Peyton Dabney Cauley
March 19, 1932 – January 6, 2020
Peyton Dabney “Dab” Cauley passed on from this Earth on Sunday, January 5, 2020, at his home in Spicewood, Texas. He was surrounded by love and his family and went peacefully in his sleep. He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara, his daughter, Laurie Couch, and her husband, Mark, son Steve and his wife, Betsy, son Terry and his wife, Tina, and son-in-law Don Gray; grandchildren, Tyler Musgrave and his wife, Jessica, Melanie Lawson and her husband Tyler Dean, Trenton Musgrave, Tanner Musgrave, Taylor Shealy and her husband, Rick, Collin Cauley and his wife, Alissa, James Cauley and his wife, Maddie, Troy Cauley, and Sarah Cauley; great grandchildren Luke Musgrave, Emily Musgrave, Payton Shealy, Conner Lawson, Clara Lawson, Jaden Shealy, and Presley Shealy. He was preceded in death by his mother, Clara Cauley, his beloved daughter, Charlotte Gray, his father, Troy Cauley, and his sister, Carolyn Berry.
Dabney was born March 19, 1932 in Atlanta but spent most of his growing up years in Fort Worth. He developed polio in the summer of 1946 during a terrible epidemic that claimed the lives of dozens of children. He was not expected to live but made a miraculous recovery after he said he was told by God he would live to be an old man. He would later credit that event as a major pillar of his faith.
He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Business in 1953, then went into the air force where he was trained as a pilot. After completing his air force training he married the love of his life, Barbara McPherson, and was hired by American Airlines, taking them to New York City. Always a Texan at heart, though, he, Barbara, and their first-born child Charlotte moved back to Texas where he landed a job as the corporate pilot for the Glastron Boat Company. He moved up the ranks at Glastron rather quickly, becoming the vice-president of marketing and one of the creators of the Batboat, which Glastron designed for the 1966 Batman film. Later that year, Dabney acquired Continental Cars with business partner Harry Peterson. Continental Cars was the first dealership of its kind in Austin, selling Mercedes-Benz, various British imports, Toyota, Honda motorcycles, and ultimately Honda cars, becoming the first Honda automobile dealer in Texas.
Dabney was called back to the air force in 1967 during the Vietnam conflict where he flew C-124 cargo planes. Decades later he would be diagnosed with cancer linked to his exposure to Agent Orange.
Dabney loved cars, loved flying, loved spending time on the lake, but his primary love was spending time with his family. Many summers were spent on South Padre Island or in Leakey, Texas at “Camp Frio,” the name he gave his vacation home on the Frio River. He was also deeply committed to Saint Matthews Episcopal Church in northwest Austin, where he served on the vestry, the building committee, and the search committee for a new rector, which ultimately led to the hiring of Chuck Huffman, one of many close friends Dabney and Barbara made while at Saint Matthews. After moving out to Lakeway, Dabney and Barbara became members of the Lakeway Church, where Dabney was an elder and taught Sunday school classes. He also became the president of the Lake Travis Crisis Ministry, a food bank and resource center for Lake Travis residents who have fallen on hard times. He often said one of his greatest passions was sharing his love for God with others.
Dabney always busied himself with projects and his final big project was a labor of love; finding enough acreage where his family could build together. He spent the last six years of his life enjoying the presence of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his extensive family and wide scope of dear friends.
A memorial service celebrating Dabney’s life will be held at Lakeway Church, located at 2203 Lakeway Blvd. on Wednesday, January 15, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Lake Travis Crisis Ministry in Dabney’s name.
- Lake Travis Crisis Ministry
- Memorial Service Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Peyton Dabney Cauley
Carolyn Davis Marberry Dalton
January 11, 2020
Such a generous and strong man. My son, Bryan Marberry, spent many days with this family. Bryan’s grandfather, George B Davis died during spring break and Dab immediately put him in his plane and returned him to be with our family.
Prayers for his loved ones during this time of separation. So many loving memories to be cherished.
January 10, 2020
Dabney was a beloved Brother in Christ whom we all loved. His life was a tribute to His Savior and we look forward to being with him once again in God's Heavenly Kingdom. May God's promise of eternal life be a comfort to all of us as we share the sadness of Dabney's passing.