HON. THOMAS RAMEY JR. Ramey, 90, of Tyler— a past president of the State Bar of Texas—died October 9, 2015. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Orleck during World War II from 1943 to 1946. Ramey later received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951. He then became a senior partner in Ramey, Flock, Hutchins, Jeffus, McClendon & Crawford, a Tyler law firm that Ramey’s father had established in 1922. In 1982, Ramey was appointed a justice of the 12th Court of Appeals, of which he became chief justice in 1989. Ramey retired from the bench in 2000 and returned to practice law with Ramey and Flock in 2002. After many years of service for the State Bar of Texas and local bars—including a term as president of the Smith County Bar Association—Ramey was elected president of the State Bar in 1984. He was a member of the Trial Attorneys of America, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Texas Bar Foundation Sustaining Life Fellows, among other organizations. Ramey is remembered for his deep faith in Jesus and dedication to Marvin United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday school for many years; his tireless community leadership; and his love for family. Ramey is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jill; sons, Tom III and Henry; daughter, Claire Turner; and four grandchildren. LAMAR WILLIAM JOHNSTON Johnston, 57, of San Marcos, died September 16, 2015. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1992. Johnston was an associate of Sullins Johnston Rohrbach & Magers in Houston from 1992 to 1997. He loved muscle cars and hunting. Johnston is survived by his sister, Jacqueline. FRANK J. BETANCOURT Betancourt, 83, of Waxahachie, died December 20, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1956 and later received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Betancourt was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964. He began his career as an attorney with Leachman Gardere Akin Porter and DeHay and then was a partner in DeHay & Blanchard from 1980 to 1992. He retired from Payne & Blanchard in 1996. Betancourt was known as a quiet gentleman litigator who was well liked by his partners and highly respected by his adversaries. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sue; brother, Lionel; and sisters, Betty Wilson and Lee Magee. DANA SMITH Smith, 67, of Brown-wood, died July 17, 2015. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974. Smith practiced in Brownwood for more than 40 years, leaving a legacy of kindness and compassion that his family is most proud of. It is said that he not only gained clients but also friends. Smith enjoyed playing golf and spending time with his family and friends. He is survived by his son, Blake; daughter, Paige Brum; and brother, Damon. HON. JOE B. DIBRELL JR. Dibrell, 89, of Austin, died August 9, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1943 to 1945 and later received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Dibrell was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1952. He was a solo practitioner in Coleman from 1952 to 1960; county attorney of Coleman County from 1956 to 1960; judge of the 35th Judicial District covering Coleman, Brady, and Brownwood from 1961 to 1972; chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office in Austin from 1973 to 1978; a solo practitioner in Austin from 1979 to 1984; judge of the 353rd District Court of Travis County from 1984 to 1992; and of counsel to Gray & Becker in Austin from 1993 to 2013. Dibrell is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jayne; son, attorney Will; daughter, Margaret; and one grandchild. LUTHER WADE STARR Starr, 87, of Dallas, died October 2, 2015. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1948 to 1953 and in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1954. Starr received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1963. He was an attorney and partner in Goodstein & Starr from 1963 to 1996. Starr is remembered as having been loved by all and for his interests in photography, genealogy, and family history. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Joy; daughters, Anita Conner and Dana Bates; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. STONEWALL JACKSON FISHER III Fisher, 72, of San Antonio, died October 6, 2015. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967. Also a CPA, Fisher served in the U.S. Army Finance Corps from 1967 to 1969 and then joined Arthur Young. In 1972, he became an attorney with the firm eventually known as Lang, Ladon, Green, Coghlan and Fisher, of which he was managing partner from 1978 to 1999. From 1999 to 2006, Fisher was vice president of legal affairs and chief legal officer of Lancer Corp. He enjoyed traveling and playing golf. Fisher is survived by his wife of 16 years, Lisa; sons, Steven and Jonathan; step-daughter, attorney Elizabeth O’Connell; and two grandchildren. MARK LYNDON KINCAID Kincaid, 56, of Austin, died January 19, 2016. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1983. Kincaid was a briefing attorney for Texas Supreme Court Justice Franklin S. Spears from 1983 to 1984; an associate of Longley & Maxwell from 1984 to 1991; public counsel to the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel from 1994 to 1995; an attorney with the Law Office of Mark L. Kincaid from 1991 to 1997; a partner in Kincaid & Horton from 1997 to 2012; and a partner in George Brothers Kincaid Horton from 2012 to 2016. He also served as editor of the Texas Consumer Law Reporter from 1985 to 1992 and as an adjunct professor at the UT School of Law from 1995 to 2016. Kincaid was certified in consumer and commercial law, civil trial law, and civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and was a co-author of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges—Business, Consumer, Insurance & Employment. He was the president-elect of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association at the time of his death. A civil rights-loving, life-long Democrat, Kincaid was intolerant of injustice from his earliest years and prevailed upon himself and others to fight for the rights of the powerless. He also was a great storyteller and music lover. Kincaid is survived by his wife of 11 years, Joan; sons, Connor, Matthew, and Will; brothers, James and Mike; and sister, Marla. JESS MANKIN JR. Mankin, 94, of Richardson, died January 26, 2016. He received his Bachelor of Laws and J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, was a member of the Florida Bar, and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978. Mankin was a lawyer with Jess Mankin Jr. Attorney and Counselor of Law from 1978 to 2003. He was admitted to practice in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 11th and 5th Circuits. Mankin served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot in the Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 141 for four years. He is remembered for always having a story or joke to tell, for his love of history, and for showing respect, love, and kindness to all people. Mankin is survived by his son, Roger; daughters, Pamela Kramer and Rhonda Webb; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. MELVIN NORMAN GRAY Gray, 74, of San Angelo, died October 10, 2015. