Ben Love
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At age 81, BEN LOVE passed away on Friday, January 13, 2006. Ben F. Love was born in Vernon, Texas, in 1924, the only child of Nell Scott and Benton F. Love. His family returned to his deceased grandfather Henry Benton Love's family homestead near Paris, Texas, in 1932 during the Great Depression. Ben attended school in Paris, riding his faithful horse Billy 12 miles daily over the dirt, rutted road from the farm to and from West Paris Elementary School--especially memorable during North Texas' freezing winters--subsequently graduating as President of the Paris High School Class of 1941. When he turned 18, November 19, 1942, he walked from his University of Texas classroom to the Army Air Force recruiting office in Austin and volunteered, receiving his commission and wings from Ellington Field, Houston, in April, 1944. Three months later, he joined the 351st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force in England, and subsequently flew 25 combat missions against Hitler's Germany, concluding his B17 bomber combat tour with 11 combat decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross and with the rank of Captain at age 20. Returning to The University of Texas after World War II, he met an intelligent, beautiful Theta, Margaret McKean. They were married in 1947 after they graduated from The University of Texas and immediately established their home in Houston. In 1948, he founded a manufacturing firm which he merged with a New York Stock Exchange company in 1962. He entered banking in 1956, first as an outside director and in 1965 as President of River Oaks Bank & Trust Company of Houston. In 1967, he joined Texas Commerce Bank-Houston, was elected President in 1969 and Chairman and CEO of Texas Commerce Bancshares in 1972, a position he held until he retired in 1989. During his time as CEO, Texas Commerce grew from one bank with $1 billion in assets to 80 banks and 7 foreign offices with over $20 billion in assets, achieving 65 consecutive quarters of earnings increases and rated by Standard & Poors as one of the USA's two (J. P. Morgan being the other) AAA banking organizations. In 1987, Texas Commerce and Chemical Bank of New York (now J. P. Morgan Chase) merged, which at the time was the largest interstate banking merger in the nation's history. Ben Love served as a director on 12 different corporate boards listed on the New York Stock Exchange during his banking and business career. His other activities included serving as Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership, Chairman of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, President of Reserve City Bankers Association, Chairman of the Council of Overseers of the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration - Rice University, Founding Chairman of the Houston Host Committee that attracted the 1992 Republican National Convention to Houston, Director of The Mighty Eighth (Air Force) Heritage Museum in Savannah, Founding Chairman of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, Chairman of the Houston Grand Opera, President of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) - Houston and President of The University of Texas Ex-Students' Association - Houston. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. In 1975, The University of Texas honored him as a "Distinguished Alumnus." In 1983, Texas A&M University's Business School designated him as "Texas Business Executive of the Year." In 1989, he was inducted into The Texas Business Hall of Fame. Also, Ben Love was honored with the "People of Vision Award", "Key Houstonian of the Year" for 1982, Houston Holocaust Museum's "Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award" in 1995 and Rotary Club's "Distinguished Citizens Award" in 1995. The Greater Houston Partnership named him "Houston's Greatest Individual" in 2004. He served three terms as a member of the Federal Reserve Advisory Council and on the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Conference. Finance Magazine named him "Regional Banker of the Year" for 1975 and Financial World Magazine honored him as "Chief Executive Officer of a National Bank" for 1975 and again in 1980. In 1984, Dun's Business Month designated Texas Commerce Bancshares as one of the nation's five best-managed companies while under his leadership. He was a member of the Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta, Georgia), River Oaks Country Club (Houston) and the Alfalfa Club (Washington, D. C.). He was also a member of Allegro and of The Texas Philosophical Society. He is survived by his beloved wife Margaret, by his son Jeff Love and his wife Kathy, and their two children Benton III and Elizabeth and by his daughter Jan Love Simmons and her husband Tom, and their two children Jennie and Charles. There will be a family visitation on Thursday, January 19, 2006, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home, 1010 Bering Drive, Houston, Texas. Services will be held at 2:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 5300 Main Street, Houston, Texas on Friday, January 20, 2006. There will be a reception with family at the Fellowship Hall of the Church immediately after the Service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030. Pallbearers are Stanford Alexander, Joe L. Allbritton, Daniel C. Arnold, The Honorable James A. Baker, III, Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Dan Breen, Mayor Roy Butler, Peter R. Coneway, The Honorable Charles W. Duncan, Jr., John H. Duncan, Peter J. Fluor, Frank Godchaux, Judge John L. Hill, Jr., Gerald D. Hines, Howard Horne, Sr., Dr. John R. "Jack" Hubbard, James C. Kennedy, R. Bruce LaBoon, Dr. Charles "Mickey" A. LeMaistre, Edmund McIlhenny, Dr. John Mendelsohn, W.A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr., The Honorable Robert A. Mosbacher, Sr., Major General Lewis Lyle, USAF Retired, George A. Peterson, Edward Randall III, Jr., A. M. "Mike" Tomforde, Jr., J. Sam Winters and Michael B. Yanney. Honorary pallbearers are those staunch steadfast, loyal, productive, treasured friends with whom he was privileged to work at Texas Commerce Banks.


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Published in Houston Chronicle from Jan. 15 to Jan. 18, 2006.
Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
February 14, 2006
I was saddened today to learn that Mr. Love had recently passed away. I remember how he always had such a presence about him. He carried himself with grace and had such a charismatic personality. I remember him speaking at the officer meetings at TCB and the sound of his voice filling the auditorium. He was truly a leader in every sense of the word.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time of loss.
Karen Kliesing
January 21, 2006
Dear Margaret and family,

Gene and I are in Wyoming. We were saddened to hear of your loss, and we share it with you. We read on line about his lovely service, and we were sorry to miss being there. Our thoughts are with you. Ann Trammell
Ann Trammell
January 21, 2006
It was such a privilege to know Ben Love, I was always so impressed by his incredible memory, remembering everyone he met by their name, a little bit about them and where they worked. He was truly a gentleman in every sense of the word.
Mitzy Nava
January 19, 2006
TO MY DEAREST FAMILY


To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man."

