Claude Carroll Albritton, Jr.
Claude Albritton entered Southern Methodist University in 1929 and made it his home for most of his life. Few before or since have given that university greater service or distinction.
He was born in Corsicana, Texas on April 7, 1913 and received Bachelor of Arts in geography and Bachelor of Science in geology in 1933. After Harvard University awarded him the Master of Arts degree in 1934 and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1936, Claude Albritton returned to, Southern Methodist University to teach. In 1938 he investigated quaternary geology of t he Davis Mountains with Kirk Bryan and with archaeologists J. C. Kelley and T. N. Campbell; their report was published in 1939. This sort of interdisciplinary investigation, with geology as a fundamental element, would constitute his primary intellectual pursuit.
In 1941 he published a study of the quaternary sands of the High Plains with his pupil R. M. Huffington. During World War II he served as geologist for the United States Geological Survey. In 1944 he married Jane Christman and they had three children, all of whom ultimately survived him.
Claude Albritton returned to his university as chairman of the geology department from 1947 to 195 1. In 1955 he collaborated with Fred Wendorf and Alex Krieger in publishing The Midland Discovery. Although he served his university as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1952-1957, as Dean of the Graduate School from 1957-1971, as Chairman of the Board of Publications from 1968-1978, as Vice-Provost for Library Development from 1971-1973, and as Dean of Libraries from 1973-1978, his scholarship continued almost uninterrupted. In 1963, to celebrate the Geological Society of America's seventy-fifth anniversary, Albritton edited and published The Fabric of Geology, followed by studies of the stratigraphy of the Domebo mammoth-kill site in 1966 and of the Copperton mammoth site in 1975. In the meantime he also had begun to study the archaeological geology of Egyptian Nubia. After publishing his report on the geology of the Tuska site (The Prehistory of Nubia) in 1968, he produced a number of collaborative works on the region into the mid- 1970s and finally The Origin of the Qattara Depression in 1998. In 1975 he edited the Philosophy of Geohistory: 1785-1970 and was one of the first Americans elected a corresponding member of the International Commission for the History of the Geological Sciences. He assisted in establishing and chaired the American participating committee of the Commission. As a principal organizer of the History Division of the Geological Society of America, he became its first chairman and the second recipient of the Society's History of Geology Award.
Claude Albritton's retirement in 1978 as Hamilton Professor of Geology, which he had held since 1955, did not alter his intellectual stride. His post-retirement activities included service as vice-president of SMU's Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, the contribution of a significant essay on geological time to The Abyss of Time in 1990, and writing new articles on the history of geology for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He also assisted in planning the geological essays for the supplement to the Dictionary of Scientific Biography and wrote Catastrophic Episodes in Earth History, which was published posthumously in 1989.
A week before he died on November 1, 1988, Claude Albritton was notified that he would be the recipient of the Archaeological Geology Award at the centennial meeting of the Geological Society of America. At this meeting, which occurred on the day Claude Albritton died, the award was presented to him in absentia.
William Herbert Crook
William Herbert Crook, president of this society in 1995, died in his Corpus Christi Home on October 29,1997. He was 72. He had a distinguished career of service to the public, both in governmental and private capacities.
Bill was born in Illinois in 1925 and moved to Texas with his family at the age of four. He served as an engineer gunner during World War II. He graduated from Baylor University in 1949 and received a doctorate in theology from Southwest Seminary. In 1960 he resigned as pastor of a Baptist church in Nacogdoches to run unsuccessfully for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. Later that year he assumed the presidency of San Marcos Academy, where he doubled the endowment and instituted many new programs.
His governmental career had its start in December 1965, when President Johnson asked Bill to open, in Austin, a Regional Office of the Office of Economic Opportunity, a key element in Mr. Johnson's efforts to ease the problems of the poor. In 1968 the President appointed Bill to be national director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and two years later named Bill as Ambassador to Australia. On his return from Australia at the end of the Johnson Administration, Bill went into business, but his interest in helping the public did not waver. As a private citizen he succeeded in obtaining from Spain, for Corpus Christi, the Spanish replicas of the Columbus ships.
