Robert A. Dennison Jr.
March 20, 1929 – September 29, 2019
Robert Alfred Dennison, Jr. MD, age 90, died on September 29, 2019. Bob was born March 20, 1929, at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas, to Robert Alfred Dennison, Sr. and Mary Loretta Wyckoff Dennison. He grew up in the new Rio Grande Valley town of Weslaco, Texas, riding his bike to school and his horse, Nellie, for fun. Bob graduated valedictorian of his high school class in 1946. Enrolling as a Plan II Student at the University of Texas at Austin that fall, he earned his BA degree in 3 years, eager to enter UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Bob met Bess Averyt Dennison the summer before starting medical school, and they married two years later on June 16, 1951, a love match that lasted 68 years.
Receiving his MD in 1953 he served in the USAF, interning at Wm. Beaumont Army Hospital in El Paso, Texas, then as a Captain, was the Flight Surgeon at England Air Force Base in Alexandria, LA. Returning to Dallas in 1956, now a family of five, he entered the Orthopedic Surgery program at UT Southwestern Medical School, rotating through Parkland, Baylor and Scottish Rite Hospitals. In 1960, Bob and Bess fulfilled a long desired goal to live and raise their family in Austin, where he began his Orthopedic Surgery practice as the eighth doctor with that specialty in town, and their family grew to seven. Dr. Dennison was a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, belonged to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, Western and Texas Orthopedic Associations, the Travis County Medical Society (serving as president in 1974-75), TMA, AMA, and the Society for Arthritic Joint Surgery. He also served on the Board for the TMA Insurance Trust; was President, Staff of Brackenridge Hospital; and Chairman, Department of Surgery, Seton Hospital, always working to improve health care in Austin, serving with distinction for 38 years. He loved the doctors and nurses he served with, maintaining lasting relationships, always doing his best and expecting that of others.
His other passions were playing golf with his group from Hyde Park Baptist or at Austin Country Club, his Tuesday morning Bible Study group at ACC, opening day of dove season hunting with good buddies, travel with family and friends, and woodworking - a hobby that he pursued after retirement with a shop filled with tools he used to make furniture and large crosses, meeting new friends in the process. Flying his own planes provided great memories, traveling to both coasts, Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico, and down to Guatemala and Roatan, Honduras.
But being a father, grandfather and great grandfather was his proudest accomplishment, enjoying seeing the fine people each child and grandchild has become. He was a deacon at Tarrytown Baptist Church, member of Hyde Park Baptist and charter member of Austin Baptist Church, where some of his crosses are hanging.
Bob was predeceased by his parents, his son, David Averyt Dennison, Sister and brother-in-law Sue Averyt Trimble and Charles Nelson Trimble, brother-in-law, Elmore McCall Averyt, MD, niece, Carolyn Trimble Campbell. He is survived by wife, Bess Averyt Dennison; son, Robert A. Dennison III and wife Audrey; daughter, Laura Dennison Koesters and husband, Kurt; son, John R. Dennison; son, Peter Wyckoff Dennison; grandchildren Gabe Dennison and wife Katy, Lucas Dennison, Jack Dennison, granddaughter Jessica Dennison; great grandchildren Blake Olivia Dennison and Dylan Henry Dennison. Also, many beloved nieces and nephews.
The service will be Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 2:00 pm at Austin Baptist Church, 7016 Ribelin Ranch Drive, Austin, TX 78750. Memorial contributions may be made to the “This Mountain is the Lord’s' campaign at Austin Baptist Church, Hospice Austin, or the Settlement Home for Children (settlementhome.org).
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 5, 2019
Robert A. Dennison Jr.
Buddy and Brenda Tipton
October 6, 2019
Dear Bess and Family,
In 1981 Bob and I got together for an "interview", one in which we were seeing if there might be a fit for me in his practice, Medical Park Orthopedic Clinic. I was still in my orthopedic training and was getting ready to spend an extra year specializing in spine surgery. He didn't quite understand why I'd take an additional year to do that, but then he realized that within MPOC the docs were becoming specialized, too. My eternal thanks to him and the others: he called and offered me a position and I enjoyed a decode practicing with Bob. But one thing stood out as I made rounds with him that day- he touched his patients. He'd put a caring hand on their shoulder and that gave them an extra measure of comfort. Ever since, I've done the same.
Brenda was Bob's nurse for years and also observed how compassionate he was as a healer. And Bess, you also gave Brenda words of wisdom when it came to the challenges of raising a large family. Thank you.
Buddy and Brenda Tipton
October 3, 2019
My name is Troy Futrell. I was hired as the first x-ray technician for the new partnership practice of Drs Fred Lowry and Robert Dennison. I had completed my training at Brackenridge Hospital. and it was a pleasure to work for them. Dr Dennison went out of his way to take me under his wing and allowed me to go with him on rounds during the time Dr Lowry was vacationing in Europe with his family. There wasn’t much for me to do at the office so he taught me scrubbing techniques and used my “surgical nursing skills” during some of his surgeries. Dr Dennison also cared for both our children’s orthopedic needs in later years when they participated in athletics. I later became a teacher and coach for 31 years and retired in 1997 and now live in Kingsland, Texas. I feel so fortunate to have known him and always respected and admired his passion and dedication he had towards his patients and office staff. I am happy to say Dr Dennison was someone who made a difference in me becoming a better person. He was a good Christian caring for those in need.