Longtime Texas banker Lee Roy Gaskamp Jr., 69, passed away on September 6 after an exhausting battle with COVID-19. During his lifetime, he served at several community banks and as a commissioned state bank examiner with the Texas Department of Banking before founding the Bank of Brenham in 2001. He served as the bank’s president and CEO until 2016, when he was named president emeritus. He also sat on the Bank of Brenham’s board of directors.
Gaskamp attended Blinn College on a band scholarship and completed his BBA degree at the University of Texas–Austin in 1974. He was involved in many professional, civic and charitable organizations, including on the board of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas. He also sat on the inaugural 12-member Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council established by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 2010.
When Gaskamp wasn’t doting on his wife of 42 years, Sue, or his children—Russell, Catherine, Sam and Holly—he was often found jesting with his rival Aggie buddies about college football, playing 18 holes of golf at the Brenham Country Club or working on early drafts of his much-loved annual Christmas letter.
“Lee was ‘a banker’s banker’,” Mary Lou and Roger Winkelmann wrote in tribute to Gaskmap. “In our profession, he was respected and admired. Lee exemplified quality versus quantity. His years were numbered, but his accomplishments were extraordinary.”
“In 1978, I was Lee’s junior assistant when he was the lead senior bank examiner in San Antonio,” Rick Buls wrote in Gaskamp’s online guestbook. “We traveled to many Hill Country and border banks. I learned a lot and got a great start in banking with his knowledge, leadership and mentorship. He often had his golf clubs in the back [of the car]…We later ended up working together again [when] we were both a part of First State Bank of Texas in 1999.”