Both Governor White and Governor Richards made use of his abilities by appointing him to posts. Bill was one founding member of the Society of the Anchor of the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief of the Episcopal Church. It was under the auspices of the Fund that he was working in the Ethiopian feeding camps during the famine in 1985. It was there that he contracted hepatitis, which killed him 12 years later. As Society member Lady Bird Johnson said after his death: "Bill Crook led a wonderfully good and useful life, much of it spent doing the Lord's work. His whole life was a test of faith. He contracted the virus that killed him in Ethiopia trying to verify that international aid was spent to feed the starving."
The problems of the poor were a constant concern with Bill. He served on the task force that helped formulate the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. In a 1994 interview, he said of that legislation: "It was a daring venture. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 said something that no civilization has ever said before. It said, 'It is the official policy of this government to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty! No civilization in the history of mankind has ever even attempted to go back and pick up what it had sloughed off. We made that attempt, I think more successfully than the program's given credit for. Out of it came Head Start, Job Corps, and any number of other people-oriented programs."
Bill loved the Philosophical Society, to which he was elected in 1973. He regretted that the proceedings, which he thought were splendid, did not have a lasting impact. He wanted the Annual Meetings to be more than a pleasant social gathering where those present were educated by papers from experts on whatever subject was the theme that year. He wanted the prestige and influence of Society members to propagate the expert learning presented in the papers into concrete changes for the better in the life of our state and nation. It was a lofty goal, though one not easy to achieve.
He was more successful in achieving another of his goals for the Society. He felt that our membership was predominantly white males from Houston, Austin, and Dallas, and that we ought to have a membership more reflective of the demographics of our state. He persuaded the Board of Directors and, at the 1996 Annual Meeting, the membership to approve an amendment to the Bylaws creating a Committee on Membership. It now screens proposals for membership and puts on the ballot those candidates whose election would best serve the needs and desires of the Society. Appropriately Bill was named as first Chairman of the Committee on Membership and presided over its first meeting in August 1997.
Bill was the first future President of the Society to name a Program Committee to work with him in selecting the topic for the Annual Meeting in his presidential year and in thinking of suitable speakers. The committee he named met several times and did contribute ideas for the program for the 1995 Annual Meeting in Corpus Christi. The program, on "The Ocean Within: Myths and Memories", was brilliantly successful, though it must be said that most of its success was due, not to the Program Committee, but to Bin's ability to attract excellent speakers and to persuade his friend, Bill Moyers, to come as Moderator. Another highlight of that Annual Meeting was the cocktail reception that Bill and Eleanor Crook gave in their home.
Bill was a soft-spoken man with a sweet smile and a gentle sense of humor. Bin Moyers said of Bill Crook: "He was one of the most accomplished men to be so modest that I ever knew. He was really a Renaissance man who was at home in many worlds and always at peace with himself."
Bill is survived by Eleanor and by three children, William H. Crook, Jr., of Corpus Christi, Mary Elizabeth Crook of Austin, and Noel Crook Moore, of Raleigh, N.C. Daughter Elizabeth, herself a member of this Society, has written: "He lived an exceptional fife and taught us all many lessons, the last of which was how to die with grace, and unafraid." It is a lesson that we Philosophers would all do well to learn.
Edwin Heinen, 89, of Houston, passed away Sunday, April 9,1995. Mr. Heinen was born March 17, 1906 in Comfort, Texas to the late Hubert and Else Heinen. He attended Rice University and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. At Ernst and Young he was one of the initiators of Management Consulting for Accounting Systems and a Resident and Managing Partner. He was a member of Christ Church Cathedral, a Director of the Hernotherapy Institute of the Texas Medical Center, Junior Achievement, the Society for the Performing Arts, the Better Business Bureau, and the Houston Grand Opera Association, and also active in many other civic and cultural organizations. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Houston since 1951, he was President in 1963-64 and District Governor in 1970-71. He received the Rotary Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award in 1984. He also served as a member and President of the Board of Education of HISD and as member and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Houston Community College System. The theater of this system was named in his honor.
