History of Lee A. McShan Jr.
Lee A. McShan Jr. was born in Houston and graduated from North Dallas High School. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he moved to California and entered the floral business, becoming manager of California Flower Shippers Wholesale Florist.
He returned to Texas and with his wife Velma bought a small florist shop and nursery in northeast Dallas in 1948, establishing the business that would make theirs a household name in Dallas: McShan Florist. Still at its original location on Garland Road, McShan Florist became one of the largest retail florists in the United States.
McShan was elected to the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees in 1962, serving as its president from 1966 to 1968. In 1966, he was also president of the League for Educational Advancement.
A man of vision in education as well as in his profession, McShan led DISD during an important time of growth. During his board presidency, voters passed a major bond program and moved to include kindergartens in the schools. McShan also was instrumental in developing Skyline High School, Dallas' first magnet school.
Dallas civic leaders Stanley Marcus, son of the founder of Neiman-Marcus retail stores, once complimented McShan by saying, "You have followed the time-honored practice of merchants throughout history of helping to build a better city."
McShan community involvement was extensive. As a civic leader, he was active in the United Way, the East Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and the Dallas Council for Retarded Children. A 33rd-degree Mason, he was also a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of White Rock, on the board of the White Rock YMCA, and a member of the Texas Congress of the Parent Teachers Association.
Lee A. McShan Jr. died in June at age 75. He was survived by his wife Velma, who followed him in death in March 1996, and by son Bruce and four grandchildren.