Memorials

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.


Romie Neal Jr.

Romie NealNeal, 82, of Houston, died January 13, 2019. He served in the U.S. Air Force. Neal received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986. He was an attorney with Neal and Neal from 1986 to 2018. Neal was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his sons, Ronald Neal and Darrell Griffith; daughters, Elizabeth Neal, Cynthia Aldridge, Tansey Beasley, and Ursula Shaw; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.


Churchell William Duncan Jr.

Churchell DuncanDuncan, 94, of Killeen, died December 27, 2018. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1953, being honorably discharged as a first lieutenant. Duncan received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950. He was a partner in Duncan & Bragg from 1953 to 1969 and in Duncan, Bragg, Baron, Phillips & Adams from 1970 to 1978; judge of the 27th Judicial District Court in Bell County from 1978 to 1988; and served as a senior judge until 2014. Duncan was chair of the State Bar of Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He was a member of the Bell County Bar Association. Duncan was an avid outdoorsman and especially enjoyed whitewater canoeing, including trips through the canyons of Big Bend and the low water dams of the Guadalupe River. He took up snow skiing in his late 60s. Duncan was a world traveler, driving to the southernmost point of South America and back, traveling to Europe and China, and driving across parts of Australia and New Zealand. He is survived by his son, C.W. Duncan III, and four grandchildren.


Herman Isaac Morris

Herman MorrisMorris, 91, of Plano, died November 17, 2018. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps. Morris received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950. He was in private practice in Fort Worth, first partnering with Scranton Jones and later with Allen Hendelman. Friends described Morris as having a great sense of humor and joy for life. He was focused on repairing and improving the lives of others. Morris wrote numerous letters to the editor that were published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and publications in Fort Worth, Dallas, and New Mexico. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Shirley Morris; daughter, Ellen St. Clair; brother, Charles J. Morris; three grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.


John R. Saringer

John SaringerSaringer, 72, of Abilene, died January 10, 2019. He was in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, serving in Vietnam, and was stationed in Hawaii. Saringer received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973. He was an assistant city attorney in the Abilene City Attorney’s Office from 1973 to 1974; in private practice in Abilene from 1975 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1989; judge of Taylor County Court at Law 1 in Abilene from 1983 to 1987; and a partner in Wagstaff in Abilene from 1989 to 2018. Saringer served as commissioner of the Texas Adult Probate Commission from 1987 to 1989. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and boating—teaching his grandchildren to waterski and taking them tubing. Saringer is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sandi; daughters, Kellye Saringer and Stacey Moore; sister, Frances Jones; and four grandchildren.


R.C. “Eric” Augesen

RC AugesenAugesen, 77, of Odessa, died October 28, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1961. Augesen received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972. He was a prosecutor in the Ector County Attorney’s Office in Odessa from 1973 to 1974; an associate of Childs & Bishop in Odessa from 1974 to 1975; a solo practitioner in Odessa from 1975 to 1985; Ector County District Attorney in Odessa from 1985 to 1989; and a solo practitioner in Odessa from 1989 to 2017. Augesen’s wife, children, and grandchildren were everything to him. Protecting children was his professional and personal mission. Augesen was a voracious reader and was never without a book. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Gloria M. Augesen; sons, attorney Eric C. Augesen and Jon L. Augesen; daughters, attorney Roxanna A. Manuel, Rhonda A. Vaughn, Rene M. Augesen, and Rochele G. Augesen; brother, Ernest Augesen; sister, Donna Combs; and 12 grandchildren.


Frank William “Bill” Colburn

Frank William ColburnColburn, 89, of Houston, died December 15, 2018. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1948 to 1952. Colburn received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1956. He was an assistant attorney general in the Texas Attorney General’s Office in Austin from 1958 to 1967; an assistant city attorney for the city of Houston from 1967 to 1974; and director of economic development and general counsel to the Port of Houston from 1974 to 1996. Colburn was an avid reader and enjoyed listening to music and studying geography. He is survived by his sons, Lee J. Colburn and R. Ryan Colburn; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.


Paul E. Strohl

Paul StrohlStrohl, 62, of Houston, died April 11, 2016. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977. Strohl was an associate of Butler, Binion, Rice, Cook & Knapp in Houston from 1977 to 1983; an associate of Johnson & Swanson, later Johnson & Gibbs, in Dallas from 1983 to 1984 and a partner in the firm in Dallas from 1985 to 1990 and in Houston in 1991; a partner in and of counsel to BakerHostetler in Houston from 1991 to 1993; a partner in Hutcheson & Grundy in Houston from 1994 to 1998; and an equity shareholder in Winstead Sechrest & Minick, now Winstead, from 1998 to 2005, where he led the energy practice group. He practiced energy and corporate law and was active in the American Bar Association, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and the Southwestern Legal Foundation, now the Center for American and International Law’s Institute for Energy Law. Strohl was a trustee of the Houston Ballet and was a founder and longtime director of the Houston Technology Center. He was a past president of the Harvard University Club of Houston. One of Strohl’s great joys was taking his sons to watch the Houston Astros. He is survived by his sons, John and Peter Strohl, and former wife of more than two decades, attorney Sigrid Caroline Schroder.


Michael Bennett Udell

MIchael UdellUdell, 67, of Plainfield, Indiana, died December 27, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978. Udell was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1979. He was the owner of the Law Offices of Michael B. Udell in Broward County, Florida, from 1979 to 2005. Udell was a guardian ad litem for family court and a traffic-hearing officer in Broward County. He loved his family, the law, and fishing. Udell is survived by his wife of 39 years, Helene Bookman Udell; son, attorney Jeremy M. Kridel; daughter, Shayna M. Udell; brother, Paul V. Udell; sister, Karen Udell Froman; and one grandchild.


Virgil H. Barfield

Virgil BarfieldBarfield, 82, of Houston, died August 23, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970. Barfield practiced law with several friends in the Houston area before entering the geophysical industry, working for Texas Instruments, Geophysical Service (later Halliburton Geophysical Services), Western Geophysical, and Aram Systems. He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Carolyn J. Barfield; sons, Virgil Henry Barfield Jr. and John Allen Barfield; daughter, Sarah Barfield Brown; stepdaughters, Cindy Jones and Becky Evans; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.


Jason Riley Searcy

Jason SearcySearcy, 65, of Marshall, died January 18, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978. Searcy was an associate of Abney & Baldwin in Marshall from 1978 to 1980; assistant city attorney in Marshall from 1978 to 1980; a partner in Abney & Baldwin in Marshall from 1980 to 1984; city attorney of Marshall from 1981 to 1984; a partner in Sharp, Ward, Price & Searcy in Longview from 1984 to 1991; and a partner in Searcy & Searcy in Longview from 1991 to 2019. His practice focused on complicated business bankruptcies, and he argued cases before the 1st and 5th Circuit Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Searcy’s favorite law partners were his son and daughter, who were both graduates of Baylor Law School. His paralegals were with him collectively for over 90 years—Dawn Cameron, Vivian Guy, Kim McMullen, and Betty Allen. Searcy was intensely curious about subjects across all disciplines, reading up on anything that piqued his interest. He enjoyed travel and baseball, but nothing compared to time with family. The joy of Searcy’s life was his faith, his family, and his home—a place of beautiful nature, a wealth of memories, and the comfort of love therein. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Rebecca Powers Searcy; his son, attorney Joshua P. Searcy; daughter, attorney Callan C. Searcy; brothers, Jimmy Q. Searcy and John M. Searcy; sister, Regina Helm; and two grandchildren.


Steven F. Owens

Steven OwensOwens, 37, of Fate, died February 2, 2019. He received his law degree from Samford University Cumberland School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2008. Owens was admitted to practice in Tennessee in 2009. He was an associate of Pitts & Lake in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 2008 to 2011 and a partner in Merchant & Gould in Knoxville from 2011 to 2019. Owens loved his family, fishing, and finding new restaurants. He enjoyed his work as a patent attorney. Owens was a member of Rockwall First United Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife of five years, Colby Owens; son, Sim Francis Owens; daughter, Coralee Ruth Owens; father, Paul Owens; mother, Rosa Owens; and sister, Cherie Dejoie.


James Francis Parker

James ParkerParker, 72, of Dallas, died January 26, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972. Parker was a law clerk for Judge Jack Roberts in the U.S. federal courts in Austin from 1972 to 1976; assistant attorney general in the Texas Attorney General’s Office in Austin from 1976 to 1979; a partner in Oppenheimer, Rosenberg, Kelleher and Wheatley in San Antonio from 1979 to 1986; general counsel to Southwest Airlines in Dallas from 1986 to 2001 and CEO from 2001 to 2004; a board member of Texas Roadhouse in Louisville, Kentucky, from 2004 to 2019; a board member of Sammons Enterprises in Dallas from 2006 to 2019; and a partner in Texas Aviation Partners in Austin from 2008 to 2019. He received the National Air Transportation Association’s Superior Leadership Award in 1992-1993, Transport World’s Labor Relations Award in 1998, and Morningstar CEO of the Year in 2001. Parker was a wise, kind, gentle friend. He mentored many from Southwest Airlines, Texas Roadhouse, and Sammons. Parker was a hospitable host who shared good wines, his world-famous margaritas, and endless stories in the pub in the Parker home. He was a fan of all sports, but particularly his University of Texas football and baseball teams, and Dallas Stars hockey. Parker is survived by his wife of over 47 years, Patricia Lorang Parker; son, attorney James Francis Parker III; daughter, Jennifer Elaine Parker; and two grandchildren.