Erwin Heinen was a man who gave much to his community. He took on especially difficult volunteer responsibilities and performed them with distinction and much effectiveness. In 1973 he ran for the Board of the Houston Independent School District in order to bring a management expertise to that board that was sorely lacking. He had done the same thing in 1971 by accepting an appointment to the Harris County Hospital District Board of Managers. In this responsibility he was very instrumental in effectuating changes that improved immeasurably the delivery of health care to the undeserved. He was also instrumental in the development of a stronger Junior Achievement program and during his later years, was always available for assignments that improved Houston.
Paul George Vincent O'Shaughnessy Horgan, one of the most prolific and distinguished writers of the Southwest, died in Middletown, Connecticut, on March 8, 1995. He was 91 years old.
Horgan wrote seventeen novels, four volumes of short stories, five biographies, and various other works, including a volume of his drawings and paintings, which were exhibited at the Amen Carter Museum in Fort Worth and the New York Public Library, among other places. He published his first novel-The Fault of Angels, which won the Harper Prize-in 1933, but he won more fame for his non-fiction, which included The Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History (1954), for which he won the Pulitzer prize for history and Bancroft prizes, and Lamy of Santa Fe: His Life and Times (1975), which won the Pulitzer. Other historical works include The Centuries of Santa Fe (1956) and Conquistadors in North American History (1963). In addition, he was awarded more than fifty honorary degrees during his more than half-century career.
Paul Horgan was born in Buffalo, N.Y., but moved to New Mexico with his family when his father developed tuberculosis and needed to relocate. He went to high school in Albuquerque, then worked for the local newspaper, writing music and drama reviews, before enrolling in the Eastman School of Music in Rochester in 1923, where he studied singing. He dropped out of the school after a year, then worked as a theater designer in Rochester before returning to New Mexico at age 24 to become a writer. In 1926 he became librarian of the New Mexico Military Institute, stipulating that he be allowed time to write.
He was initially invited to Wesleyan University in 1959 to serve as a fellow at its Center for Advanced Studies. He was made director of the center in 1962 and also served as a professor of English and artist-in-residence. Although living in the East, Horgan continued to write about the Southwest. David McCullough called his The Heroic Triad (1970) "a brilliant study of the three cultures of the Southwest." He also wrote A Distant Trumpet (1960) about the Apache wars of the 1880s, Whitewater (1970), The Thin Mountain Air (1977), and Mexico Bay, (1982), about a writer trying to write a history of the war between the United States and Mexico.
Horgan was a remarkable personality who wrote on many things-Encounters with Stravinsky (1972), for example-although he continually returned to the subject of his favored Southwest. He was passionate about music and painting and his faith, and, in his 1993 autobiographical essays, Tracings, he recalled the triumph that he felt upon being admitted to the normally restricted Vatican archives to pursue his biography of Archbishop Lamy. He proposed his own epitaph in an 1987 magazine interview: "He was an artist who worked to the best of his ability to achieve works of art."
Harris Masterson III
The arts in Houston lost a godfather with the death of Harris Masterson III on April 7, 1997 at the age of 82. However, his death did not end the generosity of the lifelong philanthropist who, with his wife Carroll Sterling Masterson, led the movement to raise the Houston arts scene to a par with other major U.S. cities. As a magnificent gift to the city and art lovers everywhere, Harris Masterson III bequeathed his palatial River Oaks home-Rienzi-and the surrounding gardens to Houston's Museum of Fine Arts. It was a final grand gesture from 2 couple who devoted their lives to enhancing Houstonians's quality of life.
