Emily Denman Thuss 1945 - 2016
Remembering MVHA’s founders Emily Denman Thuss
One of MVHA’s founders, Emily Denman Thuss, passed away last December. She is mourned by our neighborhood and by many all across San Antonio.
The Denman family were residents of the Monte Vista neighborhood for generations. The Denman family home, where Emily and her two sisters grew up, was on the northwest corner of French Place and Main Avenue. In her early years, Emily went to school across the street at Saint Mary’s Hall, which was at the location now occupied by San Antonio Academy. Emily married Dr. Charles Thuss and continued to live in Monte Vista. In the early 1970’s, Emily and her sister Molly saw their family home on French Place destroyed to make way for development of apartments. Emily’s burning desire to prevent further loss of old homes inspired her, together with others, to create the Monte Vista Historical Association in 1973. She later led the fight against the demolition of other homes in Monte Vista. She served as MVHA President in 1985 and 1986, and she chaired the development of the Monte Vista Historical District Neighborhood Plan.
The logo of the Monte Vista Historical Association features an image of the lost Denman house. In 2013, the 40th anniversary of MVHA, the Fiesta Medal also saluted the Denman house.
Emily’s efforts at historic preservation extended across San Antonio as she served on the City’s Zoning Commission. She also chaired the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, the Community Leadership Institute, and the San Antonio Housing Trust, which helps disadvantaged people find housing. Emily’s wide-ranging efforts in historic preservation and various philanthropic causes are documented in her obituary, which can be found on the MVHA website.