Gary Denton Fender, 74, died July 10, 2016, at his home in Duncanville, Texas.

Born June 30, 1942 in Austin, he was the son of James and Dorothy Fender. His father’s work with Mobil Oil took the family to Venezuela and then to New York. Mr. Fender spent his high school years in Rye, where he was a star player on the Garnets Football team. After graduating from Rye High School in 1960, he returned to Texas on a football scholarship to Southern Methodist University. A football injury during his sophomore year led to a part-time position with First Southwest Investment Bankers and the discovery of his life’s work.

Upon graduation, in 1965, Mr. Fender went to work as a trader at First Southwest and remained there for 20 years. He was a member of the Dallas Securities Traders Association, as well as the National Securities Traders Association, now known as the Securities Traders Association, and was named Chairman in 1988, one of the youngest members voted to represent the organization.


He finished his highly respected career with Jefferies and Company in 2002. In addition to his professional work, he also served his country in the Army Reserve.


In 1967, through mutual friends from SMU, he met and married Mary Ellen Wilbanks of Dallas. Among his happiest times were coaching his daughters’ sports teams, family vacations in the Colorado Rockies, and sharing time with his grandchildren.


In addition to his wife of 48 years, Mary Ellen Fender, he is survived by his daughters, Michelle Elaine (Zach Stowe), Melinda Fender, and Cary Estes (Robert Bonner), and five grandchildren, who affectionately knew him as “Bear.” He is also survived by his sister, Marianne Buchanan, and his brother James Fender and his wife Kathy.


A Memorial Service was held July 16 at Saint Anne Episcopal Church in DeSoto, Texas.

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich


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