ZWIENER, LONNY FRANKLIN (1925~2005) Lonny Franklin Zwiener was born May 2, 1925, in Cleburne, Texas, to Leon Franklin Zwiener and Nell Irene Miller Zwiener and was raised in Fredericksburg, Texas. He was the great-grandson of early German-Texas immigrants. He was graduated valedictorian from Fredericksburg High School where he was a member of the 'Battlin Billie' Football team.
At age 17 he volunteered for the United States Marine Corp. After officer training at Southwestern University, the young 2nd Lieutenant took part in the defeat of Japan in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Later he was called back to active duty, promoted to Captain and served in Korea. He was always very proud of his military service. His grandkids loved to hear the story of "The night the Chinese hit". There were flares, bugles and heavy fire. The company commanding officer was wounded; Captain Zwiener assumed command and despite being wounded he remained active throughout the night directing fire and defending the hill. In the morning the hill was still held by the United States Marines.
He married Ardith "Ardy" Elaine Jeffries in 1952; they celebrated 53 years of marriage this year. Lonny always remembered the day he met Ardy on the steps of the House Office Building in Washington, D.C. where she was working with Congressman Homer Thornberry - "She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen." They raised 4 sons in Austin.
After World War II he received his undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Texas. He served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas and later as an Associate Law Professor at The University. He served Texas for 25 years as an Assistant Attorney General encompassing the terms of 6 Attorneys General including John Ben Shepherd, Will Wilson, Waggoner Carr, Crawford Martin, John Hill, and Mark White. His length of service in this capacity is unprecedented. His legal service on behalf of Texas included the trials of hundreds of cases in both state and federal courts. He had the reputation of making more arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court than any other lawyer in Texas, standing on behalf of Texas 9 times in the highest court. He was known for his brilliant intellect, his bold and aggressive style, and his unsurpassed knowledge of constitutional law. Following his tenure with the Texas Attorney General's office, he served in the Office of the General Counsel of the University of Texas and later in the Law Firm of Senator Murray Watson.
Zwiener was an Eagle Scout. He was the Cubmaster of Pack 20 (Casis Elementary School). Later and for many years he was the Scoutmaster of Troop 399 (Tarrytown Methodist Church). He emphasized character and hard work to his scouts. He preached "Do your Best." He enjoyed high adventure, leading scouts through the canyons of Big Bend, the mountains of New Mexico, and the boundary waters of Canada. He was a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow and he received the Silver Beaver - Scouting's highest award for volunteers. All 4 of his sons and numerous other young men achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during his tenure.
Lonny was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity both at Southwestern University and The University of Texas. He was a founding member of the Headliners Club of Austin and a member of the "Old Fitz" table. He also served as President of the PTA at Casis Elementary School.
Lonny Franklin Zwiener, a great man of the "greatest generation," died July 1, 2005, and is survived by his wife Ardy, their 4 sons and 4 daughters in law: William Franklin Zwiener, Jeanie Russell Zwiener, Robert Jeffrey Zwiener MD, Carol Ann Potter Zwiener, John Richard Zwiener MD, Rachel Krause Zwiener, James Frederick LeRoy Zwiener, and Denise Vidaurri Zwiener; and 13 grandchildren: Russell Franklin, Zachary Taylor, Shane William, Garrett Jeffries, Erin Alisa, Kristin Josephine, Daniel James, William John, Leon Wolfgang, Luke Johann, Heather Laurel, Adrienne Alicia, and Michael James.
Information taken from obituary, Austin-American Statesman, July 4, 2005.