MELVIN KENNETH “KEN” GRIFFIN Griffin, 80, of Odessa, died Nov. 26, 2011. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957. He spent his career as a sole practitioner in the Ken Griffin Law Firm. He was a past president of the Ector County Bar Association. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean conflict. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Glenda Rae Griffin; son, Randal Griffin of Abilene; daughters, Gail Schwartz of Garden City and Lori Griffin of Odessa; and five grandchildren. JANE K. RICCI Ricci, 64, of Chattanooga, Tenn., died March 11, 2012. She received her law degree from The Ohio State University and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979. She was a member of the Ohio and Tennessee bars. She was an associate with Hutcheson, Pinchak, Powers & Disheroon from 1990 to 1991 and a partner with Witt, Gaither & Whitaker from 1991 to 2006. She was of counsel to Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel from 2007 to 2010. She served on the board of directors for Legal Aid of East Tennessee from 2007 to 2012. She is survived by her husband of 36 years, John L. Ricci; sons, John P. Ricci of San Antonio and David K. Ricci of Nashville, Tenn.; daughters, Jane M. Ricci of Silver Spring, Md., and attorney Kay F. Ricci of Lincoln, Neb.; and mother, Mary W. Kirk of East Stroudsburg, Pa. RITA BETH WHATLEY CHANNAS Channas, 82, of McAllen, died July 12, 2012. She received her law degree from Cleveland State University and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981. She was a member of the Ohio Bar. She was an oil and gas attorney for more than 30 years and was a member of the Hidalgo County Bar Association. She is survived by her sisters, Ann Whatley Martin and Mildred Whatley Nunneley; and brother, Trent Whatley. FREDERICK GENE HARRELSON JR. Harrelson, 68, of Texarkana, Ark. died July 5, 2012. He received his law degree from the University of Arkansas and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar. He practiced law with Tackett, Young & Patton from 1969 to 1970 and with Dowd, Harrelson & Moore from 1971 to 1987. From 1988 to 2007, he practiced with Dowd, Harrelson, Moore & Giles, and from 2007 to 2012, he practiced with Harrelson & Matteson. He was a past president of the Texarkana Bar Association and was a special associate justice in the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1995. He served in the U.S. Army in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1970 to 1971. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Terri Tackett Harrelson; sons, attorney JeffHarrelson and attorney Steve Harrelson, both of Texarkana, Ark.; sister, Ann Lawler of Spring; and three grandchildren. HON. ROBERT EARL MONTGOMERY Montgomery, 80, of Chandler, died March 24, 2012. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1953. He began his law career in private practice in Midland from 1956 to 1961 and continued his private practice in Tulia from 1961 to 1965. He served as special county judge in both Midland and Tulia. He moved to Memphis and continued in private practice for 14 years until he was appointed district judge of the 100th Judicial Court. He served in that capacity until he became a senior district judge in 1985. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1956. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Araminta Montgomery; son, Robert Montgomery Jr.; daughters, Pamela Sue Simmons and Deborah Ann Smith; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. PAUL HENRY PIERI Pieri, 78, of Waco, died May 24, 2012. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967. From 1972 until his retirement in 1996, he served as an attorney and vice president of Columbia Gulf. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1960. He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Barbara T. Pieri; sons, Brian Pieri of Manitou Springs, Colo., and Parker Pieri of Waco; daughter, Lynn Pieri Guion of Dallas; and five grandchildren. FRANK GHISELLI JR. Ghiselli, 67, of Houston, died July 3, 2012. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969. He spent his career in private practice both in litigation and the general corporate representation of numerous businesses. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Leigh Ghiselli; son, Frank Valentine Ghiselli III of Houston; daughter, Kate Marie Ghiselli of Houston; stepdaughter, Jennifer Leigh Davis of Austin; sisters, Carolyn Stubbs of Houston and Mary Ann Womack of Dallas; and three grandchildren. HON. LARRY WELDON STARR Starr, 79, of Longview, died June 20, 2012. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960. From 1960 to 1966, he was an associate of Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman, Bates & Jaworski. He was a partner with Kenley, Boyland, Hawthorn, Starr & Coghlan from 1966 to 1978 and a partner with Sharp, Ward, Ross, McDaniel & Starr from 1978 to 1980. From 1981 to 1986, he served as judge of County Court at Law of Gregg County, and from 1986 to 1995, he served as judge of the 188th Judicial District Court. In 1996, he served as justice of the Texarkana Court of Appeals. After retiring, he continued to serve as a visiting judge on the Texas Courts of Appeals and as a visiting trial judge in several East Texas counties. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1954 to 1957. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Ogletree Starr; sons, attorney Michael E. Starr of Tyler and Jeffrey H. Starr of Walnut Creek, Calif.; daughter, attorney Jennifer Starr McCumber of Los Alamos, N.M.; sister, June Slabey of Spring City, Pa.; and nine grandchildren. JOHN VALENTINE Valentine, 66, of Austin, died April 28, 2012. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981. He was an associate and later a partner with Boswell & Hallmark from 1981 to 1997. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1971. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Debra Valentine; sons, attorney Glenn Valentine and James Valentine, both of Houston; sisters, Sue Hudson of Austin and Kathleen Wolfe of Kansas City, Kan.; and brother, Glenn G. Valentine of Zionsville, Ind. BERTRAND L. “RANDY” POURTEAU II Pourteau, 60, of Houston, died May 28, 2012. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977. He was an attorney with Gulf Coast Legal Foundation and a partner in Dameris & Pourteau. In 1991, he began work in the City of Houston Legal Department as an attorney responsible for all contract law and was promoted in 2010 to section chief of General Litigation. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Patti Montague-Pourteau; son, 1st Lt. Bertrand Alec Pourteau, Esq., USMC of Okinawa, Japan; stepsons, Joseph Montague of Houston and Christopher Montague of Florida; daughter, Rebecca Pourteau-Lacoste of Houston; stepdaughters, Denise Houck of Murray, Ky., and Erin Montague of Houston; mother, Mary Dorothy Pourteau of Katy; brothers, Patrick Steven Pourteau of West Columbia and James Christopher Pourteau of Bryan; sister, Kathryn Gayle Pourteau Oeffinger of Austin; and one grandchild. ROGER H. THURMOND JR. Thurmond, 76, of Del Rio, died June 12, 2011. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958. He never became a practicing lawyer, and after serving in the Texas House of Representatives for three consecutive terms, he went into livestock ranching. He is survived by his brother, George M. Thurmond of Del Rio. WALTER BELDEN THURMOND Thurmond, 57, of Houston, died May 3, 2012. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1984. From 1983 to 1986, he was an attorney with Walsh, Squires & Tompkins. He was a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division from 1986 to 1990, and from 1990 to 1993, he was a tax attorney with Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay, P.C. From 1994 to 2000, he was a partner with Allie & Thurmond, L.L.P. From 2000 to 2002, he was a tax and bankruptcy attorney with Premiere Holdings. From 2003 to 2008, he was a bankruptcy attorney with Barrett Burke Wilson Castle Daffin & Frappier. From 2009 to 2012, he was National Tax Practice Coordinator for UHY Advisors TX, L.L.C. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Kathryn Narum Thurmond; son, Tim Thurmond of Houston; daughter, Elissa Thurmond Arnold of Rockwall; mother, Lois Belden Thurmond of Kerrville; and brother, Ben Thurmond of Houston. Memorials are published as a tribute to deceased Texas attorneys. Information included is primarily related to the individual’s accomplishments in the legal profession. To submit a Memorial, please visit texasbar.com/tbj and fill out an online form or call (512) 427-6834 for more information. To learn more about closing a deceased attorney’s practice, visit texasbarcle.com/materials/closingapractice.html.
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