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966. Gray served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1974. He was owner of Melvin Gray & Associates from 1980 to 2012 and then became a partner in Gray & Brigman from 2012 to 2015. Gray was the founding director and, from 2004 to 2008, was secretary-treasurer of the Concho Valley Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He was admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. Gray is remembered as charismatic, big-hearted, and larger than life. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Suzanne; daughters, Kristin Henry and Vicki Bingham; brothers, Rusty and Charlie; sister, Karel McManus; and four grandchildren. CHARLES THURMOND COLE Cole, 63, of Dallas, died March 29, 2013. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973. Cole was a partner in Phenix, Freeman & Cole in Henderson from 1973 to 1979; a private practitioner in Longview and Dallas from 1979 to 1987; a partner in Brewer, Brewer, Cole, Hufstetler & Danish from 1987 to 1990; and a judge with the Texas Department of Insurance in Dallas from 1991 until his death. He was a former president and vice president of the Rusk County Bar Association and was a frequent speaker at the TexasBarCLE Annual Advanced Workers Compensation Course. Cole also was the first non-medical member of the Washington, D.C.-based American Red Cross Advisory Council on First Aid, Aquatics, Safety and Preparedness and the Resuscitation Subcouncil. He is remembered for his love of traveling in Europe. Cole is survived by his former wife, Lynda Marstellar; mother, Mary; and sister, Marilyn Jones. BEVERLY TARPLEY Tarpley, 85, of Abilene, died February 14, 2016. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951. She was an associate of, partner in, and of counsel to the Abilene firm of Scarborough, Black, Tarpley and Scarborough from 1951 to 2005, during which time she was the first woman attorney from Texas—and the youngest, at age 27— to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1957. In 1975, Tarpley became the first woman appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to the Texas Board of Law Examiners, which she chaired from 1985 to 1991. She then was a mediator and arbitrator from 1992 until her retirement in 2010. Tarpley was the first woman appointed to the Texas Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. She also was chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and she served in the ABA House of Delegates. Tarpley was president of the Taylor County Bar Association and received the State Bar Women and the Law Section’s Ma’at Justice Award in 2004. Tarpley received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida, in 2004. She is survived by her son, Charles; daughter, Beth Rathe; and three grandchildren. WILL G. BARBER Barber, 83, of Georgetown, died November 24, 2015. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School, was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958, and also was a member of the Colorado Bar. Barber served in the U.S. Army in 1957 and in the Reserve from 1958 to 1964. He was a briefing attorney for the Texas Supreme Court from 1958 to 1959; an associate of Brown Sparks & Erwin from 1959 to 1964; a partner in Brown Maroney Rose Barber & Dye from 1964 to 1991; senior counsel to Locke Liddell & Sapp from 1991 to 1997; of counsel to Hull Henricks from 1997 to 2007; and founder and editor of the Texas Court’s Charge Reporter from 1973 to 2016. Barber was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and chairman of its Emil Gumpert Award Committee, special counsel to Sen. John T. Montford during the 1987 and 1989 legislative sessions; and an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center and the University of Texas School of Law. He is remembered for his love of family, spending time in Colorado, and spiritual rodding. Barber is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pat; sons, attorney Bill and Jack; daughters, Mary Beth Kelley and Katy Agnor; and seven grandchildren. ABBIE JOE DOWNING JR. Downing, 78, of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, died October 18, 2015. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1963. Downing was assistant city attorney for the city of Abilene and then became a special agent in the FBI, taking assignments in Seattle, Washington, and Los Angeles, California. From 1968 to 1994, he was a labor negotiator at Mountain States Employers Council in Denver, Colorado, representing employers — mostly mining companies across the country—in labor negotiations. He was a labor consultant after his retirement. Downing is remembered as a really funny guy who loved telling jokes and stories, playing golf, and spending time with family. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Janay; daughter, Jonlon Bankert; son, Joe Robert; and two grandchildren. GARY MICHAEL LAWRENCE Lawrence, 64, of Austin, died February 9, 2016. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1977. Lawrence was an associate of Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston from 1977 to 1979; an associate of and partner in Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody from 1979 to 2000, having served on the firm’s board of directors; a solo practitioner with the Law Office of Michael Lawrence from 2000 to 2006; and a member in Lawrence & Stenson Law from 2007 to 2014. Lawrence also was a former municipal judge of the city of Rollingwood. He is remembered for having been a humanitarian, musician, and ordained minister with Journey Imperfect Faith Community. He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Kathie; son, Wesley; daughter, Samantha; brother, Kim; sister, Julia; and four grandchildren. DAVID ABRAHAM ABDALLA Abdalla, 55, of Arlington, Virginia, died in January 2016. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and his Master of Laws from the University of Houston Law Center. Abdalla was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985 and also was a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He was an associate of Bracewell & Giuliani in Houston from 1985 to 1991 and then was an environmental attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1992 to 2011. Abdalla is remembered as an intelligent man, graced with wit and charm, who grew to be an avid outdoorsman and was always quick to encourage others. He is survived by his mother, Connie; brother, Gary; and sister, Amy. • 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.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Memorials/2465782/299572/article.html.