The son of local businessman Neill Turner Masterson and his wife Libbie Johnston Masterson, Harris Masterson III attended Kinkaid School, San Jacinto High School and the New Mexico Military Institute. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Rice University. During World War 11, he served as a captain In Army intelligence and was called back into service during the Korean War. He was an investor and art collector for much of his professional life.
In 1951, he renewed his acquaintance with Carroll Sterling, a former Kinkaid classmate. Carroll Sterling, who died in 1994, was the daughter of Isla Carroll and Frank Sterling, a founder of the Humble Oil Co. She and her two children moved back to Houston from Mexico City in 1950 after her husband was killed in an airplane crash. Following a whirlwind courtship, she and Harris married in January 1951, Later, in an interview in The Houston Post, Carroll Masterson said, "It took us about five days to decide to get married. Of course, it wasn't like we had to got to know each other." In the ensuing years, their names were inexorably linked with philanthropic bequests.
In the early 1960s, he produced plays and theatricals in New York City and was a cofounder of Houston Presents, an organization that brought major performers, orchestras and touring companies to the city. Although he and his wife traveled widely and even maintained residences in cities such as London, Houston was his home and first love.
He dated his philanthropic urges to his youth. "My mother, sister, brother and I would take baskets to people at Christmas for the Christ Church Cathedral guild in the late teens and early '20s in Houston," he told The Houston Post. "Carroll and I are both native Houstonians, and we have been strong Houston supporters all our lives. We feel you have to share what you have."
Perhaps Harris Masterson's finest contribution to Houston was the Gus S. Wortham Theater Center. In 1977, he began the 10-year private fund-raising effort that built the $72 million opera/ballet complex, serving as head of what was then the Lyric Theater Foundation. "Harris was the focus of everything during the first five or six years," Houston Grand Opera general director David Gockley told The Houston Post at the Center's opening. He remained a central element until the Wortham Center was handed over to the city in 1987. His oversight of the project was legendary. Houston Chronicle art critic-at-large Ann Holmes remembered that one of the stages at the Wortham Center was inadequate for ballet, and he gave the $300,000 needed to bring it up to par.
In 1987, the Wortham Center Foundation of which he was president handed the center over to the city of Houston. The center was to become its most stunning cultural asset. The Green Room at the Wortham is named in his honor.
At various times in his life, he headed the boards of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Miller Outdoor Theater and the Lyric Theater Foundation. He was honorary &airman of the Houston Grand Opera and a major contributor to the Houston Symphony and the Alley Theater, He was one of only a few lifetime trustees of both the Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera. In 1988, the Houston Grand Opera named its "Masterson Award" in honor of him and his wife. The awards go to individuals who have given distinguished service to the organization.
Both Mastersons were known for their service as well as their generosity. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston benefited from the tendency early when the pair was named to its board in 1953. The Masterson's gifts made expansion of the museum possible. The Masterson Junior Gallery features exhibitions for the younger generation. There is also a Masterson Galley and the Frank Prior Sterling Galleries, dedicated to the memory Carroll Masterson's father.
The couple's 700-piece collection of Worcester porcelain was donated to the museum 1984. The collection was considered the finest outside of England, Over the years, they also loaned portions of their fine art collection for exhibitions at the museum. Friends recalled that Harris Masterson III once delivered his collection of ornate Faberge eggs to the museum in a shoebox.
The perfect setting for the jewels of their collections was Rienzi, named for Harris Masterson's maternal grandfather Rienzi Melville Johnston. founder of The Houston Post. Well-known local architect John Staub designed the home. The gardens, designed by landscape architect Ralph Gunn, cover more than four acres and were frequently spotlighted during the city's annual Azalea Trail. Rienzi served as an elegant center for the many parties and dinners hosted by Harris and Carroll Masterson over four decades. In 1988, the couple hosted Princess Christina of Sweden, her husband Tord Magnuson along with a group of Houston notables at a reception and private dinner. In 1989, Sarah, then the Duchess of York, enjoyed Southern cuisine at a luncheon hosted by the Mastersons and attended by several of their older grandchildren.
