Manuel DeBusk of Van, Texas, died on Oct. 24, 2011, at age 97.
He is survived by his brother, Gib DeBusk (wife Ruth) and his nieces and nephews, Michele Plummer, Barrett DeBusk, Brook DeBusk, Melissa Carr, Clint DeBusk and Cara DeBusk.
Manuel was born in Brown County and grew up in Idalou, where he attended school. He began college at age 14 at Wayland College in Plainview, Texas, and subsequently attended Texas Tech. A longtime supporter of Tech, he later became Chairman of the Board of Control and supported its designation as Texas Tech University.
Manuel became active in politics at an early age. He guided the last and successful political campaign of U.S. Senator Morris Sheppard who, at that time, was the oldest serving senator in Congress. At Senator Sheppard’s invitation, Manuel moved to Washington, D.C., where he continued to develop his love of politics. He completed his law degree in D.C. and returned to Texas as a senior official in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Manuel continued to pursue his interest in politics at both the state and national levels. He was an active organizer of the successful nomination of Lyndon Johnson for the presidency.
During World War II, Manuel served as a special agent within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He then returned to Dallas, Texas, where he and his new wife, Edith, formed the law office of DeBusk and DeBusk, in which he remained active for many years. Over time he combined his legal expertise and his interest in business to develop several successful enterprises in the Dallas and Lubbock areas. Upon the death of his father, Clint DeBusk of Idalou, Texas, he, with his brother, Gib DeBusk, continued to operate the homestead farm for his surviving mother, Ollie DeBusk.
Manuel generously contributed his business talents to the commercial efforts of his brother’s children. He developed the marketing plan for Barrett DeBusk, who has become a sculptor of international renown. He also worked with his nephew, Clint DeBusk, in real estate and commercial contracting ventures.
With his first wife, Edith, Manuel established the DeBusk Foundation, which was designed to identify and provide special support for talented children at an early age, before other sources of support would be available to them. The Foundation remains active today and is supported by Manuel’s estate.
The death of his wife, Edith, was followed by two marriages, to Jean Shelley Henry and subsequently to Darlena Blackwell, both of whom preceded Manuel in death.
Manuel died on Oct. 24, 2011, at age 97. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, at 2 p.m. in Resthaven Memorial Park’s Mausoleum Chapel with entombment to follow alongside his first wife, Edith, and his parents, Clint and Ollie DeBusk. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 12 to 2 p.m., also in the Mausoleum Chapel of Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock, Texas. Condolences may be offered at www.resthavenfuneralhome.com.