F.C. “Jack” Kingsbery Passes Away
F.C. “Jack” Kingsbery passed away February 25, 2016, in Kerrville, Texas. He was born May 26, 1922, in Santa Anna, Texas, to the late Howard T. and Mabel Woodward Kingsbery. He grew up on the Kingsbery family ranch in Coleman County. Jack entered Texas A&M in fall 1941 as a member of the class of ’45. In September 1943 Jack entered the Army Air Corps served in the 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force, 458th bomb group, at Horsham St. Faith Air Base, Norwich, Norfolk, England.
Jack returned to Texas A&M 1946 where he was president of A&M’s Saddle and Sirloin Club and a charter member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Jack designed a rodeo arena for Texas A&M and raised funds to build it. In later years he and wife Evelyn became charter members of the NIRA Alumni Association and helped raise funds for rodeo scholarships.
After graduating from A&M, Jack bought cattle and began ranching and cowboying in South Texas. He rounded up “mossyback” wild cattle out of the brush country for ranchers who hadn’t been able to get help during the war years. He married schoolteacher and ranch woman Evelyn Bruce, also from Santa Anna, on June 30, 1951. They ranched in Zavala County near Batesville and Crystal City, raising crossbred cattle and Quarter Horses. The drought of the 1950’s devastated the cattle business, and they had to move their cattle several times as stock tanks and wells dried up. The grass eventually gave out so he spent two scorching South Texas summers burning spines off prickly pear cactus to keep their cattle alive.
Jack added Thoroughbreds to his Quarter Horse business, standing Native Native, a son of the famous Native Dancer, at stud at their farm near Crystal City. He acquired Mogford Manufacturing in 1963, making livestock squeeze chutes, and designed other ranch equipment, such as calf cradles, revolving saddle display racks, and steel gun safes. Jack was member and president of the Zavala County Agricultural Exposition, and was proud of having weighed all the 4-H and FFA show livestock for 50 years.
Jack and Evelyn began raising registered Beefmaster cattle, and he was elected to the board of Beefmaster Breeders Universal, helping promote and improve the breed. Jack was elected to the board of the borrower-owned Federal Land Bank (now Capital Farm Credit Association) and served several terms.
Jack wrote two best-selling books about his experiences in the cattle business: “Cowboy Wrecks & Rattlesnakes” and “Yes, I’m Still Alive”.
Jack is survived by his wife of 64 years, Evelyn Bruce Kingsbery; four children: Ann Hilliard and husband Mike of Show Low, Arizona; Bob Kingsbery and wife Kerri of Frisco, Kay Bell of Kerrville; and Bruce Kingsbery and wife Karyn of Uvalde; seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Margaret Bruce Robin of Houston. Services will be in Santa Anna on Saturday, March 5, 2016. For details contact Henderson Funeral Home in Santa Anna.
Memorials: Santa Anna, Texas Cemetery Fund, National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Scholarship Fund, Alamo Hospice