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not going.....you're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998-2005
Deborah Harris
January 19, 2006
To the family of Ben Love,
I had the privilege of working at TCB when I was in the banking business and considered it a great privilege to have known Mr. Love. My father, Dr. J.B. Richardson, considered him as a very dear friend and would be greatly saddened were he still with us. On behalf of our family, we extend our thoughts and prayers and know that God will guide you through these difficult times.
Ron and Patti Richardson and
The Family of Dr. J.B. Richardson
Ron Richardson
January 18, 2006
Dear Margaret,

I had the privilege of starting my career in banking with Texas Commerce Bank in 1977 and remained with the bank until retiring in 2003. I had just come off active duty with the 101st Airborne and Ben use to kid me about parachuting into banking at a time when great changes were coming. He had a vision for the future few men had and was able to communicate that vision to all of us around him.

We worked together off and on over the years but my strongest recollection is the leadership he provided in the capital campaign for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. As a cancer survivor myself, I have personnally benefited from the many improvements provided by that campaign.

I am both honored and blessed to have known and worked with Ben Love. I will never forget him. My prayers are with you and your family.

Sincerely,

John E McKemie
John McKemie
January 18, 2006
Dear Margaret...I am so saddened to read of Ben's death. Ben and I went back many wonderful years, from the days of "Gift Wraps" to all those good old days every Wednesday morning at the Breakfast Association at River Oaks. He was a true and loyal member, and added so much just being there. Houston owes him many Thanks for all he did, and he did so much! I will miss a dear old friend. I am so thankful for so many wonderful memories. My best wishes and warmest thoughts to you and the family. We had much fun, didn't we!
Robert E. "Bobby" Corrigan
January 18, 2006
I remember meeting Mr. Love in 1984 when I worked for RepublicBank in downtown Houston it was a beautiful building. I was in the Real Estate Dept and worked with Julie Love, she was a Bank Officer and was very professional and intelligent woman. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
Teresa Dillehay
January 17, 2006
To Mrs. Margaret Love and Family:

Please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss.

Mr. Love was an honorable man with whom our family had the pleasure of doing business while we held interests in Houston, Texas.

We pray that you cherish your many memories of this fine man and allow God above to comfort the pain in your hearts.

Warmest regards,

Mohammed Salim Bin Mahfouz
and all of the Bin Mahfouz Brothers
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Salim Bin Mahfouz
January 17, 2006
We are so sorry. I liked him and was proud to represent him and the Bank, with which he did such a great job.
Alvin Owsley
January 17, 2006
Mrs. Love and Jeff,
You cannot imagine the memories that I have of your husband and your father. I loved working with him on charity events. As he always stated "I will keep this speech short so that we start and finish during the same evening!" Oh how those words always made me laugh.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Much love,
Sharon Seline-Wright
January 17, 2006
OUR MEMORIES OF BEN LOVE WILL BE AMONG THE MOST TEASURED ONES IN OUR LIVES.
Jerianne Whitcomb KOLBER
January 17, 2006
As a young packaging salesman in the early 60's, I was assigned the Gift Wrap's Inc acct. At that time, Mr. Love was not only the owner,President,but also the purchasing mgr. I received many lessons both in the art of selling and in creating mutually benificial relationships with future customers. The advice I was given by Mr. Love has remainded with me for over 40 years.
Each time I walk the hall@ M.D. Anderson, I am reimded of what a great champion he was in the field of Cancer. It was indeed my pleasure to briefly know Ben Love
Carl Shaffer
January 16, 2006
I am proud to say that I worked for Texas Commerce Bank from 1981 until 1996, and will always remember that experience for the rest of my life. Mr. Love and Texas Commerce Bank were instrumental in my banking career, and I am forever indebted to him for providing me the training necessary to succeed not only in business, but in my personal life as well. My deepest condolences to all his family.
Rick Behrend
January 16, 2006
I am proud to say I worked for Texas Commerce Bank from 1977 to 1993. To me, Mr. Love has always stood out as a very distinquished and kind man. He was very personable and friendly. No matter what position you held at the bank, he always took the time to talk to you. He made me feel honored to work at such a professional establishment. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time of great loss and sadness.
Anita Emmons
January 16, 2006
Ben Love was a great and kind man who brightened any room with his smile and gracious manner. He was a friend and will be missed.
Jack Carter
January 16, 2006
I have memories in my pocket.
They rattle among the change.

My memories of you are treasures I carry wherever I go.

They are stored in bits and pieces, parts of a beautiful whole
They give me comfort when I think I am alone.

Yes, I have memories in my pocket, like so much other stuff I keep there.

But of all the treasures I have, it’s the memories of you that are the most precious.

Deborah Harris
January 15, 2006
I worked for Texas Commerce Bank from 1977 until 1985. I was in a branch out in the SW part of Houston, but Mr. Love was such a strong influence that he shaped the way I have thought of banking and how to be a banker all my life. I continue today to mold my career in a way that would make him proud. My prayers are with you at this time with memories of a fine man who lived a noble,dignified and worthy life.
Gods Blessings and Peace to you.
Judy Johnson Cloud
January 15, 2006
Helen Johnson
January 15, 2006
Margaret, we send our deepest sympathies to you and your family for the loss of such a great man,husband, and father as Ben. We give thanks for his friendship and all the things he did for us and his community. May God's strength be with you as you go through the sadness of his loss. How fortunate so many of our lives were touched in so many ways by him.
Patty and Bob Cruikshank
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