Hon. Wyatt H. Heard beloved husband and father, attorney, civil district judge, and civic leader, passed away June 6, 2017. Born Oct. 19, 1926, and reared in Jonesboro, Arkansas and Waco, Texas, Hon. Heard was the third son of the Rev. Dow H. Heard and Minerva Tennessee Gulley Heard. After graduating from Waco High School in 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a flight engineer based in Istres, France. After the war, he attended Baylor University both as an undergraduate and a law student, where he was a member of the Baylor Law Review. After receiving his juris doctor in 1952, he served as an FBI Special Agent for two years, including work at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, where he had the privilege of meeting Einstein, Von Neumann, Wigner and other notables.
Upon his return to Texas, he worked as a litigator with Baker Botts and Irving, Pennington, Coolidge and Heard. He was appointed to the 190th Civil District Court bench by Governor Preston Smith in 1969, serving with distinction until 1991. Hon. Heard was instrumental in the civil courts' strong support of mediation and arbitration as an effective means of settling disputes. In 1979, along with his wife Heidi, Hon. Heard founded Communities in Schools of Houston, a campus-based dropout prevention program serving over 121 campuses.
With a legal career spanning more than 60 years, Hon. Heard was honored to receive the following awards: Houston Bar Association Auxiliary's Leon Jaworski Award (1995), Waco High School Distinguished Alumni Award (2001), Communities in Schools Hall of Fame Award (2004), Baylor Lawyer of the Year Award (2005), Bridges to Life Echo Award (2016) and Communities in Schools of Houston Bill Kroger-Baker Botts Award (2017). Known for his judicial temperament, he was measured in all things except his passionate love for Baylor, especially Baylor Bears football.
He is predeceased by his parents; his brothers Dow, John and Robert; and his first wife, Teddy Moody Heard, who died in 1974. Their four children and their spouses survive him: Lawrence Pike Heard (Caroline), Teddy Heard Orr (David), Susanna Heard Kane (George) and Denman Hilton Heard (Laura). He is also survived by his wife of 41 years, Heidi Frost Heard, and their son Benjamin Frost Heard and his wife Jeni. He delighted in his grandchildren: Catherine Heard Riewoldt (Nick), Vivian Heard Langford (Byron), John Heard, Ryan Orr (Kim), Lynden Orr, Harrison Kane, Walker Kane, Denman Kane, Moody Heard, Mary Elizabeth Heard, Preston Heard and Harper Heard; he was also the proud great-grandfather of James Riewoldt, William Riewoldt, Brennan Orr and Austin Orr.
Hon. Heard was a deacon at South Main Baptist Church for many years and then a faithful and involved congregant at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. His life is an example of Christian faith, integrity, generosity and devotion to family, friends, community and the law. He was an inspiration to all who knew and loved him, transcending generations. He fulfilled one of his favorite scriptures, Micah 6:8, "And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
C. Haden "Sonny" Cribbs, Jr., of Beaumont, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017. He was born in El Paso May 31, 1938 to Mary Louise Choate and Clarence Haden Cribbs, Sr. He graduated from Beaumont High School in 1956 and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Baylor University after serving in the Military Police. He began practicing law in Beaumont in 1964 and was awarded a certificate of recognition for 50 years of exemplary practice from the State Bar of Texas in 2014. During the many years he was dedicated to the practice of law, he counseled and represented people from all walks of life. He could not say "no" to anyone who needed help - to him, it was always about so much more than the money. He was never afraid to take on the challenging cases. He enjoyed a reputation for honesty and integrity among his peers. On a personal note, he had a gift for making people feel special. He spent his life successfully balancing his work with play. When he was not working, he could be found bowling, playing golf or baseball, or hosting three-day poker games. He spent many hours with his friends on trips hunting and fishing. He was loved, respected, and enjoyed by many. He was a good man. He will truly be missed.
He is survived by his wife, Kevin Paula (Sekaly); daughters, Susanne Johnson and Candace LeMasters; sons, Jonathan Sekaly and wife, Barbie, and Beau Cribbs; and several grandchildren, including Haden Johnson, Scarlett Cozad, and Ezra Sekaly. He is also survived by his two sisters, Beth Alexander and Lynda Etheridge, his brother Tommy Cribbs, his uncle Bobby Cribbs, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.