Submit a memorial at texasbar.com/memorials or call (512) 427-1830. For information on closing a deceased attorney’s practice, go to www.texasbarcle.com/materials/closingapractice.html.
GIBSON GAYLE JR.
Gayle, 89, of Houston, died September 16, 2016. He served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947. Gayle received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950, having earned the highest score ever at the time on the Texas Bar Exam. He spent his more than 60-year legal career from 1950 to 2016 at Norton Rose Fulbright in Houston, then Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman & Bates and previously Fulbright & Jaworski, as an associate, partner, managing partner, executive committee chairman, and of counsel. Gayle served as president of the State Junior Bar, now the Texas Young Lawyers Association, in 1954-1955; secretary of the American Bar Association from 1963 to 1967; a member of the State Bar Board of Directors from 1966 to 1969; and State Bar vice president in 1974-1975 before becoming State Bar president in 1976-1977. He received the Outstanding 50-Year Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation in 2000 and was named a Texas Legal Legend by the State Bar. He is remembered for his integrity and generosity as well as for his devotion to his family, friends, career, and community. Gayle is survived by his wife of 68 years, Martha; daughters Sally Smith, Alice Gayle, and Jane Frey; sons Gibson III and Philip; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Nygaard, 49, of Plano, died March 31, 2016. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Nygaard was a member of the California and New York bars and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2009. He was an associate of the Law Office of Randall Boyd from 2009 to 2010 and then opened the Nygaard Law Firm where he practiced until his death. Nygaard coached basketball, was a black belt in karate, and loved to read books with his children. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Yoshiko; son, Xander; daughters, Arcadia and Carinthia; brother, Charlie; and sister, Catherine.
TURNER W. BRANCH
Branch, 78, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died August 4, 2016. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1960 to 1963, having been commissioned as a second lieutenant. Branch received his law degree from Baylor Law School, was a member of the New Mexico Bar, and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988. He opened the Branch Law Firm in Albuquerque in 1966 where he practiced personal injury law, medical malpractice law, and mass tort litigation until his death. Branch was certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Branch loved the University of New Mexico Lobos and was a part owner in Albuquerque’s ESPN radio affiliate. He is remembered for cherishing his role as a grandfather and showering his family with unconditional love. Branch is survived by his wife of 34 years, attorney Margaret Moses Branch; son, attorney Brian K. Branch; daughter, attorney Rebecca Branch; brother, attorney James Branch; sister Virginia Perret; and four grandchildren.
KENNY M. CHARBONNET
Charbonnet, 66, of Metairie, Louisiana, died November 1, 2015. He received his law degree from Loyola Law School in New Orleans. Charbonnet was a member of the Louisiana Bar and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1993. He spent his legal career practicing alongside his brothers in New Orleans at the Charbonnet Law Firm, which was founded by his father. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, Charbonnet helped hundreds of residents with claims associated with the storm and was later among one of 50 lawyers to receive the Leadership in Law Award from New Orleans CityBusiness for his efforts. He is remembered for having a sunny personality, a deep devotion to his family, and for being a gentleman. Charbonnet is survived by his wife, Jane; daughters, Dorothy LeBlanc, Elizabeth Hopwood, and Cecile Kerber; son, Coates; and six grandchildren.
DAN W. STANSBURY
Stansbury, 84, of Dallas, died July 4, 2016. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1957. Stansbury received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958. During his legal career, he worked as an assistant district attorney in Dallas and as an attorney with Dalton, Moore, Forde & Joiner until 1967. He is remembered for his love of hunting and fly-fishing. Stansbury is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joan L. Stansbury; son, Dan Jr.; daughters, Margaret Ann Stansbury Smith and Susan Stansbury Krejs; and eight grandchildren.
