Byron M. Tunnell

Portrait of Byron M. Tunnell Headstone Photograph


Byron M.
Oct. 14, 1925
Mar. 7, 2000

Jan. 13,

Bette Lemons
May 19, 1927
Oct. 8, 1988

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend

Back of headstone


Husband and Father
Speaker, Texas House of Representatives
Chairman, Railroad Commission of Texas
U S Naval Air Corp, World War II
Full Name: Byron M. Tunnell
Location: Section:Patriots' Hill, Section 1 (A)
Row:X  Number:23
Reason for Eligibility: Member and Speaker, Texas House of Representatives; Member and Chairman, Railroad Commission of Texas 
Birth Date: October 14, 1925 
Died: March 7, 2000 
Burial Date: March 11, 2000 

TUNNELL, BYRON M. (1925 ~ 2000). The following is an obituary for Byron M. Tunnell, former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

"Byron M. Tunnell was born October 14, 1925, in Tyler, Texas. Mr. Tunnell was educated in Tyler public schools and graduated from Tyler High School and Tyler Junior College. He joined the Naval Air Corps when World War II broke out; he served as a tail gunner. In 1952, he received his law degree from Baylor University and returned to Tyler to become an assistant district attorney before entering private practice.

Mr. Tunnell was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1956 and in 1963 was elected Speaker of the House. In the two years he served as Speaker, the Legislature created the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the state's first tourism department, and transferred what would become Padre Island National Seashore to the Federal Government. In 1965, he was appointed to the Railroad Commission by Governor John Connally allowing Ben Barnes to be elected Speaker. Tunnell was twice elected to the Railroad Commission, before resigning in 1973 to become vice president and lobbyist for Houston-based Tenneco Inc., an oil and gas company.

In 1995, Governor George W. Bush appointed Tunnell to overhaul and reorganized the troubled Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He died on March 7, 2000 and was buried at the Texas State Cemetery on March 11, 2000."

The obituary was taken from the Austin-American Statesman, Metro and State section, March 8, 2000 edition.


#8864) Served in the House during the 55th-57th and 59th sessions.
Entered by Administrator on 2/1/1998 12:11:30 PM

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