David Lee Minter
David Lee Minter, 82, passed away Monday, August 21, 2017, at his home in Houston. Graveside services were held Tuesday, August 22, at Magnolia Cemetery in Woodville, Texas.
David was born March 20, 1935, to Reverend Kenneth Cruse Minter and Frances Hennessy Minter in Midland, Texas. He grew up in Gonzales, Woodville, and Alice, Texas, graduating from Alice High School in 1953.
He received a BA and MA in English from North Texas State College in Denton, followed by a Bachelor of Divinity and a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. David began his academic career as a lecturer at Yale and then at Hamburg University in Germany. In 1967 he joined the English Department at Rice University. From 1973-1979, he and his wife Caroline served as Masters of Baker College.
In 1980 David was recruited by Emory University in Atlanta. During his tenure there, first as Dean of Emory College and later as Vice-President for Arts and Sciences, Emory changed from a quality regional school into a top-tier national academic institution.
After returning to Rice in 1990, David served numerous roles in addition to his teaching American literature. The Minters were Masters of Jones College (1992-1997). He was appointed Interim Vice-Provost and University Librarian (1995-1996) and Interim Provost (1999-2000). In 1999 then Rice President Malcolm Gillis, in naming him Interim Provost, stated that David was both "a leading literary scholar" and a "truly outstanding teacher and mentor" and that his record of service to Rice was "one of the most distinguished and fruitful in the university's history."
David's love of literature led him to become an eminent scholar of 20th century American literature and of William Faulkner. His several books included the definitive William Faulkner: His Life and Work. As well, his many teaching awards reflected his passion for teaching and his respect and regard for his students. His academic career spanned thirty-five years, after which he retired as the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor Emeritus of English.
David was preceded in death by his parents; his twin sister, Judy Dunn; sisters Mary Frances Wright, Betty White, and Anna Froman; and brother, Kenneth C. Minter, Jr.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Caroline Sewell Minter of Houston; son Christopher Minter of Dripping Springs; daughter Frances Epstein and husband Jeff of Tucson, AZ; grandsons Aiden and Seaton Epstein; and many loving nieces and nephews.
David will be remembered as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather; as a dedicated teacher and mentor, as a thoughtful and influential scholar, as a keen and witty observer of life, and by all as a man whose many enthusiasms in life were endearing and inspiring.
A memorial service is planned for October.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Sep. 4 to Sep. 6, 2017.