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John DeShazo Jr. '49 February 10, 2024 11:11 AM updated: February 10, 2024 11:21 AM

John Jenkins DeShazo, Jr. 

August 23, 1927 - January 1, 2024 

John Jenkins DeShazo, Jr., entered into the presence of his LORD and Savior on January 1, 2024 in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 96. He is preceded in death by his wife of nearly 61 years, Mary Bonner Burke DeShazo; his father, John Jenkins DeShazo, Sr.; and his mother, Mary Isaacs DeShazo. John is survived by his son, Charles Lee DeShazo; wife, Lucy Hollands DeShazo; and grandson, David Barton DeShazo.

A memorial service for John will be at 2pm Friday, February 9, at Park Cities Baptist Church - Ellis Chapel, 3933 Northwest Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75225.

In a career spanning 74 years, John served his profession, country, and community well. After receiving his civil engineering degree from Texas A&M University in January of 1950, he spent the first six years of his career with the Texas Highway Department in the Texas Panhandle. John completed the certificate program at the Bureau of Highway Traffic at Yale University and soon thereafter joined the City of Amarillo as its first traffic engineer. He subsequently became the director of streets and traffic in 1962. Truly a leader and pioneer in the traffic and transportation engineering profession, John led MUTCD committees in Washington, D.C., representing ITE for several decades. Other regional and national service included serving as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation Field Review Team, 1974 National Transportation Study, and Former Head of Department 5, Technical Council, Institute of Transportation Engineers.

From 1966 to 1975, John served as the Director of Transportation for the City of Dallas. He built a respected transportation organization, the first of its kind in Dallas where he was tasked with replacing traffic signs to comply with now-adopted MUTCD. He revolutionized traffic operations with new methodologies such as protected left-turn phases. It was a different time championed by pioneers like John. In 1975, John joined the firm of Young-Hadawi (later Young-Hadawi-DeShazo), where he established a transportation consulting practice. In 1980, John founded the firm of DeShazo, Starek & Tang (later DeShazo, Tang & Associates Inc., and now DeShazo Group, Inc.), and served as president for more than 20 years and then as chairman.

John was active in civic affairs, serving on the board of the Greater Dallas Planning Council, Chairman of the Transportation Committee for Goals for Dallas, as a member of the North Central Task Force in the North Central Expressway Corridor of Dallas, and as a member of the Transportation Committee for the City of Dallas. He was a recipient of the Greater Dallas Award of Merit presented by the Citizen's Traffic Safety Committee. John was a long-time active member of ITE. He served as president of the Texas Section, was a member of the District Board, chairman of ITE's Technical Council, and served as the general chair of ITE's 1994 Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Dallas. He was recognized as TexITE's Transportation Engineer of the Year in 1984 and was a key player in the formation of TexITE's Dallas Chapter. He was also president of the High Plains Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of two chapters (Panhandle and Dallas) of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. He was also a member of the Transportation Committee for the American Consulting Engineers Council. John was the 73rd professional bestowed Honorary Membership by ITE International in 2004.

John served his country as an officer in the US Army Reserves for more than 30 years, retiring as a Colonel. In addition to that service, he and his wife Bonner were active members of Park Cities Baptist Church for many years. Other organizations John was involved with included Rotary International, the World Affairs Council of Greater Dallas, the Boy Scouts of America, American Cancer Society (Amarillo) where he served as President, as well as numerous other community organizations.

Perhaps above all else, John's greatest service to the profession was his commitment to mentoring young professionals. Beginning at the City of Dallas and continuing through his consulting career, John recruited and hired the best and then trained and inspired them. Many of those who worked for him have gone on to positions of prominence, either in the public sector or as leaders of consulting firms. His "alumni" include more than 40 current members of ITE, at least 12 of whom have later served as city or county directors of transportation. For John's 93rd birthday in 2020, more than 60 of his former employees and colleagues created a video tribute that is a testament to the profound impact he had on the transportation community.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the John J. DeShazo, Jr. '49 Memorial Scholarship at the Texas A&M Foundation. You may make your gift online (website: or by check, made payable to Texas A&M Foundation. Please note John's name on the gift and mail to: Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840. Phone: 979.845.8161 

Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Hillcrest Mausoleum & Memorial Park 


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