Richard H. Cory

Portrait of Richard H. Cory Headstone Photograph


R.H. "Dick"
Born April 7, 1918
San Mateo, California

He Loved His God, His Family,
His State and His Country

Joyce Helen
June 4, 1948

Marie Witte
Born May 4, 1923
Victoria, Texas

Devoted Daughter, Wife, Mother
Grandmother and Loyal Friend

Back of headstone


R.H. "Dick"
Attorney-at Law California and Texas 1947
World War II Master Sergeant
Infantry and Ordinance
Texas House of Representatives 1955 - 1971
Victoria and Calhoun Counties
Speaker Pro Tem - Chairman State
Affairs and Rules Committees
Outstanding Young Man of the Year
Victoria 1950
Outstanding Senior Citizen - Victoria 1970

Joyce Helen
Suffer the Little Children to
Come Unto Me and Forbid
Them Not; For Such is the
Kingdom of God.

Marie Witte
President of Legislative Wives Club
President of "Save the Children"
Outstanding Citizenship Award


Our Baby
Joyce Helen Cory
June 4, 1948
Full Name: Richard H. Cory
AKA: Dick
Location: Section:Patriots' Hill, Section 1 (A)
Row:J  Number:11
Reason for Eligibility: Member, Texas House of Representatives 
Birth Date: April 7, 1918 
Died: December 5, 2009 
Burial Date: December 9, 2009 

CORY, RICHARD H. "Dick" (1918 ~ 2009). The following is a biography for Richard H. "Dick" Cory, former Texas legislator. The obituary was provided by Cook-Walden Funeral Home of Austin.

Richard H. “Dick” Cory died Saturday at the age of 91, after years of service as a legislator, attorney, and civil servant. 

Mr. Cory is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Marie Helen Witte Cory of Austin. He is also survived by his daughter, Mary Beth Kenworthy and husband Paul of Odessa, Texas; daughter Susan Cory and husband Jim Builta of Austin, Texas; three grandchildren, Cory Canon and husband Christopher of Midland, Texas; Paula Kenworthy of Washington, D.C.; Craig Kenworthy of Lubbock, Texas; sister-in-law Lynette Franklin of Victoria, Texas; dear friend Msgr. Eustace A. Hermes of Victoria, Texas; and various other relatives.

Mr. Cory was raised in San Francisco, California, and he earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. His education was interrupted by his service in World War II, attaining the rank of ordnance master sergeant in the Army. He was awarded a presidential citation for developing a gun sight adopted by the army. He was stationed at Foster Field in Victoria, where he met and married his wife Marie. After the war, he completed his law degree in California, then moved to Victoria and began a legal practice. 

Mr. Cory served in the Texas Legislature representing Victoria and Calhoun Counties from 1955 until 1971. He served as Speaker Pro Tem during his final term. He was chairman of the Rules, State Affairs, Revenue and Taxation, House Investigation, and other committees. He carried and passed major legislation to improve many aspects of life in Texas, including a bill which created protection for the near-extinct Whooping Cranes, and a refuge and sanctuaries for other birds and wildlife, mostly along the Texas coast. In 1971 he was honored by receiving a bronze Whooping Crane at an appreciation barbeque by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce for his years of work to protect the Whooping Crane and other fowl and wildlife in the coastal areas. He also promoted protection of the endangered horned toad species.

A special House Resolution passed upon his retirement characterized him as “the man with the seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy”, and further said, “the list of important legislation which the eminent statesman has introduced in the Legislature reads like the entire docket of a major legislative committee, and many of the measures resulted in greater efficiency and integrity in state government: he was one of the three authors of the Lobbyist Control bill, was author of a Law Enforcement Study Commission measure, author of the Little Hoover Commission bill, co-author of the teachers’ pay raise bill of 1961, and co-author of the Teacher’s Retirement Act of 1963, and the teacher pay raise bills of 1965 and 1967.” He also passed bills on engineer licensing, legislative redistricting, water pollution control, community property laws, and the Texas Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Texas A&M University.

Mr. Cory introduced and passed a bill to create the Texas Commission on Constitutional Revision, and served on that commission. He taught law courses at the University of Houston Law Center, and authored a widely-used index of Rules of the Texas House and the Texas Constitution until recent years.

An avid worker for the Boy Scouts, Mr. Cory was scoutmaster for a Sea Scouts troop which he led for many years. He also worked with the Boy Scout Council, and was vice-president of the Capital Area Council. He was awarded scouting’s highest award of Silver Beaver in 1968. He was also an organizer of the Victoria Youth Council and served on numerous other civic groups in Victoria and Austin. It was frequently said, “Whenever three people got together [in the district], Dick Cory was always one of the three.” The rural areas always knew when he was passing through because they heard his signature campaign songs, “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, blaring from loudspeakers on his car.

In 1950 he was named Victoria’s Outstanding Young Man, and in 1969 was recipient of the Rotary Club’s Senior Citizen Award at the Victoria Chamber of Commerce annual banquet. He also received numerous other awards for his civic contributions. 

After retiring from the legislature he was Executive Director of the Texas Brewers’ Institute, and later Vice-President, Government Affairs, for Central & Southwest Services, Inc., representing the company in Texas and Washington, D.C. He practiced law “of counsel” with the law firms Redford, Wray, & Woolsey and Broyles and Pratt until the age of 86. Dick and Marie enjoyed hosting numerous large parties and family picnics, and traveled extensively over the years. 

Mr. Cory was an avid hunter and outdoorsman, particularly with his daughter Susan, and continued to successfully hunt until age 88.

The family will receive friends at the Cook-Walden Funeral Home on North Lamar from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8th, with recitation of the Holy Rosary to begin at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Theresa Catholic Church at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by burial at the Texas State Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Boy Scouts of America or the Austin Meals on Wheels program.

Further information is available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.

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