Longtime West Texas resident Mrs. King (Becky) Terry has donated $100,000 to establish a professorship in family medicine at UT Southwestern, in honor of the two late West Texas physicians who cared for her and her late husband. The gift, made to Southwestern Medical Foundation, creates the Drs. Malone V. Hill and John W. Pate Professorship in Family Medicine.

Mrs. Terry is a former teacher at Alpine High School, as well as a former assistant to the dean at Sul Ross State University, also in Alpine, Texas, located in the Big Bend region of the state. She also was a rancher, alongside her late husband, King Terry Jr., who died in 2011. The couple owned four ranches in three West Texas counties and raised Hereford cattle, Rambouillet sheep and Angora goats.

“Dr. Hill was a surgeon, and Dr. Pate was a general practitioner,” Mrs. Terry said. “They both took care of Mr. Terry and me for many years, and we had very good health because of those two gentlemen. They were just ahead of their time. I wanted to do something in their memory and thank them for practicing rural medicine.”

Mrs. Terry chose UT Southwestern to establish a professorship because of her friendship with Dr. Kern Wildenthal, dean and president of UT Southwestern from 1980 to 2008 and currently senior consultant at Southwestern Medical Foundation. Dr. Wildenthal was one of Mrs. Terry’s former students at Alpine High. In addition, Dr. Wildenthal’s father, the late Bryan Wildenthal, was president of Sul Ross University when Mrs. Terry worked there.

“Having lived most of her life in a small West Texas town, Mrs. Terry understands the importance of family medicine practitioners and the bonds they build with their patients,” said Dr. Wildenthal. “Her gift was made to honor the doctors who cared for her and her husband for decades and to encourage future physicians to establish those kinds of relationships with their patients throughout their careers in medicine. This generous donation, given in the name of others, is typical of her thoughtfulness and her desire to help others.”

Mr. Terry attended Texas A&M University and later graduated from Rutgers University. He served during World War II, receiving the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Patriot Medallion of Honor and Remembrance. After his military service, he returned to West Texas, where he and Mrs. Terry began their ranching career. The couple was married 62 years.

Mrs. Terry began teaching school during a drought in the 1950s, she said, when the couple needed additional income. She has been an active member of the Texas CattleWomen for years, and was honored with the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award last year. Mrs. Terry has been the chairman of the State and National Beef Cookoff, a board member of the Chicago Livestock and Meat Board, a board member of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and she worked on the very first Texas CattleWomen committee to pass the Beef Checkoff. She has traveled to Taiwan and Hong Kong representing the U.S. Meat Export Federation and has been honored as a Distinguished Member of the board of directors of the National Livestock and Meat Board, a member of the Big Bend Cowboy Hall of Fame, and Distinguished Alumni of Sul Ross State University. She also was recognized with the Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturist Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University.

“Mrs. Terry and her late husband are some of the most generous people I’ve ever known in my life,” said Dr. John Pate Jr., a cosmetic surgeon in El Paso and son of the late Dr. Pate, whom the newly established professorship honors. “All of this was a surprise, but it’s not a surprise that Mrs. Terry does things like this.”

The late Dr. Pate graduated from what is now Baylor College of Medicine in 1940, when it was located in Dallas. He served in World War II and subsequently moved to West Texas, where he practiced family medicine for more than 50 years. He retired in 1996 and died in 1999. All three of his sons are doctors, and all three have close ties to UT Southwestern. Dr. John Pate Jr. received his residency training at the medical center; Dr. Mark Pate is a faculty member in the medical school’s department of family medicine, based at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth; and Dr. Bart Pate was a medical school graduate and surgery resident at UT Southwestern.

The late Dr. Hill also graduated from Baylor, Dallas, and moved to Alpine in 1937, where he established a surgical practice and opened a small hospital. He served in World War II as head of a Navy surgical team. He returned and established the Alpine Hospital, the largest surgical facility for a 150-mile radius for many years. Dr. Hill died in 1997.

The two doctors were associates and close friends.

“The Hill family feels quite humbled to have this honor bestowed by Becky and King Terry in memory of our father,” said Dr. Malone Hill Jr., an orthopaedic surgeon in Austin.

Mr. and Mrs. King Terry Jr. 

Ronald and Phyllis Steinhart