Arthur “Buddy” Temple III, an Angelina County businessman and conservationist, died Tuesday at age 73.

The SFA Arthur Temple College of Forestry is named in honor of the Temple family’s contributions to the study of forestry in East Texas.

“The contributions made by the Temple family to SFA have benefitted thousands of our students and will continue to shape our educational offerings for years to come,” said Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president. “Buddy Temple and his family created a legacy through their generosity and as advocates for environmental stewardship.”

In addition to playing an active role in the management of his family business, Temple Industries, Temple served on the Texas Railroad Commission and was named chair of the commission in 1985. He served as board chairman of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation and on the boards of First Bank & Trust of East Texas and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.

In 2014, Temple received the Texas Forest Country Partnership’s Silver Bucket award for his efforts in preserving the natural habitat of East Texas, including approximately 19,000 acres of hardwood forest and wetlands along the Neches River.

Buddy Temple was interviewed by the late Dr. Archie McDonald, SFA history professor and director of the East Texas Historical Association, in June 2011. A transcript of the interview is available at

Temple is survived by his wife, Ellen, and four children.

Visitation will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at The History Center in Diboll. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 18, at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Lufkin, followed by a reception at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice in the Pines – 1504 W. Frank Ave., Lufkin, TX 75904; The History Center – 102 N. Temple Drive, Diboll, TX 75941; T.L.L. Temple Memorial Library – 300 Park St., Diboll, TX 75941.