certainly not a reclusive scholar. He worked with students enthusiastically, just as he did with his fellow faculty members. Certainly in his numerous dealings with many age levels and with various degrees of sophistication, he may have felt frustration at times. However, aside from an occasional "Aye caramba," a bystander would have seen no evidence of perturbation.
He was a good, well-educated, civilized person who gave willingly of his time, talent, and energy. The world is better for his having been with us.
United States Senator from Texas was the only statewide office that Ralph Webster Yarborough ever held, but in that fourteen-year span (1957-1971) he was one of the most influential and productive senators that twentieth-century Texas sent to Washington. Ideology aside, his unwavering support helped make the Cold War G.I. Bill of 1966 a reality. He supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964; he was one of only five southern senators to vote for the Voting Rights of 1965. He either sponsored or co-sponsored the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Higher Education Act of that same year, and the Bilingual Education Act of 1967. He also supported the Endangered Species Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Community Mental Health Center Act, and the National Cancer Act of 1970.
To Yarborough may also be attributed the legislation that created Padre Island National Seashore, Big Thicket National Biological Preserve, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the Fort Davis National Historic Site, and Alibates National Monument. Yarborough was a six-year member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and had risen to the chairmanship of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee in 1969, when he was upset in the 1970 Democratic primary election by Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, Houston insurance executive and former congressman from the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Efforts to restart his senatorial career in 1972 ended in the Democratic primary, and John Tower went on to win reelection to the Senate seat.
Born at Chandler, Texas, on June 8, 1903, to Nannie Jane and Charles R. Yarborough, young Ralph was educated in local schools and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1919, but dropped out the following year. For a time he alternately taught school and attended classes at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville and then worked his way through the University of Texas Law School, graduating in 1927. The following year he married Opal Warren; they had one son, Richard, who preceded his father in death. The Yarboroughs lived for three years in El Paso, where he worked in the firm of W. H. Burges and W. W. Turney. In 1931 Yarborough took a job in Austin as assistant attorney general under James Allred, with particular responsibility for the Permanent School Fund. In this post he was instrumental in winning large settlements against several major oil companies with leases on state land who had maintained that the state's share of the income was limited to royalty payments only. Yarborough contended that, in addition to royalties, the state was entitled to one-half of all bonuses and rental payments as well. His success in arguing the case (Magnolia v. Walker) proved a huge windfall for the schoolchildren of Texas. The principle had similar implications for the Permanent University Fund.
In 1935 then Governor Allred appointed Yarborough a Travis County district judge, a position to which he was elected later that year. In 1938 he took a six-week leave from the bench to wage an unsuccessful race for attorney general. In 1939, while still serving as judge, he was elected president of the Travis County Bar Association. Yarborough joined the United States Army at the outset of World War II and served with the 97th Division in the staff judge advocate section in both the European and Pacific Theaters, receiving a Bronze Star and a Combat Medal, among others, and emerging at war's end as a lieutenant colonel. After spending eight months with the military government of occupied Japan, he returned to his Austin law practice.
In the Democratic primary of 1952 Yarborough made the first of three unsuccessful races for governor but increased his vote total each time. In 1957 he won a special election to fill the United States Senate seat that Price Daniel, Sr., had vacated when he won the governorship that year. In a field of twenty-one candidates, Yarborough prevailed with thirty-eight percent of the vote in a match that required only a plurality of votes to win. The following year he won a full six-year term and was reelected in 1964 over Representative George H. W. Bush, the future president.
There were always those among Yarborough's long-standing friends who maintained that his political views became increasingly liberal as he realized that the state's conservative political establishment would never accept him. And they didn't. In the Senate he hewed closely to the political agenda of the national Democratic party as home-state conservatives seethed. George H. W. Bush was primed to take him on in the 1970 general election, but was caught off-guard when Lloyd Bentsen upset Yarborough in the Democratic primary that year. Two years later Yarborough's comeback effort in the Democratic primary was derailed by then U.S. attorney, now federal district judge, H. Barefoot Sanders. Thereafter Yarborough devoted his later years to practicing law, paying campaign debts, and addressing convocations of loyalist Democrats, to whom he remained a hero. Yarborough died in Austin on January 27, 1996, and was buried in the state cemetery. He is survived by his widow, his daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. A sympathetic political biography is forthcoming from the University of Texas Press.
