Memorials October 2021
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.
James Eugene “Gene” Clack
Clack, 68, of Canyon, died June 23, 2021. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976. Clack was a solo practitioner in Crane from 1976 to 1998 and in Ballinger from 1998 to 2021 and served as Crane County attorney from 1977 to 1997. He was devoted to his family and never met a stranger. Clack is survived by his wife of 28 years, Sandra Clack; sons, James Clack, Jeff Clack, and John Hirrill; daughter, April Hunley; mother, Knoxine Clack; brother, attorney Steve Clack; sister, Cynthia Clack; and four grandchildren.
Paul F. Dickard Jr.
Dickard, 89, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died June 1, 2021. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1960. Dickard received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960. He was a landman for Humble Oil and Refining in California and Washington from 1960 to 1962, vice president of Commercial Standard Insurance in Fort Worth from 1963 to 1969, executive vice president of Transamerica Title Insurance Co. in Houston from 1969 to 1990, vice president of underwriting of Lawyers Title Insurance Co. in Dallas from 1990 to 1993, and vice president of underwriting of Charter Title Company in Houston from 1993 to 1997. Dickard was Texas Land Title Association Title Man of the Year in 1969. He served on the American Land Title Association Board of Directors from 1968 to 1970. In 2000, Dickard fulfilled a lifelong dream by retiring to Colorado, where he enjoyed spending time with family, playing golf, and skiing. He also enjoyed traveling the world. Dickard is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jonnye; sons, David Dickard and Brian Dickard; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Richard Sidney Watts
Watts, 83, of Kingwood, died May 10, 2021. He served in the U.S. Army Map Service in Washington, D.C., from 1961 to 1965. Watts received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970. He was in private practice, with an emphasis on wills, estate, and probate law. Watts was a deacon, elder, and charter member of First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood. He enjoyed watching Texas A&M football games and ranching. Watts is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lynda Watts; son, attorney Richard A. Watts; daughter, Amy Watts Highland; and two grandchildren.
Robbie L. Malone
Malone, 60, of Plano, died June 23, 2021. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986. She was a prosecutor for Brazos County, an assistant attorney general in the Texas Office of the Attorney General, and a founding managing partner in Malone Frost Martin in Dallas. Malone loved fast cars, dogs, and George Strait’s music. She is survived by her husband, Stuart Self, and brothers, Richard “Rick” Malone and Robert “Bo” Malone Jr.
James David Jepson
Jepson, 66, of Fort Stockton, died June 1, 2021. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992. Jepson was an assistant district attorney in the 83rd and 112th judicial districts from 1992 to 2000, a special prosecutor for the 109th Judicial District of Winkler County in 1996, general counsel to McCamey County Hospital District from 2001 to 2021, and in private practice since January 2001. He was a member of the Texas Bar College and the National District Attorneys Association. Jepson was a devoted and loving single father, raising two sons while in law school. He enjoyed cattle raising and farming on JR’s Farm in Pecos County with his love, Elma Jepson. Jepson taught his sons and grandchildren how to hunt, fish, and live off the land. He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Elma Jepson; son, David Jepson; mother, Carolina Jepson; and two grandchildren.
Aurelio Leo Lara
Lara, 71, of McAllen, died June 13, 2021. He received his law degree from Detroit College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1989. Lara was a partner in Hill & Lara in McAllen from 1989 to 1991 and a partner in the Law Offices of Aurelio Leo Lara in McAllen from 1991 to 2021. He was a 30-year Texas Bar College fellow. Lara was the life of the party. He enjoyed fixing things around the house and was respected by peers for his integrity and skill. Lara is survived by his wife of 51 years, Elizabeth Lara; son, Aaron Lara; daughter, Lisa Lara; brothers, George, Roland, and Joe; and four grandchildren.
