Mary Craver Denny

Portrait of Mary Craver Denny No Headstone Photograph Available

Full Name: Mary Craver Denny
Location: Section:Statesman's Meadow, Section 1 (E)
Row:V  Number:32
Reason for Eligibility: Member, Texas House of Representatives 
Birth Date: July 9, 1948 
Died: September 14, 2023 
Burial Date: October 2, 2023 

DENNY, MARY CRAVER (1948 ~ 2023). The following is an obituary for former Texas House Member Mary C. Denny. The obituary was provided by Bill DeBerry Funeral Directors of Denton.

The Honorable Mary Craver Denny was, without doubt or hesitation, a remarkable Texan.

Former State Representative Mary Craver Denny passed unexpectedly Thursday evening, at peace and surrounded by loved ones. She was 75. Mary embodied the spirit of a true Texan: She was warm and welcoming to every new face, was a formidable but fair opponent in debates, and loved her family and friends wholeheartedly.

Born to Lois and Kenneth Craver on July 9, 1948, Mary grew up in Houston. She attended St. John’s School and graduated from Lamar High School in 1966. Even as a young woman, Mary was a dedicated Republican — as a senior in high school, she worked hard to campaign for George Bush Sr.’s election to Congress. Growing up, she often visited her family’s ranch, where her mother was born, in Denton county. The Craver Ranch, as it is still known today, was her home until her passing.

She attended the University of Texas at Austin for a time before transferring to the University of North Texas, where in 1973 she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and a minor in chemistry. During this time, she married her first husband, Hank Denny, and in 1977 they had a son, Bryan.

Mary was incredibly active in the Denton community and worked relentlessly to represent the needs of her constituents while she was in office. Her most recent accomplishment was an appointment to the University of North Texas Board of Regents. She was a Lifetime Member of the UNT President’s Council, a member of the Denton Benefit League, United Way, City Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Current Century Department of Ariel Club. She had a deep love for the arts and was a longtime member of the Greater Denton Arts Council and the Gaylord-Hughes Foundation.

But Mary’s true passion in life was Texas politics: Just six months after she moved to Denton, she was invited to be the Republican Precinct Chairman for her area. She served as Chairman of the Denton County Republican Party from 1983 until 1991. In 1984, she launched the party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner, and in 1985, she was named an outstanding volunteer. In 1991, she was recognized by the Texas Federation of Republican Women as one of the year’s Ten Outstanding Republican Women.

This tenure was followed by seven terms in the Texas House of Representatives, from 1993 to 2007.

Mary once described her work in the House as “the most rewarding job I have ever had in my life — I would not trade it for the world. I am proud that I have been able to help people solve problems that affect their everyday lives … My heart is in the Texas House of Representatives.”

While in the House, Mary served as treasurer for the House Republican Legislative Caucus, and was a board member for both the Texas Conservative Coalition and the Lone Star Leadership Foundation. She was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Southern Legislative Conference, and she was an honorary member of Executive Women in Texas Government. She was repeatedly recognized for her steadfast conservative voting record by multiple groups. Mary was awarded the Outstanding Texas Legislator Award and had a 100% rating from the American Family Association of Texas during both the 74th and 75th Legislative sessions. She received Common Cause’s Star of Service Award in 1995 for the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.

There is no way to catalog Mary’s entire list of accomplishments here — they were as vast and varied as her interests. She was the kind of woman that you could not help but be proud to know. Her political zeal was just the beginning of her zest for life. Mary adored her friends, in particular Jenny Craig and Gwynne Brooks, both beloved to her since they were in kindergarten together. She loved her family greatly, and was known to host holiday parties and keep an open door for summer days by the pool. She was a world traveler and had visited all seven continents, amassing friends, stories and various trinkets from her experiences around the globe.

Mary is survived by her son, Bryan Denny, and his fianceé, Kelly McCarty; her step-daughter, Wenter Anderson, and her children, McKenna and Christian Blair; countless friends; and her two beloved dogs, Bishop and Gidget.

The Honorable Mary Craver Denny will be laid to rest in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Honorable Mary Craver Denny Scholarship Fund, which supports students in need at the University of North Texas ( A celebration of life will be held in Denton county on September 30. Information about services will be posted on Mary Denny’s Facebook page, and all are welcome to join in remembrance of her life.

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