Rienzi itself adjoins Bayou Bond, the estate of Ima Hogg that was also donated to the local fine arts museum. Harris Masterson himself served as coordinator of Bayou Bend's transformation from Miss Ima Hogg's private home to the decorative arts wing of the Museum of Fine Arts. Rienzi's decor, however, is mainly 18th century and reflects British style, making it a fine foil for Bayou Band. The bequest also contains funding for the estate's upkeep as well as the couple's collections of 18th century English furniture and silver. Some of the art that Harris Masterson III collected during his lifetime went with the house as well, Carroll Masterson once said, "Mr. Masterson really did all the collecting.'
Harris Masterson III was a unique presence in the city. Airways accoutered in the latest of European tailoring, he was readily identifiable by his white hair, his cane and his Rolls Royce. Known as an avid card player, he was also a fond father to his wife's two children and a mentor to the youngsters in his family-including well known director Peter Masterson, who credited Harris Masterson with encouraging him to go into the acting trade. He had no biological children of his own.
When he was feted at a benefit for the University of Houston Moores School of Music, organizers were at a loss when it came to choosing a gift. Finally, they called the International Star Registry and renamed the star Aquila Harris Masterson III.
While the fine arts dominated much of the Masterson's attention, they gave to other aspects of Houston society as well. They were known as mainstays of the Center for the Retarded, whose board Harris Masterson headed for 16 years, and were frequent contributors to St. Joseph Hospital, the only hospital in downtown Houston and DePelchin Faith Home. When the Van Lawrence Voice Institute in the department of otorhinolaryngology was named at Baylor College of Medicine, the Mastersons made certain that it was the recipient of a major gift. Dr. Richard Stasney, who oversees operations of the institute, said, "Mr. Masterson's help was Invaluable." His gift continues to fund a study of how larynxes age, a work that will be provide key answers as to why voices change as people get older. "Harry was a good friend," said Dr. Stasney. "He was one of the treasures of Houston.'
Through a family foundation, he and his wife were also major contributors to the study of geriatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, the state's only private medical school.
When Carroll Sterling Masterson was named "woman of the year" by the local chapter of the YWCA, it was no fluke. The Carroll Sterling Masterson Branch of the Houston YWCA at Memorial Drive and Heights Boulevard is named for her. Her involvement with the YMCA was a Masterson family tradition, Harris's grandmother helped found the Houston YWCA in 1907. Carroll Masterson served on the organization's board for many years. In an article in The Houston Post, she explained that she had "two children, 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren (at the time), so I'm rather interested in any organization that helps women and children," a sentiment echoed by her husband. That devotion to family and humanity was honored also by the Anti-Defamation League in 1987 when they gave the pair a Torch of Liberty Award at a gala that drew 900 guests.
For more than four decades, Harris Masterson III held firm to his vision of a livable city enhanced by an infusions of visual and performing arts. He did not limit his efforts to signing a check. Instead, he gave large chunks of his life to building an arts community that graces the Houston of today and will continue to do so in the centuries to come. His leadership was crucial to establishing the city as a regional center for performing arts and art appreciation. His death marked the end of an era in Houston.
Watkins Reynolds Matthews
Watkins Reynolds Matthews spent more than a half of a century presiding over the family's Lambshead ranch 14 miles north of Albany, Texas. He was 98 and the last of his generation in one of Texas prominent ranching family. Watt, as he was known by all, spent his whole life living on the ranch with the exception of four years at Princeton University.
He was born in Albany, lived at the ranch, and seldom left Texas except to attend 1921 Class Princeton reunions. He saw very few reasons to leave the ranch. After all, his family had been working the ranch since 1870's. Among the first of the region's white settlers, the Matthews and Reynolds clans helped establish the state's signature cattle industry. By the time Mr. Matthews came along, not even the discovery of oil was enough to drive them away.
