Montgomery County loses “Prince of Conroe”: Raymond Arthur “Mickey” Deison

Montgomery County loses “Prince of Conroe”: Raymond Arthur “Mickey” Deison

Image: Raymond Arthur “Mickey” Deison, May 6, 1931, to October 13, 2020.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, October 14 – Raymond Arthur “Mickey” Deison, the only man in Montgomery County history to serve both as a Mayor of Conroe and as the Montgomery County Judge, went into the arms of the Lord yesterday morning after suffering from the Chinese Coronavirus. Deison was one of the most beloved figures in this community, a highly respected attorney, a great community leader, a terrific father to his three children, and one of the funniest human beings ever to live on this planet.

Rigby Owen, Jr., told The Golden Hammer, “I’ve known Mickey since 1953. We were back door neighbors for 20 years. Our kids grew up together. Our families went on a trip to New Zealand together. He was a fine person. I can’t say enough about him. He was a good mayor and a good county judge. We’ve lost a great man.”

Longtime friend Eric Yollick said, “Mickey Deison was truly the Prince of Conroe. He loved the city and its people. He was one of the most gracious people I’ve ever known. His dedication to his family, friends, and anyone who ever asked him for help was at a staggering level.”

Longtime law partner George Gordon said, “He was a great person to practice law with. Our clients loved Mickey. He was one of my best friends. I will miss having lunch with him almost every day.”

Deison was born on May 6, 1931, in Austin, Texas. His father, R.A. Deison, Sr., was a Presbyterian minister. Both the senior Deison and his mother, Helen Kirk Deison were originally from the Austin area. Deison was one of seven children in the family including Peter, David, Rebecca, Patsy, Betty, and Diane.

The Deison family moved to Houston in 1934, when Deison’s father became the Senior Pastor at Northside Presbyterian Church.  They moved to Conroe in 1948 on another Presbyterian assignment, the First Presbyterian Church of Conroe on San Jacinto Street, where the senior Deison served from 1948 to 1957.

Deison began college at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and then briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin. In 1950, he joined the United States Navy and served in the Korean War.

Deison was with General Douglas MacArthur and the United States Marines at the Inchon Landing at the strategic port of Inchon on September 15, 1950.

After he received an honorable discharge from the Navy, Deison returned to Conroe and went to work for Buckalew Chevrolet as a car salesman in 1954. He met his first wife, Justine Calfee, who had grown up in Conroe, and the couple married in 1957.

In 1954 he joined the Conroe Kiwanis Club and helped build the Kiwanis Shelter, operated by the club until 1980.

Justine Deison convinced Mickey to return to college at Sam Houston State University from which he received a Bachelor’s Degree. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Deison went to work as an accountant for Humble Oil Company.

He entered South Texas College of Law, received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1966, passed the State Bar Examination, and began to work as an attorney the same year.

In 1971, Deison ran for Mayor of Conroe, won the election, and served two terms until 1974. After County Judge Lynn Coker chose to become a District Judge, the County Commissioners appointed Deison to serve as Montgomery County Judge in 1977. Deison served as County Judge from 1977 to 1982, after winning election to one full term in 1978. Deison was the last Montgomery County Judge who was an attorney and who heard law cases as the Constitutional County Court.

While Deison was County Judge, he also served as Chairman of the Greater Conroe Chamber of Commerce in 1979.

While serving as County Judge, he initiated and started the Emergency Assistance Agency for the county for the purpose of short-term help for family emergencies. He implemented visits with the County Judges of Liberty and Walker Counties, which resulted in the formation of Tri-County MHMR.

Until his death, Deison practiced law with the law firm of Baggett, Gordon and Deison on San Jacinto Street in downtown Conroe. He was also a member of the Conroe Chamber’s Board of Directors at the time of his death.

The 248-acre Deison Technology Park opened on FM 1484 on May 29, 2013 with Deison making remarks before a ribbon cutting.

Mickey has two daughters, Dana Porter and Taylor Deison, and one son, Michael. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Conroe.

He was the Founder of the Buckner Family Home, which is now Montgomery County Youth Services. He was President of the Houston-Galveston Area Council from 1980 to 1981. He was a Lifetime Vice President of the Montgomery County Fair Association. Deison was President of Universal Land Title, a Director of Allied Conroe Bank, a member of the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, a President of the Montgomery County Bar Association in 1977, Co-Vice Chairman of the Governor’s County Official Advisory Committee in 1982, a George F. Hixon Fellow of Kiwanis International, and a True Texian since 1984.

Deison served as the City Attorney for the City of Shenandoah for almost two decades.

Deison had an amazing sense of humor. He always greeted the challenges in his life, of which there were many, with joviality and kindness.

The Deison family has not yet announced formal memorial and funeral arrangements.

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