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Baylor Mourns Passing of Professor Emeritus of Business Law

Dec. 11, 2017

Baylor University is mourning the passing of Leslie A. Rasner, B.B.A. ’48, J.D. ’50, M.B.A., professor emeritus of business law at the Hankamer School of Business. Rasner died Nov. 23 at the age of 95. A private family service was held Nov. 26.

Rasner grew up in Ben Hur, Texas, and served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. Based in Long Beach, California, he taught calisthenics to the sailors and was especially proud of his contribution to the physique of his famous student, Johnny Weissmuller – the original “Tarzan.” Following his service, he and his wife returned to Waco, where they barely survived the devastating Waco tornado in 1953 after a brick building fell on top of them while in their convertible.

Rasner earned his B.B.A. from Baylor, a law degree from Baylor Law School and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. After a stint with the FBI, he became a professor at the business school, where he taught from 1950 until his retirement in 1992. He was instrumental in forming the new insurance program and served as chair of the department of business law, insurance and real estate. He published in the area of insurance law, and his thesis on “Insurable Interests in Texas,” which discussed the “inconsistencies and inadequacies” of insurance laws, was used by the Texas Legislature to help pass new insurance legislation.

Rasner was a lifelong member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. He also was a devoted fan of Baylor athletics and did not miss a game in Floyd Casey Stadium for more than 40 years.

“Les Rasner was a good friend and an ardent Baylor supporter,” said J. Franklin Potts, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, insurance and real estate, who recalled his colleague’s sense of humor. “I always enjoyed having coffee on Monday so I could hear his evaluation of the last football game. We went through some very bad times in football and fired several coaches. One Monday Les said he heard that we were going to hire Lou Holtz. I asked him where he had heard this rumor, and he replied that he had just started it that day. He said rumors have to start somewhere.”

Rasner was preceded in death by his wife, Ernestine, to whom he was married almost 70 years; his parents; and his sister, Nora Hinze.

He is survived by his son, Blake, and wife, Diane; son, Brent, and wife, Mary; grandchildren, Reid, Ross, Ryan, Brady and Shannon Rasner. He also is survived by his brother, Gus Rasner, and wife, Doris; as well as several nieces and nephews.

His family wrote in his obituary: “Les’s legacy of stressing the importance of education, and practicing humility, kindness and devotion to family and friends, will never be forgotten.”

Memorials may be made in Rasner’s honor to Mission Waco or the Waco Humane Society.

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