The ranch traces its history to the last century when the Reynolds and Matthews family struck out from Alabama and Georgia and kept going until the reached the Clear Fork of the Brazos on the edge of the Comanche territory just before the civil war. Once reaching that part of the country, the two families began marrying each other with such furious regularity that Watt, mother, Sallie Reynolds Matthews, wrote a book, "Interwoven: A Pioneer Chronicle" to get them all sorted out.
The book, published in 1936, became a classic of Texas history, as did "Watt Matthews of Lambshead: A Photographic Study of a Man and His Ranch," by Laura C. Wilson, which extended Watt's fame after its publication in 1989.
By then, the ranch had become historic treasure, and Watt, who had been running it for a family corporation since the death of his father in 1941, had become an unofficial tourist attraction, a 5 foot - 6 inch cowboy who was not only most genial host and generous supporter of historic preservation, but also a person who made every one feel special when they visited the ranch.
Like his parents before him, he became famous for the house parties that would draw dozens of friends for days at a time, but as a young man he had got so tired of having to giving up his bedroom to his parents' guest that he moved into the bunkhouse. He did not move back to the main house until a couple of years ago, and only then a concession to the comfort of the nurses hired to take care of him as his health began to fail. Until then, Watt made do with a simple room furnished with a bed, bureau, bootjack, and chair, all the comforts needed by man.
For all his devotion to the simple life, Watt did not shun all new-fangeled conveniences. He experimented with using helicopter-mounted cowboys, but though the choppers proved effective for a while, especially in flushing strays out of tall grass, the cattle eventually got so accustomed to the satisfying whoosh of the rotors that the cowboys had to go back to their horses.
For all his fame as a say-at-home, Watt did make one trip to Europe some years back, but that was only because a grandniece wheedled him into it by piquing his interest in flying on the Concord.
As the youngest of nine children, Watt came by his longevity naturally. All seven who survived infancy lived beyond the age of 85, five of them into their 90s and one to 105.
It was a measure of Watt's standing in the state that at his funeral over 1000 people made the 13 mile drive to the ranch from Albany and 15 mile drive down the ranch driveway to the family cemetery. After the public service, Watt, dressed in faded jeans and a Levi's jacket, a bandanna around his neck and his sweaty Stetson at his side in a plain wooden coffin, was, as he had requested buried in the cemetery next to his oldest sister.
Dennis O'Connor, rancher, banker, oilman, was born Oct. 31, 1906 in Victoria, Texas, died Jan. 16, 1997 at Refugio. He was descended from Tom O'Connor who emigrated from Ireland, arriving at Copano in 1834. He attended Dallas University and graduated with a BS in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.
Although Mr. O'Connor considered himself primarily a rancher and was an authority on Coastal Bend plant life, especially palms, he became involved in several major enterprises. In the 1930s he and other family members began oil-drilling operations on O'Connor properties in the region, forming a number of successful partnerships and bringing in several important fields. Dennis O'Connor was personally reluctant to enter the oil business but felt, during the Depression, that he owed this to the community for the revenues it would bring the region. Later he purchased the Victoria Bank and Trust Co. and began a long career in banking, for many years chairman of Victoria Bancshares until this was sold in 1995.
He served in the US Navy as an officer volunteer during World War II, holding the rank of lieutenant commander.
Dennis O'Connor was a man with an enormous range of interests ranging from astronomy and weather research to education, medicine, and historic preservation, all of which he was in a position to assist through his philanthropies. He was a major contributor to the Victoria Minidome, the Refugio City Library, the Corpus Christi aquarium, the McDonald Observatory, the La Bahia Mission restoration, and the La Belle recovery project as well as to his church and many health and medical causes. His memory is that of a kind, caring person who assisted many individuals to receive educations and helped relieve suffering in Refugio and surrounding counties, to which he remained quietly rooted throughout his life. His great pleasures were fishing off the Florida coast and his cattle.
He married Dorothy Hanna, who predeceased him, in 1928. There were no children, but O'Connor adopted Robert J. Hewitt in later life.
