James Everett Saxton Jr., 74, a Palestine hometown hero, and Texas Longhorns legendary All-American, died Wednesday, May 28, 2014 after a long battle with dementia.
He was born on May 21, 1940, to James E. Saxton Sr. and Rachel Sutton Saxton.
Growing up, you could find him making memories with his sister and cousins, as well as playing football, basketball, or running any race he could. After graduating Palestine High School in 1958, he went onto become a legendary halfback and was the first Longhorns running back to be named All-American. He still holds the record for best per carry average in a season, and finished 3rd for the Heisman in 1961.
Their hometown of Palestine would be where Saxton met and fell in love with Carol Ann Logan. He went on to Texas, and she to SMU, but following college graduation they would marry on June 1, 1962. At that same time, he would sign with the Dallas Texans, but later decided to enter the banking business. He was an exceptional businessman and went on to become the chairman of the board of Texas Commerce Bank in Austin, and worked in the banking business for 27 years. During this time, he became one of Austin's civic leaders, was head of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, served for a time as chairman of the State Board of Insurance, and he along with his wife, were founding members of two of Austin’s, now largest churches. He was also an avid fisherman, hunter, and coach, spending much of his time outdoors doing the things he loved.
Saxton is survived by his beloved and devoted partner of 52 years, Carol Ann; his daughter, Shelley Earnest and son-in-law Paul; his daughter, Cathy Alexander and son-law Charlie, and his son, James Saxton III (Jimmy), and daughter-in-law Suzy; grandsons John and Samuel Saxton, and Brandon Earnest; granddaughters Kylie and Taylor Alexander, and Logan Earnest. He is also survived by his sister, Martha Davis; and numerous cousins, nieces and his nephew.