Yarborough's public persona was that of the old-style, glad-handing, back-slapping politician with a gift for forceful, pulpit-pounding oratory. It was a style that did not adapt well to television. In private he was a lively, informed conversationalist and thoughtful listener, especially when the subjects were books and history-especially Texas history. He enjoyed telling on himself the story about his Christmas 1951 courtesy call on Price Daniel, Sr., then the state's attorney general. Knowing that Daniel shared his passion for history, Yarborough had taken along a copy of Lincoln the Litigant, a 1925 book by William H. Townsend. On the front free endpaper Yarborough had written a glowing inscription: "To Price Daniel-Lawyer for the people of Texas, tenacious fighter and diligent student of the law. With all the greetings of the season, Ralph W. Yarborough."
In the heat of the campaign Yarborough, in a statewide telecast, accused Daniel of valuing corporations more than people. Ironically, Yarborough and Daniel confronted each other in the 1956 Democratic primary for the governorship. In the heat of the campaign, Yarborough questioned Daniel's competence in a statewide telecast. Daniel bought time for a reply the following night and proceeded to read Yarborough's fulsome tribute from six years earlier. Daniel won the election.
By 1963 Daniel was out of office, but Yarborough was still in the U.S. Senate. This time Daniel was in Washington paying a courtesy call on Yarborough. As Daniel prepared to leave, Yarborough searched his well-stocked bookshelves, seeking a parting gift for his visitor. In a moment he found an appropriate title, which he handed to Daniel. Daniel, in turn, asked Yarborough to inscribe the book to commemorate their visit. Pen poised, Yarborough prepared to write, stopped in midstroke, and said, "Hold on, Price, you've gotta promise you won't read this back to me on statewide television!" In later years Yarborough and Daniel served ably and amicably on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. They found more common ground when they volunteered counsel to the Tigua Indians of west Texas and the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of East Texas, whose lands and identities were being challenged before sundry federal and state agencies, courts, and legislative committees. Somewhere there is a photograph of both men standing side-by-side wearing business suits and ceremonial headdresses.
The political gulf between Yarborough and Daniel was never as wide as that between Yarborough and J. Evetts Haley, but again it was a love of books and Texas history that could bridge the gap between adversaries. On a Saturday morning in the spring of 1974, Carl Hertzog, El Paso's legendary book designer/printer, had agreed to a 9:00 a.m. conference at Guynes Printing Company with J. Evetts Haley, vigorous champion of conservative causes, concerning Haley's forthcoming family history book. But at 8:00 the phone rang at Hertzog's residence. It was Ralph Yarborough, in town to address a steelworkers convention; he had a satchel full of Hertzog books he wanted Hertzog to autograph. Due to scheduling problems it had to be done right away. Hertzog told him of the 9:00 meeting with Haley. Undaunted, Yarborough replied, "I'll meet you there."
Hertzog's stomach knotted as he remembered how these two had nearly come to blows on a campaign platform at Hearne, Texas, during the 1956 Democratic gubernatorial primary, a happenstance that caused no little anguish to Opal Yarborough and Nita Haley, who had been friends since girlhood. Later, when Hertzog told Haley to anticipate Yarborough's interruption, Haley puffed a bit and then paid Yarborough an unexpected compliment: "At least he's honest; you always know where he stands." When Yarborough appeared, the two greeted each other with wary cordiality, but when it came time for Hertzog to sign the books, it just happened that five of them had been written by Haley himself. Haley was in quite an expansive mood when Yarborough asked if he would mind adding his inscriptions to Hertzog's. Yarborough was amazed and gratified as Haley's inscriptions ran to full pages and more.
Never reluctant to embellish a perfectly good story, Hertzog would later claim that he feared so much as to go to the bathroom lest the two get in a political argument. Sure enough, when the book signings were finished, the conversation turned political and highly animated as both men began telling war stories and discovering that each had been sold out at one time or another by some of the very same people. Time flew as each topped the other's tales of betrayal and ethical hanky-panky. Here were disclosures of political history that had never been-and may never be-made public. After Yarborough left for his speechmaking assignment, Hertzog recalled Haley's earlier words: "At least he's honest; you always know where he stands."