IRA “MIKE” GOODRICH
Goodrich, 59, of Arlington, died March 18, 2016. He received his J.D. from Baylor Law School, was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981, and received his Master of Laws from the University of Exeter in England in 1983. Goodrich was managing director of Brownlie, Braden, Goodrich, Parrish & Reisinger, now Brownlie & Braden, in Fort Worth from 1998 to 2000; vice president of Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown Inc. from 2000 to 2004; managing director of Bluffview Wealth Management, which changed its name to View Capital Advisors, in Dallas from 2004 to 2013; and president of Goodrich Planning Strategies in Arlington from 2013 to 2016. He is remembered for his love of camping and canoeing, mentoring Boy Scouts, and for bringing joy into any room he entered. Goodrich is survived by his wife of 33 years, Mary “Kathy” Casner Goodrich; daughters, law student Katherine Grace Goodrich and Laura Ruth Goodrich; mother, Ernestine “Rock” Goodrich; and brother, David.
EDWIN C. POLSDOFER
Polsdofer, 73, of Lincoln, Nebraska, died June 27, 2016. He received his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, was a member of the Connecticut Bar, and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978. Polsdofer worked as a pension attorney and as head of the legal department for William M. Mercer Inc. in Dallas from 1976 until his retirement in 2002. He is remembered for his love of hiking and mountain climbing, writing short stories, and watching old movies. Polsdofer is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy; daughter, Elizabeth Carthel; father, Jim; brother, Larry; sister, Janet Alger; and one grandchild.
THEODORE C. PRUETT JR.
Pruett, 67, of Garland, died July 30, 2016. During the Vietnam War, he served in the 69th Signal Battalion of the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972. Pruett then received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He was a member of the North Carolina Bar and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981. In 1982, Pruett started his law career as a solo practitioner in Dallas, focusing on helping immigrants, primarily those from Vietnam. He is remembered for his love of travel, dancing and singing onstage, and especially for his love for his wife and family. Pruett is survived by his wife of 36 years, Lien Vu Pruett; sons, John Hoang Tran and Minh Hoang Tan; daughters, Tuyet Ngoc Tran and Michelle Lien Pruett; brother, Steve; sisters, Carol Pruett Gagin and Jean Sawyer; and six grandchildren.
JOHN HIGGINS DAVIS
Davis, 76, of New Braunfels, died March 26, 2016. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1959 to 1965. Davis received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968. He joined Allison & Allison in Levelland, later Allison & Davis when he became partner, where he practiced from 1968 to 1983. In addition to his legal responsibilities in Levelland, Davis served as a deputy sheriff for the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office. He was then a partner in Veitch & Davis in San Antonio from 1984 to 1990 and a partner in Shaddox Compere Walraven & Good in San Antonio from 1990 to 2001. In 2001, Davis joined Davis Settlement Partners, where he practiced mediation and arbitration until 2015. A member of the San Antonio and Comal County bar associations, Davis was involved with the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Attorney-Mediators, and served on the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee for the San Antonio region and as committee chair of District 10A. He is remembered for his work as a scuba rescue diver, his love of playing sports with his family, and his deep faith. Davis is survived by his wife of 27 years, Carola McNeill Davis; daughters, Ashley Allison Duenzl and Andrea Mara Davis-Self; stepsons, Robert Ryan McNeill and Rory Patrick McNeill; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
FRED CHARLES LEPICK
Lepick, 90, of San Antonio, died July 8, 2016. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945, and then received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Lepick was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1949. He started his law career as a general practitioner in San Antonio in 1950, becoming a partner in Kelso, Locke, and Lepick from 1960 to 1973 and then a partner in Groce, Locke & Hebdon from 1973 to 1975. He was Frost National Bank’s senior vice president and executive trust officer from 1975 to 1980, president from 1980 to 1985, vice chairman of the board from 1985 to 1990, and a member of the board of directors from 1981 to 2004. Lepick was chairman of the Texas Bankers Association Trust Committee in 1978 and was once first vice president of the San Antonio Bar Association. He was committed to his church, St. David’s Episcopal; supported the military through his involvement with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Armed Forces Week; and was chairman emeritus of the Cancer Research Therapy Center in San Antonio. Lepick is survived by his wife of 69 years, Morgia Howard Lepick; son, Mark Howard Lepick; daughter, Courtney Lepick Dampf; three grandchildren, two of whom are lawyers; and three great-grandchildren.
