December 20, 1912 – June 23, 2007

Frank Raymond Dehnisch Sr., 94, died Saturday, June 23, 2007 at his home in Mathis, Texas. Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 27 at First Baptist Church of Mathis. Interment will follow at Cenizo Hill Cemetery.

Frank was born in Yoakum, Texas on December 20, 1912 to Robert Joseph and Jamesina Jenkins Dehnisch. In 1925, when Frank was 13 years old, he and his family moved to West Sinton, Texas, and established the Dehnisch farm. Frank and his brother, Bob, were to continue farming this farmstead as well as additional acreage for the next 62 years. Over those many years, the Dehnisch brothers were known as careful, hard-working, honest, fastidious farmers. Frank loved the land and that love continued to the end of his life. Two and a half weeks ago, when he and his sister, Joye, went driving, though his vision was failing, he enjoyed seeing the crops and how well they were growing.

During his high school years at Sinton High School, Frank lettered in all sports, but baseball was his favorite. He excelled in the sport so much, he was offered a full scholarship to SMU, but was unable to accept is as the family needed him to work on the farm. Although unable to play college ball, he played on the community baseball team for years. In later years, he delighted in attending the grandsons’ ball games and other activities.

Following Frank’s marriage to Earleen Hollon on August 26, 1933 in Corpus Christi, Texas, they lived in West Sinton, where their children, Sharon and Frank Jr., were born. In 1955, the family moved to Mathis, where Frank lived until his death.

Frank was a member of First Baptist Church of Mathis for many years. He was an avid fisherman and hunter. He continued his interest in these activities throughout his life and instilled a love of the outdoors and sports in his son and grandson. He was present when each of his grandsons shot his first deer.

He leaves behind endless memories of his unique sense of humor, his special witticisms, his characteristic sideways look with a twinkle in his eye and his countless stories of long-ago adventures of the early 20th century: wolf hunts, plowing with mules, Prohibition, clearing the land, countless rattlesnakes and trapping raccoons, skunks and opossums to sell for their coats. He said often how blessed he felt to have lived in an age that began with coal-oil lamps and horse buggy travel and ended with space exploration.

He will be remember by his five grandsons as wonderful “Granddaddy Frank,” who took each of them to the coffee shop early in the morning to eat pancakes, sit at the “Table of Knowledge” with the other members of the “Sanhedrin” and absorb great wisdom, who took each of them to check the crops, help him load the cotton trailers, take the cotton to the gin and, frequently, let each of them drive down the country roads while looking through the steering wheel as Frank sat unconcerned, watched the crops and the driver.

The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Rita Molina, Angie Gutierrez, Elisa Franco, Hortensia DeLeon and Aurora Avalos for the months of exceptional care and kindness given to Frank. The family is especially appreciative for the years of unfailing dedication, excellent care and support given to their father by Elena Salinas. The family also wishes to thank Exclusive Home Health, in particular, Sherry Cortez, for the excellent nursing care given to Frank during the last days of his life.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 69 years, Earleen Hollon Dehnisch; his parents, Robert and Jamesina Dehnisch; infant sister, Dorothy Dehnisch; and brothers, Harold H. Dehnisch and Robert J. “Bob” Dehnisch Jr.

Survivors include his daughter, Sharon Dehnisch Neelley and husband, Charles, of Bryan; son, Frank Raymond Dehnisch Jr. and wife, Anne, of Beeville, Texas; grandsons, James Garland “Tres” Watson III and wife, Christi, Charles Franklin “Chas” Watson and wife, Adrienne, Christopher Dehnisch “Chris” Watson, all of Bryan-College Station, Frank Raymond “Rusty” Dehnisch III of Albuquerque, N.M., and Scott McKinney Dehnisch of Grangeville, Idaho; great-grandchildren, James Garland “Quade” Watson IV, Meghan Kay Watson, Frank Dehnisch Watson, all of Bryan-College Station, and Brittany Anne Watson of Fairfield, Texas; sister, Joye Thomas Harris of Sinton, Texas; nieces, Joye Lynn Thomas of Charlotte, N.C, Flossie Thomas of Sinton, Texas, and Annette Dehnisch Smith and husband, Wayne, of The Woodlands, Texas; nephew, Harold Harry Dehnisch Jr. and wife, Katherine, of Fort Worth, Texas; sisters-in-law, Ella Jean Porter of Mathis, Texas, Mary Jo “Jody” Tobin and husband, John, of Wiley, Texas, and Lillian Smith Dehnisch of San Antonio; and numerous other relatives.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mathis E.M.S. Equipment and Education Fund, 411 E. San Patricio, Mathis, Texas, 78368, or to First Baptist Church of Mathis, P.O. Box 66, Mathis, Texas 78368.

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