On May 8, 2013, our dear Mother Mary Denman passed away at the age of 90. Mary was an icon of San Antonio radio, television and stage productions. She was a true pioneer in the realm of women in broadcasting, and became one of the best known on-air personalities in the Alamo City. In 1995 Mary was honored with the National Achievement Award from the American Women in Radio and Television. She started her TV career in San Antonio as the host-producer of "Our Town," a weekday interview program on KENS-TV. After eight years, she became the station's first female co-anchor of a newscast. Later, she moved to radio, where she thrived for many years in the '80s. When WOAI radio started the first all-talk format, the station hired Mary to be the producer and co-host of "Morning Magazine" Monday through Friday. After leaving radio some 12 years later, she and her husband Richard formed their own ad agency, "Mary Denman, Inc." Soon after, WOAI asked her to develop a program for seniors and "Prime Plus" was the result. For the next 13 years, the program was aired every Sunday morning first on WOAI-AM, then KENS-AM. Her love for theater preceded her broadcasting career. On stage, she has played everything from chorus roles to leads. Her board service at San Pedro Playhouse spanned many years. She also chaired the capital campaign committee which raised more than one million dollars for the renovation, restoration, and maintenance of the 70-plus year old Playhouse. In her work on the board of the Alamo Theater Arts Council, she emceed the Globe Awards gala for several years. From 1971 to 1974, Mary served as Vice Chairman to the Department of Defense's Defense Advisory committee on Women in the Services. Over the years, Mary lent her voice and leadership abilities to numerous charitable causes, such as Goodwill Industries, where she was a long term board member and board president. Mary is preceded in death by her devoted husband Richard H. Denman. She is survived by daughter Daryl Denman, daughter Deborah Navarro, son-in-law Ray Navarro, son Richard Denman, daughter-in-law Audrey Denman, grandchildren Amy Gregory, Lindsay Navarro, Cameron Navarro, Eric Denman, and Kim Denman, and great-grandduaghter Zoe Gregory. A memorial and life-celebration service will be held on June 1, 2013 at 1:30pm at the San Pedro Playhouse. Memorial donations may be made to the San Pedro Playhouse.
Published in San Antonio Express-News on May 26, 2013.