HERSCHEL C. WINN
Winn, 84, of Fort Worth, died May 17, 2016. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, he received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960. Winn was an attorney for the Texas Highway Department, now the Texas Department of Transportation, in Fort Worth from 1960 to 1961; a trial attorney for International Service Insurance Company in Fort Worth from 1961 to 1964; Johnson County judge from 1964 to 1968; and senior vice president and secretary for the Tandy Corporation, eventually RadioShack, from 1968 to 1997. During his legal career, Winn was a director for the State Junior Bar, now the Texas Young Lawyers Association; secretary of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries, now the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals; and received the 50-year lawyer recognition from the State Bar of Texas. He is remembered for having a sharp wit, integrity, and a deep devotion to his family. Winn is survived by his daughter, Macey Winn Conradt, and five granddaughters.
RONALD JACK NEIMAN
Neiman, 70, of Frisco, died April 30, 2016. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970. Neiman started his legal career as a probate attorney for First National Bank in Dallas and then opened a law office where he was in private practice from 1972 to 1973. He served as the city attorney for Lewisville for 37 years until his retirement in 2010. Neiman was president of the Denton County Bar Association in 1989, a member of the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee in 2005, and on the Texas Exes Travel Advisory Board in 2015. He was a devoted fan of the UT Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys when they were coached by the beloved Tom Landry. He is remembered for his love of golf and fishing, travel, and good BBQ. Neiman was survived by his wife, Marilyn, who died four months after him, and is survived by his sister, Janel.
RAUL G. RAMIREZ
Ramirez, 95, of Pearsall, died September 19, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army from 1940 to 1945. Ramirez then received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957. He worked at Stewart Title and Chicago Title in Houston until his retirement in 1983. Ramirez was very involved with his local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters as well as the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pearsall and Houston and served as municipal judge for the city of Pearsall. He enjoyed sports and keeping up his small cattle farm. Ramirez is survived by his wife of 44 years, Tomasa Chacon Ramirez; son, Raul Jr.; and one granddaughter.
DEAN M. GANDY
Gandy, 89, of Kerrville, died April 14, 2016. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950. Gandy was an attorney in Sherman from 1950 to 1953; vice president of the Magna Oil & Gas Company in Dallas from 1953 to 1968; a partner in William J. Rochelle in Dallas from 1968 to 1970; chief bankruptcy judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas from 1970 to 1983; partner and head of the bankruptcy section for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Dallas from 1983 to 1995; and an attorney at Creel & Atwood in Dallas from 1995 until his retirement. He was honored by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges for his exemplary service as president in 1981-1982, received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2012, and was awarded the Banco Rotto Award from the State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Section in 2008, having served as the chair of the Business Law Section’s Bankruptcy Law Committee from 1991 to 1993. Gandy is remembered for his love of playing tennis, going to the opera, and computers. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Barbara Kirby Gandy; daughters Karen Lester, Karla Corkran, and Kim Cone; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
DONALD G. DAVIS
Davis, 78, of Denton, died April 5, 2016. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956 to 1960, having reached the rank of sergeant. Davis received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976. He was an attorney in private practice in Dallas from 1976 to 1981; an assistant district attorney in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office from 1981 to 2003; and a magistrate judge in the city of Irving from 2006 to 2013, having also been a member of the Dallas County Bail Bond Board. Davis loved restoring classic cars and lived his life with the utmost ethical and moral conduct, showing courage in all he did. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Patricia; sons, Kenneth and Craig; daughter, Christi Davis Johnston; brother, Roger; sister, Emma Gronemeier; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.TBJ