Manuel and Edith DeBusk established DeBusk Foundation on March 5, 1979, as a means of giving financial support to charitable activities.
Substantially, all monies now in the foundation were contributed by the DeBusks because they wanted to set its goals, elect its directors and point its charitable direction while they were alive. They, therefore, each provided by wills that the survivor of them bequeaths his or her assets to the foundation. Mrs. Edith DeBusk died October 4, 1990, and Mr. DeBusk died October 24, 2011.
Manuel DeBusk was educated in Texas public schools, attended Wayland Junior College, Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) and SMU Law School. He and his wife Edith established a law firm in Dallas specializing in Mortgage and Real Estate Law. He was active in Texas politics from 1936 through 1980.
His long-standing interest in education and civic service led to his appointment as Chairman of the Board of Texas Technological College and Chairman of the Coordinating Board of all Texas colleges and universities. He was an International President of Cosmopolitan International, an international service club. As Chairman of the Board of the Association of Small Foundations(now Exponent Philanthropy) in Washington, DC, he promoted small foundations. He was also a Special Agent with the FBI during World War II. 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 passed away peacefully October 24, 2011, at the age of 97. During the 30 years in which he actively participated as the President of the Board of DeBusk Foundation and then as a Director, more than 12,000 gifted and talented children were awarded scholarships for enrichment courses. He will be missed by all of the lives he touched and dearly remembered for his generosity, integrity and wonderful sense of humor. There’s no telling how many people will be enriched as a result of his and Edith’s vision of doing something good for others. He paid it forward in more ways than can possibly be counted. Manuel often said it would trickle down from where he started, so that our future leaders could some day do great things for others. Manuel once referred to all of the gifted and talented children as “budding geniuses.”
Edith Mann DeBusk
Edith DeBusk was educated in Texas public schools and graduated from SMU Law School. She was one of the outstanding pioneer women lawyers in Texas. She was International President of Altrusa International, one of the large worldwide women’s service clubs. For many years, her health was poor, but it did not stop her from leadership in business and service. Edith was a Founder of DeBusk Foundation along with her husband, Manuel.
Jean Shelley Jennings Henry DeBusk
Jean DeBusk was educated in Texas public schools, Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) and received her Master’s degree from Texas Christian University. She taught in Texas public schools and at Hockaday Private School in Dallas. She was married to Rev. Patrick Henry, long-time Pastor of Northway Christian Church in Dallas. Rev. Henry died in 1983, and Jean married Manuel January 18, 1992. She served on the Board of Directors of DeBusk Foundation and endorsed wholeheartedly the foundation’s objectives until she died January 12, 2001.