Baylor Mourns Death of Emeritus HHPR Professor

Aug. 6, 2008
News Photo 4530Robert J. Denton

Robert Jacobson Denton, 80, Professor Emeritus of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at Baylor University, passed away Aug. 5 in a Dallas care center.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Seventh and James Baptist Church, with Dr. Raymond Bailey officiating, assisted by Rev. Lu Treadwell and Mr. Dutch Schroeder.

Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at OakCrest Funeral Home, 4520 Bosque Blvd.

Denton was born July 27, 1928, in Beaumont. He attended the University of Wyoming where he had a football scholarship, but serving in the U.S. Army four years during the Korean conflict interrupted his studies. After his honorable discharge, he completed his studies at Baylor and graduated in 1955. He then earned his master's degree magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 1956.

Bob had a keen interest in coaching, exercise physiology and kinesiology. He served as an assistant football coach at the University of Tennessee after graduation. He then became the head track coach and an assistant football coach at Arkansas State University for three years, before becoming a physical education instructor at the University of Texas.

He came to Baylor in fall 1961 and served as a professor until his retirement in 1999. He married Donna Panknin in 1963, and she was vice president of financial affairs at Baylor until her retirement in 1989.

Bob was a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, American Alliance of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and the Texas Association of Health, Physician Education and Recreation.

He also served on the boards of the Baylor Bear Foundation and the Spenco Corporation. He was a member of Seventh and James Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Donna in 2006; brother, Sam Denton; and sister, Lillian LuPau.

He is survived by three sons, Kyle Denton and wife, Jill of Stockton, Calif., and their children, Paige and Dylan, Mark Denton and wife, Fran of Athens, Texas, and their son, Travis, and Pat Denton of Waco and his children, Patrick Denton and Melissa Kaiser and her husband Kim, and a great-grandchild, Ember Kaiser; two daughters, Kris Denton of Denver and her son, Caleb, and Diane Davis and her husband, Eddie of Dallas; and a sister, Diane Blank and her husband, Richard of Lago Vista and their children, Felicia, Cicely and Elena.

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