1933 - 2018
Otis W. Templer Jr., 84, passed away on May 8, 2018 at Carillon House in Lubbock, Texas. He was born in Crystal City, Texas, and had lived in Lubbock for the past 49 years. He married Josephine Parks in Dallas. She preceded him in death. He was a member of First United Methodist Church.
He was valedictorian of his high school class and an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1954, and then served as an artillery officer in the United States Army. In 1959, he received a J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law and practiced law for several years in Central Texas. He returned to graduate school at Southern Methodist University, earning a master’s degree in 1964, and later a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969.
He was the first permanent professor of Geography hired at Texas Tech and was among the founders of the Department of Geography. He came to Texas Tech as an Assistant Professor of Geography in 1968, and was promoted through the ranks to Professor in 1978, and he taught at the university for over 45 years. He served as chairman of the Department of Geography for 15 years until 1994, and as associate chair of the Department of Economics and Geography from 1994 to 2001. He retired from full-time teaching in 2001, and continued teaching part-time until 2015. Almost everyone with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Texas Tech has had a class with Dr. Templer. His research primarily revolved around arid lands and water law, largely in Texas.
Survivors include a brother, a son, four daughters, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Texas Tech Foundation, Inc. for the “Otis and Josephine Templer Geography Scholarship Endowment,” c/o P.O. Box 41034, Texas Tech.