Floyd L. Jennings
Jennings, 80, of Houston, died April 21, 2021. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1996. Jennings was chief mental health attorney in the Harris County Public Defender’s Office from 2010 to 2021. He served from 1982 to 2010 as psychologist to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Command. Jennings was the author of over 50 publications. He was president of the Southwestern and Houston Group Psychotherapy Societies, and an American Group Psychotherapy Association fellow. Jennings was a United Methodist minister for 50 years and examined clergy candidates for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Shirley Jennings; son, Glenn Jennings; daughters, LeAnne Buffington, C. Lynne Jennings, and Sherry Scott; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
James W. Holtz
Holtz, 68, of Houston, died May 25, 2021. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977. Holtz was an assistant city attorney in the Corpus Christi City Attorney’s Office from 1978 to 1981, an administrative judge for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1981 to 1982, and a partner in the Holtz Law Firm from 1982 to 2011. He enjoyed traveling. Holtz ran in marathons and climbed mountains, including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Rainier. He also enjoyed spending time at his weekend home in Lakeway. Holtz is survived by his wife of 40 years, attorney Susan Wright; sons, attorneys William Holtz and Edward Holtz; and brother, attorney John Holtz.
Mary Carol Cunningham
Cunningham, 72, of Austin, died March 15, 2021. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972. Cunningham was in private practice for most of her career. She graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary with an M.A. degree in 1998. Cunningham loved classical music, University of Texas football, politics, rooting for the underdog, reading, knitting, and spending time with her poodle, Duffy. She and her husband, attorney Thad Son, attended Conspirare Christmas concerts, Aida, Phantom of the Opera, Sarah Brightman’s Harem, and Cirque du Soleil programs.
Ebb B. Mobley III
Mobley, 78, of Longview, died July 7, 2021. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967. Mobley served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1967 to 1970. He was an assistant district attorney in the Gregg County District Attorney’s Office from 1970 to 1973 and a solo practitioner from 1973 to 2021. Mobley enjoyed managing knotty legal problems. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Laney Mobley; daughters, Elisabeth Mobley, Amanda Presley, and attorney Laura Hills; sister, Mary Kate Akkola; and five grandchildren.
James E. Brill
Brill, 87, of Houston, died May 27, 2021. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957. Brill served in the Reserve. He was a solo practitioner from 1958 to 1965, an attorney with Brunson, Sellers & Brill in Houston in 1966 and Brunson & Brill in Houston from 1967 to 1968, an attorney at Illig, Brill & DeWitt in Houston in 1969, a solo practitioner in Houston from 1970 to 1975, and founder of James E. Brill, P.C., in Houston from 1976 to 2019. Brill was an author and editor of the Texas Probate System for over 40 years. He was president of the State Junior Bar of Texas, now the Texas Young Lawyers Association, in 1968, and Houston Junior Bar Association, now Houston Young Lawyers Association, in 1964. Brill was honored as an outstanding 50-year lawyer by the Texas Bar Foundation in 2009. He mentored attorneys, especially solo practitioners in both mentor groups and formed Houston’s Solos Supporting Solos. Brill was internationally known for his collection of Pitcairn Islands postal history and memorabilia. He was a 60-year member of Holland Lodge No. 1 AF & AM and a recipient of its Golden Trowel Award. Brill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Patricia Brill; sons, attorney David Brill and Paul Brill; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Cecil A. Edwards Jr.
Edwards, 89, of Phoenix, Arizona, died February 3, 2021. He served as a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. Edwards received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1963. He was admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1964. Edwards practiced law in Arizona for over 50 years with Alston, Edwards & Novak and as a solo practitioner, representing injured workers with claims before the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Edwards enjoyed playing craps in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada, participating in cowboy action shooting with the Single Action Shooting Society, and world travel. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy V. Edwards; son, attorney Matthew M. Edwards; and three grandchildren.
Teresa Marie Robbins
Robbins, 61, of Dallas, died August 21, 2020. She received her law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2000. Robbins was a member in Weil & Petrocchi in Dallas from 2000 to 2010 and director of Robbins Law Firm in Dallas from 2010 to 2020. She lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for many years, where she developed a love for travel and adventure. Robbins spoke fluent French and was an accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist, and astrologer. She is survived by her brothers, David A. Robbins and Gary R. Robbins Jr.
