The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 Rita Joan <I>Crocker</I> Clements

Rita Joan Crocker Clements

Birth
Newton, Harvey County, Kansas, USA
Death 6 Jan 2018 (aged 86)
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Burial Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Plot Section 58, East side
Memorial ID 110212724 · View Source
Suggest Edits

First Lady of Texas during the two non-consecutive terms of the late Governor Bill Clements from Jan. 16, 1979-Jan. 18, 1983 and again from Jan. 20, 1987-Jan. 15, 1991. Born in Newton, Kansas to the parents of Mason and Florabel Crocker, the family moved to Mason, Texas in 1941. She began school in Newton, Kansas and then attended school in Texas after her father had sold the ranch in Kansas and bought a new ranch in Texas. Her father had served as the Republican county chairman in McCulloch County for an undetermined time that included 1963. She graduated from Hockaday School in Dallas in 1949 and furthered her education at Wellesley College but transferred to the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Spanish and minoring in Government and History-later graduating in 1953. In 1952, Rita married Richard Daniel Bass of Fort Worth, Texas at Saint Paul's Episcopal Church of Brady. They would have four children: two sons and twin daughters, but this first marriage would later end in divorce in 1974. By 1975, Rita would find love again with William P. Clements, Jr., who at the time was serving as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense under the Nixon and Ford administrations. She began her political career as a volunteer for Dwight D. Eisenhower's successful 1952 presidential campaign; by 1958, she rose to Republican Party precinct chairman of Dallas County. Rita Clements was a committed staunch Republican long before the party took control of government in Texas, serving as State co-chair for US Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona)'s unsuccessful 1964 presidential campaign and also served as a member of the Republican National Committee in 1973. From 1972 to 1975, she was a member of the National Advisory Council for Economic Opportunity. Upon the election of her husband, Bill Clements to the Governor's Mansion in 1978, she quickly took charge in preserving Texas history: her leadership of the Texas Main Street Program, which is part of the Texas Historical Commission put her in the forefront of preserving the state's history. The program aimed to maintain local town centers through the preservation of landmarks and the revival of sustaining businesses. During 1979-1982, Clements also spearheaded the renovation of the Governor's Mansion. She and the Governor founded the nonprofit organization: Friends of the Governor's Mansion to raise private money for the project, as well as to funding future maintenance of the mansion. The nonprofit organization initially raised $3 million. The state legislature appropriated an additional $1 million for the restoration. During her husband's second term in office, Clements contributed to the campaign to have the 1888 Texas Capitol restored. In the private sector, she continued to be active in business and civic organizations on heritage preservation, educational, volunteerism and advocacy of women's issues. She served on the boards of LaQuinta Motel Inns, Texas Bank, Bank One Texas, Dr. Pepper, the Dallas Historical Society and the educational foundation: The O'Donnell Foundation of Dallas, which she had co-founded in 1957. In 1996, she was appointed to the University of Texas Board of Regents by Gov. George W. Bush and was later reappointed by Gov. Rick Perry, serving until Nov. 2007. Clements received the Miss Ima Hogg Special Award from the Winedale Society and the Ruth B. Lester Award from the Texas Historical Commission for her work on heritage preservation. In 1991, she was named Distinguished Alumna of the University of Texas. In 1996, she was elected to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. In 2007, the Texas State History Museum Foundation bestowed the former Texas Gov and First Lady with the History-making Texan Award. In 2009, the couple were recipients of the Santa Rita Award for their contributions to the University of Texas System.


Family Members

Parents
Spouses

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

  • Created by: Packers Fan
  • Added: 8 May 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 110212724
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rita Joan Crocker Clements (30 Oct 1931–6 Jan 2018), Find A Grave Memorial no. 110212724, citing Grove Hill Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Packers Fan (contributor 47311047) .