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Terrellita Fontaine Maverick Lived Up To Her Name

Terrellita Fontaine Maverick at 15 with her parents in Montreal.
Courtesy of Fontaine Maverick
Terrellita Fontaine Maverick at 15 with her parents in Montreal.

Terrellita Fontaine Maverick died in San Antonio on Thursday, May 20. Her obituary puts her at 95 years of age, and her parents were Maury Maverick Sr. and Terrell Dobbs Maverick.

Due to her lineage she had little chance but to lead an interesting life. Her father was a U.S. Congressman, and friend and advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The family moved to Washington, D.C. when he was elected Congressman, and she had personal contact with FDR, LBJ and many others.

Upon return to San Antonio in 1939 her father ran for and became mayor, and Terrellita graduated from Jefferson High School.

Maverick was married twice through the years, having four children in the process, all while earning a journalism degree at Trinity University.

“She was very unpretentious and I’m sorry we didn’t get to spend more time together,” said Bonnie Conner, a former city councilperson and director of the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

Conner worked with Maverick on the Japanese Tea Garden rehabilitation.

“She was very feisty and funny and smart and playful. Probably a very independent woman as she became older because she was certainly an independent young woman,” said Conner.

The Maverick family name has come to be known for individualism — they are the actual reason behind the word being created — and she lived her life up to that. According to her obituary she learned to fly airplanes, soloing when she was just 17. She was also a painter, who took her painting supplies on vacations and painted what she saw.

Terrellita Fontaine Maverick and her family have a picnic at the family cemetery in 2001.
Courtesy of Fontaine Maverick
Terrellita Fontaine Maverick (back) at the family cemetery in 2001.

TPR listeners may remember her appearing on the show Whad'ya Know in 2008 when it came to record a program in the city. She made the crowd laugh by noting what a great stenographer LBJ was when he was on her father’s Congressional staff. She told stories of singing on the radio with Margaret Truman the then vice president’s, daughter, who played piano for her.

The lifelong Democrat also criticized then-Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain for using the term "Maverick" to describe himself.

“He’s not a Maverick in upper case, or lower case. McCain is certainly not a Maverick,” said Terrellita Fontaine Maverick during the taping.

The family said she will be honored with a memorial service later this year.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii