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.


Robert Richards

Robert RichardsRichards, 78, of San Antonio, died January 3, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964. Richards served in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps from January 1965 to January 1995, and received the Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, and the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one bronze star. He was an assistant staff judge advocate at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in South Carolina, from 1965 to 1967; deputy staff judge advocate and staff judge advocate at Iraklion Air Station in Greece, from 1967 to 1969, at McCoy Air Force Base in Orlando, Florida, from 1969 to 1971, at George Air Force Base in Victorville, California, from 1976 to 1979, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina, from 1979 to 1982, at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, from 1985 to 1988, and at U.S. Air Force Intelligence Command Headquarters at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio from 1991 to 1993; a special court-martial military judge in the Air Force Judiciary test program at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, and at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls; a first-level appellate review of court-martial convictions in the Military Justice Division at Ramstein Air Base in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany, from 1974 to 1976; chief circuit military judge of the 7th Circuit, U.S. Air Force Trial Judiciary at Clark Air Base in Luzon, Philippines, from 1982 to 1983, at Circuit Headquarters at Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Japan, from 1983 to 1985, and of the 6th Circuit, U.S. Air Force Trial Judiciary at Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1988 to 1991; head legal officer and chief intelligence oversight officer at Kelly Air Force Base from 1993 to 1995; and an administrative law judge for the State of Texas and for the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission. Richards served as legal adviser to an aircraft accident board at Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada and helped codify new military intelligence laws. He enjoyed traveling, visiting Egypt, the Holy Land, Italy, Spain, Guam, and South Korea during his service. Richards is survived by his daughter, Becky Richards Harmonson; sister, Bonnie Richards Chism; and two grandsons.


Leslie August Rasner

Leslie RasnerRasner, 95, of Waco, died November 22, 2017. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1945. Rasner received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950. He was a chief clerk for the FBI in 1943; a professor at Baylor University Hankamer School of Business in Waco from 1950 to 1992; and in private practice from 1992 to 2002. Rasner was instrumental in forming a new insurance program at Baylor and was chairman of the departments of business law, insurance, and real estate. He was named administrative assistant to the dean of Hankamer School of Business and was designated a professor emeritus. Rasner’s study on compulsory auto liability insurance, Insurable Interest in Texas, was published and used by the Texas Legislature to form new insurance laws. He had an ardent love for all Baylor sports, especially football, basketball, and baseball. Rasner enjoyed attending every event possible with his children and later grandchildren. He loved dancing with his wife of almost 70 years, Miss Ernie. Rasner is survived by his sons, attorney L. Blake Rasner and Brent Rasner; brother, Gus Rasner; and five grandchildren.


Ralph M. Hall

Ralph HallHall, 95, of Rockwall, died March 7, 2019. He served in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft carrier pilot from 1942 to 1945. Hall received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951. He served as Rockwall County judge, being elected while still in law school, until 1962; was an attorney in the Law Office of Ralph Hall in Rockwall from 1951 to 1980 (the practice is continued by his sons); served in the Texas Senate from 1963 to 1973 and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 2015, becoming the oldest member of the House to ever cast a vote at 91. Hall received the SMU Dedman School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. He loved helping his clients and constituents with their problems, no matter how big or small. Hall is survived by his sons, Hamp Hall, attorney Brett Hall, and attorney Blakeley Hall; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


James C. Ross

James RossRoss, 98, of Longview, died August 30, 2018. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945, being discharged as a captain. Ross received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1953. He was an assistant district attorney in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in Dallas in 1954 and in the Gregg County District Attorney’s Office in Longview from 1955 to 1961; a municipal judge for the city of Longview from 1965 to 1979; and a solo practitioner in Longview from 1980 to 2000. Ross enjoyed fishing. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Helen Ross; son, David A. Ross; daughters, Donna Woodruff and Linda Davis; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


John Doty Williamson

John WilliamsonWilliamson, 84, of Dallas, died March 1, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957. Williamson served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps as a second lieutenant from 1957 to 1960. He was an associate of and later general counsel to Frito-Lay in Dallas from 1960 to 1962; vice president of sales for the southeast and northeast regions of Frito-Lay in Atlanta, Georgia, and North Brunswick, New Jersey, from 1962 to 1975; and executive vice president, general counsel, president, and chairman of the board at Transport Life Insurance in Fort Worth from 1976 to 1996. Williamson was a court appointed special advocate for abused children and served as president of the CASA Foundation. He enjoyed fishing, traveling, and golfing. Williamson is survived by his wife of more than 61 years, Roberta Van Zandt Williamson; sons, Van, Mark, and John Williamson; sister, Jean d’Autilia; and seven grandchildren.


Frank Finn

Frank FinnFinn, 90, of Dallas, died October 23, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1956. Finn worked with Thompson & Knight in Dallas from 1956 to 2018. He received the Dallas Bar Association Tort & Insurance Practices Section Texas Trial Legends Award; was named one the Best Lawyers in America since 1993; and was a past president of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Finn received the St. Thomas More Society William Roper Award in 2013. He was known for his loyalty to God, his family, and his firm. Finn was an avid supporter and alumni of the University of Notre Dame where he used to grade papers for Father Theodore M. Hesburgh. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Diana Finn; sons, David, Patrick, and Sean; daughter, Susan; brother, William V. Finn; and 10 grandchildren.


Joel Held

Joel HeldHeld, 79, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, died March 17, 2019. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1966. Held received his law degree from Boston University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974. He was admitted to practice in New York in 1965. Held was an attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission in New York City from 1965 to 1970; a partner in Lipkin, Gusrae & Held in New York City from 1970 to 1974; a partner in Simon Twombly Held in Dallas from 1974 to 1976; a shareholder in Mankoff, Hill, Held & Goldberg, formerly known as Durant, Mankoff, Davis, Wolens & Francis, in Dallas from 1976 to 1996; a partner in Arter & Hadden in Dallas from 1996 to 2000; and a partner in Baker McKenzie in Dallas from 2000 to 2011. He was an adjunct professor at SMU Dedman School of Law and at Brooklyn?Law School. Held enjoyed mentoring young attorneys. He loved to travel and spend time with his grandchildren. Held is survived by his wife of 29 years, Mickey Held; sons, attorney Michael Held, Harold Held, Robert Held, and Brian Alford; and six grandchildren.


Samuel N. Vilches Jr.

Samuel VilchesVilches, 87, of Dallas, died February 22, 2019. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a first lieutenant during the Korean War. Vilches received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964. He was an attorney with Maloney, Milner & McDowell in Dallas in the late 1960s and in private practice in Dallas from the 1970s until 2019. Vilches raised money for multiple sclerosis research, including through the Walk MS: Dallas. He loved sports, his family, and spending time in his yard. Vilches is survived by his wife of 46 years, Myra Vilches; sons, David Vilches and Paul Vilches; daughters, Nancy Evemy, Jardann Moad, Edie Street, Kimber Lei Gorczyca, and Pamela Walpole; 14 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


H. Franklin Moore

H Franklin MooreMoore, 84, of Fort Worth, died February 7, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1959. Moore served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1960. He was an attorney at Crumley, Murphy & Shrull in Fort Worth from 1961 to 1980; an attorney at Murphy, Moore & Bell in Fort Worth from 1980 to 1994; an attorney with Murphy, Moore & Griffith in Fort Worth from 1994 to 2008; and of counsel to Griffth, Jay & Michel in Fort Worth from 2008 to 2019. Moore served as president of the Tarrant County Bar Association in 1986. He was a member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and American Board of Trial Advocates. Moore enjoyed winemaking and playing tennis. He served on many boards and committees with the Roman Catholic Church. Moore is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara Moore; daughters, Christine Holtz, Elizabeth Keoughan, and attorney Paula R. Moore; brothers, Gerald W. Moore and Thomas L. Moore; sister, Julia M. Burnett; and four grandchildren.


Leslie B. Vance Jr.

Leslie VanceVance, 79, of Marble Falls, died January 18, 2019. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1961 to 1968. Vance received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965. He was a solo practitioner in Meridian from 1965 to 1967; county attorney in the Bosque County Attorney’s Office in Meridian from 1968 to 1970; district attorney in the 52nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Meridian from 1971 to 1972; a solo practitioner in Clifton from 1972 to 1975; assistant district attorney in the 52nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office from 1975 to 1977; district attorney in the 220th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Meridian and Comanche from 1977 to 1982; a solo practitioner in Eastland from 1982 to 1990; a criminal district attorney in the 91st Judicial District Criminal District Attorney’s Office in Eastland from 1991 to 1994; assistant attorney general in the Texas Attorney General’s Office Law Enforcement Defense division in Austin from 1995 to 2003; chief counsel to the Texas Health & Human Services Commission Official of Inspector General in Austin from 2004 to 2007; a solo practitioner in Marble Falls from 2008 to 2018; and a civil attorney in the Burnet County Attorney’s Office in Burnet from 2011 to 2018. Wherever Vance worked or went, he was a mentor, teacher, counselor, mediator, cheerleader, adviser, role model, and friend. He loved an audience to hear his “stories” and reveled in making each retelling better than the one before. Vance spread his joy as he delivered his gifts of peaches, pecans, tomatoes, and his mother’s “famous” cinnamon rolls to so many of his friends. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Milta Vance; sons, Josh Vance and attorney Byron Vance; daughter, Kathryn Vance Ernemann; sisters, G-Ann Jones and Bobbie Baird; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Scott S. Cramer

Scott CramerCramer, 66, of Fort Collins, Colorado, died December 6, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980. Cramer was admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar in 1998. He was international negotiator and counsel to Pennzoil in Houston from 1981 to 1984; senior corporate counsel to U.S. headquarters and vice president and secretary of the European headquarters of Browning-Ferris Industries in Houston from 1984 to 1997; vice president, secretary, and general counsel to Superior Service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1997 to 2004; senior legal counsel to Regal Beloit in Beloit, Wisconsin, from 2005 to 2006; senior vice president and general counsel to Bucyrus International in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 2006 to 2010; and vice president, corporate secretary, and counsel to Magnetek in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, from 2010 to 2015. Cramer was on the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund Board of Directors; a member of the Wisconsin Association of Corporate Counsel; and co-chair of the legal division of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. He enjoyed international travel and being in the great outdoors. Cramer was a Green Bay Packers fan. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lisa Hansen Cramer; son, Colin Hansen Cramer; daughter, Alison Nicole Cramer; mother, Edith Bizzell; brother, Marc Cramer; and sisters, Marci Whitehead and Gretchen Mercier.


Victor E. “Gene” Lanfear Jr.

Victor LanfearLanfear, 89, of San Antonio, died January 21, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1952. Lanfear served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1954 to 1956. He was an assistant county attorney in the Nueces County Attorney’s Office in Corpus Christi from 1956 to 1958; a partner in Wood, Boykin & Lanfear, now Wood Boykin & Wolter, in Corpus Christi from 1958 to 1962; an attorney for Forest Oil Corporation in San Antonio from 1962 to 1966; an attorney for Southland Royalty in Fort Worth from 1966 to 1968; a partner in Green, Kaufman & Lanfear in San Antonio from 1968 to 1972; and a solo practitioner in San Antonio from 1972 to 2015. Lanfear was an elder of the Fellowship of San Antonio and president of the Petroleum Club of San Antonio in 2004. He was an avid Texas Longhorns fan. Lanfear is survived by his wife of 27 years, Sherron G. Lanfear; sons, Richard Lanfear and attorney Daniel Lanfear; daughters, Theresa Helms and Genie Lanfear; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


Huey C. Keeney Jr.

Huey KeeneyKeeney, 67, of Tyler, died April 1, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976. Keeney was an assistant district attorney in the Smith County District Attorney’s Office in Tyler from 1976 to 1977 and a solo practitioner from 1978 to 2018 in Tyler with stints at Sammons &?Parker in?Tyler and other firms in the 1990s and early 2000s. He enjoyed studying and teaching the Bible, and going golfing and hunting. Keeney is survived by his daughters, Caitlin F. Keeney and Courtney J. Keeney; and brother, attorney Randolph V. Keeney.


Patrick J. Sheehy

Patrick SheehySheehy, 69, of Washington, D.C., died January 8, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974. Sheehy was admitted to the D.C. Bar in 1975. He worked in mining and minerals for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Sheehy enjoyed travel, having visited 92 countries. He enjoyed reading and gardening. Sheehy is survived by his partner-spouse of 26 years, Jerry L. Wnuck, and sister, Mary Ann Polasek.


Houston Daniel

Houston DanielDaniel, 73, of Liberty, died March 6, 2019. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1967 to 1968. Daniel received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972. He was a solo practitioner. Daniel was an ardent supporter of historic preservation and other causes to improve communities. He was a member of the Atascosito Historical Society, the Texas State Historical Association, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Friends of Trinity River Refuge, the Friends of the Liberty Municipal Library, the Bryan Museum in Galveston, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, Preservation Texas, and the Texas Freedom Network. Daniel was the son of Jean and Price Daniel, who served as Texas governor, Texas attorney general, U.S. senator, speaker of the Texas House, and associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court; and was the great-great-great-grandson of Sam Houston. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Charlotte Daniel; sons, attorney Timothy Houston Daniel and John Price Daniel; and one grandchild.


Harry Payton Wright

Harry WrightWright, 87, of Port Neches, died December 4, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1954. Wright was the owner of H.P. Wright and a partner in Wright & Pitre Law Firm in Port Neches from 1954 to 2018. He was city judge for Port Neches and city attorney for Port Neches and Silsbee. Wright received the Blackstone Award from the Jefferson County Bar Association. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and ranching. Wright is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Dow Wright; sons, Don Payton Wright and Vernon Hendricks Wright; daughters, Becky Miller and Lisa Gorman; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.


Christopher Bob Allen

Christopher AllenAllen, 72, of Houston, died December 25, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973. Allen was a partner in Liddell Sapp, now Locke Lord, in Houston from 1972 to 1992; a solo practitioner in Houston from 1993 to 1999; a partner in Cash Allen in Houston from 2000 to 2004; and an attorney with Andrews Kurth, now Hunton Andrews Kurth, in Houston from 2005 to 2015. He was an elder emeritus in the church ministries of Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Houston. Allen enjoyed snow skiing, golf, and traveling. Most of all he loved his Texas Longhorns, seeing the national championship, and time with his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Carol Ann Allen; daughters, Blakely Allen Kemp, Krista (Kriket) Makay Sitka, and Paige Michelle Hansen; and seven grandchildren.


Michael J. Foley

Michael FoleyFoley, 77, of Key West, Florida, died January 25, 2019. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1970. Foley received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976. He was an associate of Haynes & Fullenweider in Houston from 1976 to 1980 and a pilot for Delta Air Lines. Foley served on the Monroe County School District Board in Florida and was a member of the Florida Keys Community College Board of Trustees. He was an avid fisherman and boater. Foley is survived by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn Foley; son, John Paul Foley; daughter, Jennifer Foley Pleasants; brothers, attorney Francis J. Foley, Tom Foley, Ed Foley, and attorney James Foley; sister, Sheila Harnois; and five grandchildren.


William A. Olson

William OlsonOlson, 95, of Horseshoe Bay, died November 8, 2018. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a captain in the field artillery, including two years in Italy and North Africa. Olson received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1950. He was general counsel to the Texas Municipal League in Austin from 1959 to 1963; an associate of Vinson, Elkins, Weems & Searls, now Vinson Elkins, in Houston from 1963 to 1964; city attorney for the city of Houston from 1966 to 1974; and founding partner in Olson & Olson in Houston from 1974 to 1994. Olson was chair of the State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section from 1976 to 1977; a member of the advisory board of the Center for Municipal Studies of the Southwestern Legal Institute; and a past president of the Texas City Attorneys Association. He enjoyed reading, landscaping, and occasional travel. Olson was a great influence to many over his life, both professionally and personally. He is survived by his wife of nine years, Anita Cook Olson; sons, attorney William A. Olson Jr. and attorney John F. Olson; daughters, Suzanne O. Waldrep and Judy O. Dell’Osso; eight grandchildren, including two attorneys; 15 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.


John Henry Hofmann

John HofmannHofmann, 82, of San Angelo, died March 25, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961. Hofmann served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was an assistant attorney general in the Texas Attorney General’s Office; an attorney with Griffis Law Firm in San Angelo; a partner in Smith Davis Rose Finley and Hofmann in San Angelo; and a solo practitioner. Hofmann served a term on the State Bar Board of Directors from 2002 to 2004 and the Texas Lawyers’ Insurance Exchange Board of Directors from 1982 to 2019. He was certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Hofmann was an active member of the Tom Green County Bar Association. He loved the Texas Longhorns. Hofmann’s greatest pleasure was teaching his children and grandchildren to hunt, fish, and properly handle a gun. He enjoyed giving his family and friends knives—his only requirement was a penny in return so as not to “sever” the friendship. Hofmann is survived by his son, John Banks Hofmann; daughter, Suzanne Kay Hofmann Erickson; and six grandchildren.TBJ

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