John D. Gilpin

Robert Barr ToddGilpin, 84, of Houston, died November 17, 2018. He served in U.S. Army from 1958 to 1970 and was part of the 525th Military Intelligence Group at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. Gilpin received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958. He was a partner in Fulbright and Crooker, later Fulbright and Jaworski, in Houston from 1959 to 1979; a partner in Payne, Gilpin, Maynard & Parsons, later named Gilpin, Maynard, Parsons, Pohl, & Bennett and Gilpin Paxson & Bersch in Houston from 1979 to 2000; was of counsel to Sheinfeld Maley & Kay in Houston from 2000 to 2001; of counsel to Zeidman & Associates in Houston from 2001 to 2002; of counsel to Bush & O’Brien in Houston in 2002; and of counsel to Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons in Houston from 2002 to 2018. Gilpin was a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates from 1985 to 2018; a member of the Houston Bar Association, and fellow and secretary of the Houston Bar Foundation. He was in Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity while at the University of Texas School of Law. Gilpin loved history and had a remarkable knowledge of his history and the history of people he knew. He was survived by his wife of 32 years, JoAnn Gilpin, who died January 12, 2019; sons, John Wesley Gilpin II and Carey Dean Gilpin; daughter, Amanda Gilpin Upshaw; stepsons, Wayne Peel and Timothy Patrick Daly; stepdaughters, Rebecca Renee Peel and Sharon Daly Scanlin; sister, GeorgeAnn Dirks; and seven grandchildren.


Charles R. Porter Jr.

Charles PorterPorter, 96, of Corpus Christi, died January 1, 2019. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1944 and was based in the Pacific Theater. Porter received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1948. He was an assistant county attorney and district attorney in the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office in Corpus Christi and a founding and senior partner in Porter, Rogers, Dahlman & Gordon in Corpus Christi. Porter was a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. He was a past president of the Nueces County Bar Association and the Corpus Christi Bar Association. Porter was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi. He was an avid golfer and fisherman. Porter is survived by his wife of 72 years, Alice Mungall; sons, Charles R. Porter III and Daniel Bowen Porter; daughter, Melissa Welch; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.


L. Lloyd MacDonald

L Lloyd MacDonaldMacDonald, 87, of Midland, died December 14, 2018. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954. MacDonald received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957. He worked as a title analyst for Shell Oil Company in Midland; in private practice; as an attorney for Kerr, Fitz-Gerald & Kern in Midland; and as a partner in Turpin, Smith, Dyer, Saxe and MacDonald in Midland. MacDonald was a past president of the Midland County Bar Association and was chosen as its first recipient of the John Hyde Memorial Award in 2013. He was very proud of his Scottish heritage and celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary by touring Scotland with his wife, including visiting Invergarry Castle, the seat of the chiefs of the Clan MacDonell of Glengarry. When MacDonald was not in the courtroom, he cultivated his love of poetry and pursued his interest in Texas history. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Juanice MacDonald; daughter, Kathy MacDonald; three granddaughters; and one step-granddaughter.


Gustavo “Gus” Garza

Gustavo GarzaGarza, 65, of Bayview, died December 27, 2018. He received his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982. Garza was an assistant district attorney in the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office in Brownsville from 1982 to 1984; Willacy County District Attorney in Raymondville; in private practice in Los Fresnos; justice of the peace for Cameron County Precinct 6 in Los Fresnos; and an assistant district attorney in the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office in Brownsville from 2013 to 2017. He enjoyed ranching, fishing, and traveling. Garza is survived by his wife, Martha Galarza; daughters, Maritza Gonzalez, Karla Rodriguez, and Kayla Lyons; stepsons, Roldan, Orlan, and Robert John Martinez; mother, Martina Graciela Garza; brothers, Tony Garza, David Garza, Heriberto Garza, Luis Garza, Javier Garza, and Jaime Garza; sisters, Gloria Reta, Mary Argullin, Gracie Faubion, and Lilia Rey; and five grandchildren. TBJ

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