February 18, 1918 - August 29, 2015
Leroy Gilbert Denman, Jr., 97 of San Antonio, Texas, saw his long and productive life draw to a close on Saturday, August 29th.
The son of Mary Louise Carter Denman and Leroy Gilbert Denman, he came from a distinguished legal and ranching family. His grandfather, Judge Leroy Denman, was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and founded the prestigious law firm of Denman, Franklin and Denman in 1899. Leroy Denman, Jr.'s respect for the Rule of Law came early.
Educated at the University of Texas for both his undergraduate and law degrees, he was a member and President of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, the Chancellors Honorary and the Phi Delta Phi Law Fraternity. Last year, he celebrated as a member of the State Bar of Texas for 75 years. In 1985, the Leroy G. Denman, Jr. Professorship of Real Property Law was established in his name at the University of Texas.
While pursuing his education, Denman studied in Spain at the Complutense University of Madrid, the National Antonino's University of Mexico City, Mexico, and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
Following his graduation, he was recruited by the War Department to serve as an Assistant in Economic Matters at the American Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala and later in Buenos Aires, Argentina from March, 1942 to September, 1946. He then returned to the United States to serve in the Advocate General's office of the United States Army, Washington, D.C.
Embarking on his legal and business career, he joined the legal firm of Denman, Franklin and Denman in San Antonio, Texas in 1946. Denman was Chairman of San Antonio Loan and Trust Company and later became Chairman and President of Southwest Texas Corporation in 1950, overseeing extensive ranching interests in Texas, California, Arizona and Illinois that at one time totaled almost 1.5 million acres. The greatest wildlife preserves in Texas history - the St. Charles Ranch with its Whooping Crane reserve and the Powderhorn Ranch with its extraordinary multitude of wild birds, antelope, boar and deer - were created by Denman and his father.
He loved with great passion all of God's blessings - the land for its ranching abundance, the sea for his beloved sailboat, Aquarius II and the skies above where he flew his Cessna planes for 600,000 miles over 67 years of flying.
Public service was an important part of his highly dynamic life. He was the attorney and advisor for the King Ranch for over 50 years and its first non-Member President. He is Trustee Emeritus of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, the Tobin Foundation, the Nordan Trust, the George W. Brackenridge Foundation, the Ewing Halsell Foundation, and the Texas Bio Medical Research Institute. Denman served for ten years as a Member and later Chairman of the Public Service Board/ San Antonio, Texas. He was a member of The Order of the Alamo, San Antonio German Club, The Argyle Club, The Club Giraud and the San Antonio Country Club.
Denman is survived by his wife of 43 years, Diana Destine Sandefer Denman and their daughter, Destine Denman Holmgreen and his children, Margaret Denman Branton, Emily Denman Thuss, Deirdre Denman Glober and nine grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers: Bruce Bugg, Corbett Christie, Tio Kleberg and Mel Weingart. Visitation will be held at the residence on Thursday, September 3rd from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2015
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
404 N. ALAMO
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either The Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, P. O. Box 1555, Kingsville, TX 78364 or The Texas Bio Medical Research Institute, P. O. Box 760549, San Antonio, TX 78245-0549 or to a charity of your choice
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