Heslop, 57, of Houston, died April 29, 2021. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992. Heslop was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1995 and admitted to practice in Colorado in 1996. He was an associate of Adams, Coffey & Duesler in Beaumont from 1992 to 1996 and of Eastham, Watson, Dale & Forney in Houston from 1996 to 1998, and owner and principal in the Law Office of Barry C. Heslop in Houston from 1998 to 2021. Heslop was kind and a man of integrity. He loved to travel. Heslop is survived by his wife of 10 years, Kris Heslop; brother, Royce Heslop; and sisters, Pam Heslop and Twyla Heslop.
Miller, 82, of Corpus Christi, died July 12, 2021. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1963. Miller served as a clerk to Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Calvert and was the founder of the firm that is now known as Branscomb Law. He was a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the Texas Academy of Probate and Trust Lawyers. Miller was associate editor of the University of Texas Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif and Chancellors. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and his daughter, Leslie.
Alejandro E. Villarreal III
Villarreal, 65, of Laredo, died January 21, 2021. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980. Villarreal was a partner in Person, Whitworth, Borchers & Morales from 1980 to 2020; a general real estate appraiser, owner, and managing member in the Texas Land Title Association from 2002 to 2021; a partner in Whitworth Cigarroa from 2020 to 2021; owner and manager of Los Patios at the Barn; and owner and managing member of Casa Blanca Warehouse & Storage. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, teaching them how to dye Easter eggs, go bike riding, blow bubbles, and bake cookies and cupcakes. One of Villarreal’s passions was vintage cars—he was a member of the Outsiders Car Club and had a Chevy Hotrod and two Rolls Royces. He collected coins and antique knives. Villarreal had a passion for animals, taking in every dog, bird, or cat that came his way. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Veronica Villarreal; sons, Alejandro E. Villarreal IV, Fernando F. Villarreal, Javier C. Villarreal, Ruben I. Lopez, Marco A. Lopez, and Joey Lopez; daughter, Amanda Brothers; mother, Frances P. Villarreal; brothers, Enrique “Eddie” Villarreal, Marco Villarreal, Patricio “Pi” Villarreal, and Ricardo Villarreal; sister, Amanda Elizabeth “Lizzy” Villarreal; and seven grandchildren.
Gordie Lee White II
White, 81, of Lakeway, died July 30, 2021. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1958 to 1962 and in the Reserve from 1962 to 1968, and he was a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol. White received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968. He was a consultant in business development for Grant Thornton; a consultant for Lifson, Wilson, Ferguson and Winick; a solo practitioner; and owner of GW Properties. White was director of Sister Cities International in Houston and Austin. He was a member of the Houston Polo Club and enjoyed flying airplanes, gliders, and hot air balloons. White is survived by his wife of 30 years, attorney Cheryl Edwards White; son, Gordie Lee White III; daughter, Madeleine Claire White; and brothers, Larry White and Michael White.
Stone, 87, of Jacksonville, died July 19, 2021. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1959. Stone practiced family law in Jacksonville, was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston, and later was an attorney with Humble Oil and Refining, later Exxon. He was an avid reader; a lover of languages, music, religion, and philosophy; and a man who was passionate about politics. Stone is survived by his wife of 47 years, Annette Louise Farley; son, Donald Lamar Stone Jr.; daughters, Fenella Stone McDowell and Miriam Herron Stone; two grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Barbara M. Barron
Barron, 70, of Austin, died August 5, 2021. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977. Barron was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1980. She was an assistant attorney general in the Texas Attorney General’s Office in Austin from 1977 to 1981 and a shareholder in Barron & Newburger in Austin from 1981 to 2021. Barron served on the Commercial Law League of America Board of Governors and was chair of the Bankruptcy Section. She was president of the American Bar Association Bankruptcy Section.
Kevin Matthew Hall
Hall, 51, of Houston, died May 10, 2021. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2003. Hall was a solo practitioner from 2003 to 2021. He is survived by one son and two daughters.TBJ