Denius, Renowned Longhorns Booster and War Hero, Passes
A Kappa Alpha brother who was a member of America’s Greatest Generation, an author, and a legendary supporter of his alma mater’s football team, died on July 29 at age 93 at his Tarrytown, Texas home. Franklin W. Denius (Omicron–Texas ’46) was the epitome of a KA brother and gentleman, defending and supporting those in need while living every second of his life to the fullest.
The Texas Longhorns’ special teams at the University of Texas are called “The Special Forces” in honor of Denius, a long-time supporter of the football team who, legend has it, attended more Longhorn football games and practices than any coach over more than 70 years. The Longhorns practice on fields named in his honor on land donated by the Cain Foundation, the non-profit philanthropic organization that Denius was the director of, and which was started by his uncle Wofford Cain. “Frank Denius was the ultimate Longhorn,” said UT President Gregory L. Fenves.
Denius was a hero of World War II who received two Purple Hearts, four Silver Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. After the war he graduated from UT with a degree in business and from the UT Law School in 1949. He then joined one of Austin’s leading law firms, spending nearly 30 years with the firm before entering private practice, where he specialized in representing utility and oil and gas companies before the Texas Railroad Commission. He was a longtime president of Southern Union Gas and director of JP Morgan Chase Bank.
In his book On the Way: My Life and Times, Denius recounted how Texas operated in Lyndon Johnson’s prime, and described his role in helping build a regional university into a global leader. He was the father of Wofford Denius (Omicron–Texas ’71), a prominent Los Angeles entertainment attorney.
Denius was a member of the William A. Walsh Province Court of Honor and a member of the KAOEF’s Crimson & Gold Society.