John Henry Depew
DEPEW, JOHN HENRY
Born Forest Hills, Long Island, New York, April 11, 1931. Son of aviation pioneer Richard Henry Depew, Jr. of New York and Nellyne Hill Merrill of Dalla Texass. His father soloed in Paris, France in 1911 becoming the second youngest licensed pilot in the world at that time. His mother was one of the first graduates of The Hockaday School in Dallas Class of 1919. John graduated from Cornell University in 1953, a member of Delta Phi Fraternity and of Sphinx Head, the senior men's honorary society. An Air Force officer during the Korean/Cold Wars, he served as a radar interceptor weapons controller and intelligence officer in the Alaskan, Air Defense, and Strategic Air Commands. His active duty and Air Force Reserve career rounded out sixteen years with Honorable Discharge in 1969 as a Captain during the war in Viet Nam. Active in the banking industry for twenty-six years, he served as an officer of three major bank holding companies in Dallas. His twenty years at First National Bank in Dallas (which group has been succeeded by Bank of America from which he is retired) conferred the title of Vice President, Trust Marketing. John also served as Vice President of Corporate Trust Marketing at M Bank. Thereafter he served on the marketing staffs of the Southwest Homefurnishings Association, The National Association of Party and Paper Retailers and the Home Furnishings International Association, all three of which were headquartered at the World Trade Center in Dallas. While there he helped plan and produce eight major trade shows. For many years he served as President and Trustee of the Rehobeth Cemetery Association in Fannin County, Texas where his great great great grandfather had located as a pioneer settler from Georgia in 1852. First members of the Depew family were active in business, trade, stock raising and agriculture during the Republic of Texas in the 1830's. His father's family were French Huguenots from Paris who came to New Amsterdam, now New York City, in 1661 becoming pioneer settlers of Staten Island and early citizens of what is now Rockland, Orange, and Westchester Counties. A number of them subsequently fought in the American Revolution and several saw Lord Cornwallis surrender his British army at Yorktown in 1781. John's great grandfather's cousin was Chauncey Mitchell Depew of Peekskill, New York. He was designated by President Johnson as the first U. S. Minister to Japan in 1867. Chauncey later became President and Chairman of the Board of the Vanderbilt's New York Central Railroad System, received New York State's ninety-nine votes for U. S. President as that State's "favorite son" at the Republican Convention of 1887. He was orator at the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty and served as United States Senator from 1899-1911. John's mother's family, the Gilliams, were French Huguenot settlers of Virginia in 1687. His beloved wife, Susan Maury, is a descendant of French Huguenot Matthew Maury and Mary Anne Fontaine who settled in Virginia in 1718. A member of that family was world-renowned scientist Matthew Fontaine Maury, the "Pathfinder of the Seas" and the father of oceanography. Another Maury was President Thomas Jefferson's teacher. John Depew appeared during four seasons on the TV series DALLAS, did a Chevrolet TV commercial, a magazine cover and promotional public relations assignments for Ford Motor Company and others. He participated in the making of some fourteen movies including a part in JFK. Some of his happiest hours were spent with his family, wife Susan, four sons and a daughter in camping and traveling. Active in the Boy Scouts of America and the YMCA, one of his on-going favorite projects was in being a volunteer with his wife in helping build the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden for all to enjoy. John also held various memberships in the: Air Force Association; Air Force Historical Foundation; Air Force Museum Foundation; American Air Museum In Britain (Founding Member); American Institute of Banking; Arnold Air Society; Association Of Former Intelligence Officers; Cornell Club of North Texas (Ex-President); Council of Profit Sharing Industries; Dallas Council On World Affairs; Dallas Estate Planning Council; Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce (Director Aviation Portfolio); International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; National Air And Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution; Naval Aviation Museum Foundation; National Honor Society; Pi Delta Epsilon Honorary Journalism Fraternity; Republican National Committee; Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza; Texas Bankers Association. An Administrative Board Member of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, John's greatest treasures in life were his family, loyal friends, and growing relationship with his Creator. Survived by beloved wife of 51 years, Susan Ann Maury Depew; son John Henry Depew, Jr.; daughter and son-in-law Anne Fontaine and Michael Sheaffer; son and daughter-in-law Richard Maury and Hedda Dederichs Depew; son and daughter-in-law David Russell and Lisa Blevins Depew; son and daughter-in-law Robert Lawrence and Kristin Pavuk Depew; grandchildren Natalie Katharina Depew; Jean-Michel Richard Depew; Isabella Anika-Dorothea Depew; Evan Robert Depew, Alexa Lauren Depew, Travis Christian and Hannah Nicole Sheaffer; brother Mazel Melburn Merrill, Sr.; brother's daughter-in-law Lindsey and son Austin Merrill; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Major James Russell Maury, USAF Ret., Mary Louise Kaylor Maury and children Lee Ann, Beth and Scott Kaylor Maury; and cousin Patsy Aucoin. Cremation followed by interment at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas. Memorial services Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road, Dallas. Reverend Stan Copeland and Reverend Don Benton officiating. Reception immediately following in adjoining Asbury Hall. At the request of John Depew, memorials may be made to Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, care of John H. Depew, P.O. Box 572, Addison, Texas, 75001. All gifts to be used for permanent memorial marker on the grounds of the Dallas Arboretum.
March 19, 2007
To Susie, John, Ann, Richard, and Rob-
I extend my deepest sympathy and my most heartfelt sadness at the loss of your beloved husband and father.
John was such a nice man. He was always so good to our whole family, particularly to Philip.
I will miss talking with him whenever I am in Dallas.
Love, Linda Cheek Imbler
Linda Imbler (Wichita, KS)
March 15, 2007
My profound sympathies to Susie and the children for the loss of a wonderful friend, parent and true gentleman.
Janelle Stewart (Bedford, TX)