He was a Knight of the Papal Order of St. Gregory, a Knight of San Jacinto, the highest order of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas,' and the Republican Party.
William Gray Sears
Born October 18, 1910 in Houston, died Saturday, December 8,1990 in Houston following a lengthy illness. Will was the great-grandson of William Fairfax Gray, a noted early Texan Settler the grandson of General Claudius Wister Sears and the nephew of Peter W. Gray, a distinguished early citizen of Houston and a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Will Sears was a student at Rice University from 1927 to 1929. He received his JD from the South Texas School of Law in 1935 and was admitted to the Texas Bar. He was Assistant City Attorney of Houston from 1938 to 1940.
As a member of the Texas National Guard, Headquarters Troop, 56th Calvary Brigade, he was called to active duty into the U.S. Army one year before Pearl Harbor, as Captain then Major of Calvary, commanding officer of Troop G at Fort Ringgold and Fort Brown. He was Chief of Small Arms Sections Department of Weapons and Executive Officer of the 22nd Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division. He served in Patton's 3rd Army and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge.
Sears returned to Houston after the war, serving as First Assistant City Attorney from 1946 to 1948, then as City Attorney from 1948 to 1956. He was considered to be an excellent City Attorney during these critical years of Houston's growth. He became a partner in the firm of Hofheinz, Sears, James and Burns from 1956 to 1961, then a partner of Sears and Burns from 1962 until his retirement in 1985.
Sears was decorated with the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, was the recipient of Certificate of Meritorious Service, SSS, 1970. He was a member of the Texas Bar Foundation, the American Federated and Houston Bar Associations, American Judicature Society, National Institute of Municipal Law Officers, Texas State Bar, American and Southwestern Historical Associations, The Philosophical Society of Texas, The National Trust for Historical Preservations, The Retired Officers Association, and Delta Theta Phi (Scholarship Key).
Will Sears was a highly regarded Houstonian and Texan, especially well known throughout his community.
Robert S. Sparkman, MD, LLD, FACS
Robert S. Sparkman, well-known Dallas surgeon, teacher, and philanthropist, died of natural causes on March 22, 1997. He was 85.
Dr. Sparkman was born in Brownwood, Texas, the son of Ellis H. and Viola Stanley Sparkman. He grew up in Waco, Texas where his father was chairman of the Department of Spanish at Baylor University. Dr. Sparkman received combined bachelor's and medical degrees in 1935. He served his internships at Cincinnati General Hospital, 1935-36 and at Good Samaritan, 1936-37 and his residences in pathology at Baylor Hospital, 1937, and in surgery at Cincinnati General Hospital, 1938-40. Dr. Sparkman served in the U.S. Army in the Southwest Pacific, attaining the rank of colonel and receiving the Bronze Star Medal. He also was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, invasion Arrowhead, and 3 Battle Stars. He was a Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He was a member of Baylor Chapter Alpha Epsilon Delta, Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Baylor University.
Dr. Sparkman was in the private practice of surgery in Dallas from 1946-1988; he was chief of the Department of Surgery at Baylor Hospital from 1969 to 1981; Chief Emeritus Department of Surgery Baylor Hospital since 1982; clinical professor of surgery at UT Southwestern Medical School; and founder and honorary member of the Society of Baylor Surgeons. Dr. Sparkman was a widely published author and speaker. He was a member of more than 20 professional societies and has honorary fellowships in seven. In addition, Dr. Sparkman was a member of the Advisory Council to the Friends of the Library and a devotee of rare books, and a loyal member of The Philosophical Society for many years.
Dr. Sparkman is survived by his wife, Willie Ford Bassett Sparkman of Dallas; his sister, Dorothy Black, of San Antonio, Texas; his nephew William Stanley Black, his two grandnephews and his grandniece.
The 1996 memorial for James Udell Teague incorrectly listed Mrs. Teague's name a Lara. It should read Lora Ruth Lindholm. We regret the error.