In Memoriam | September 2018

Charles Thomas Goolsbee, LLB '58

Charles Thomas Goolsbee, LLB '58, passed away on June 24th, in Houston, Texas. He was born in Houston on January 13, 1935 to Charles Culberson and Mary Pearle (Gipson) Goolsbee. He married Carol Anne Brindley of Fall River, Massachusetts on April 3rd, 1961.

Goolsbee passed the Texas Bar in 1958, and the Illinois Bar in 1964. Upon graduation, Goolsbee worked in a law practice in Houston, Texas until 1959, when he moved to Washington, D.C. to work as an Attorney for the Securities & Exchange Commission from 1959 through 1963. From 1963 through 1972, he worked at Allstate Insurance Co., in Northbrook, Illinois rising from Senior Attorney to Assistant General Counsel. He was Associate General Counsel for CNA Financial Corp of Chicago, Illinois from 1972 until 1975. At American General Insurance in Houston, he served as Vice President and General Counsel from 1975 until 1980. He became Senior Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel for Texas Air Corporation from 1980-1991, when Texas Air changed its name to Continental Airlines Holdings. Goolsbee was named Executive Vice President at that time and served in that position until he retired in 1995. He also served on the Board of Directors of many companies, including Continental Airlines and digital.forest, Inc.

He is survived by his wife Carol Brindley Goolsbee of Houston, Texas; his daughter Cathy Barta and husband Tim; his son Charles Thomas Goolsbee and wife Linda; and his daughter Mary Patricia Gotschall and husband Jay. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Lauren (Barta) Castaneda, Caroline Barta, Christopher Goolsbee, Nicholas Goolsbee, and Ian Gotschall.

Raymon Charles "Ray" Stoker, Jr., LLB '64

Raymon Charles "Ray" Stoker, Jr., passed away after an illness Friday, August 31, 2018. He was 79 years old. Ray was born in Odessa, TX, February 19, 1939 to Raymon Charles Stoker, Sr., and Claudene Stoker.

He attended Austin Elementary, Crockett Jr. High, and graduated from Odessa High School in 1957, having been a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. He was a member and captain of the varsity football team, as well as a member of the varsity baseball and basketball teams. He was voted "Most Athletic" his senior year. Coming in as runner up both his junior and senior years as class favorite, Ray was quoted in his senior yearbook that his life's desire was: "to live up to the expectations of my parents and friends."

Following in the family tradition, Ray attended Baylor University, and in 1961 he received his BBA. He began Baylor on a baseball scholarship, but due to bursitis in his shoulder, he had to stop playing. Determined to find another sport, he taught himself to play golf and was told by the golf coach that if he could beat one of the players on the Baylor Team, he would receive a spot on the roster and a partial scholarship, which is exactly what he did. Both Ray and his father served as captain of the Baylor Golf Team their senior year. During his years as an undergraduate student at Baylor, Ray was a member of Tryon Coterie (Delta Sigma Phi), and was the President of the Letterman's Club.

Ray married Carole Fannin on August 24, 1963, in Odessa at the First Presbyterian Church. They celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary shortly before his passing.

In 1964 Ray received his law degree from Baylor Law. During his years as a law student, he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity and the Baylor Law Review Editorial Board. Ray was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1964, and admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and the United States District Court, Western District of Texas.

After graduating from Baylor Law, Ray and Carole moved to Austin, where he worked as a briefing attorney for Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert W. Calvert. In 1965 they moved back to Odessa, where Ray joined the Shafer Law Firm, where he practiced for 53 years. Ray was an active member in the Odessa community. He was involved in many organizations around the Permian Basin and the state. He was a member of the Texas Young Lawyers Board of Directors (1969); the State Bar of Texas; the American Bar Association; the Ector County Bar Association (President, 1975); the Texas Association of Defense Council, a past member of the Board of Directors of Baylor Law; the American Board of Trial Advocates; the American College of Trial Lawyers; the Boy Scouts of America; the Board of Governors of High Sky Children's Ranch; the Texas Council on Economic Education; the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Development Board; the Regional Planning Committee; the Texas Water Development Board; and the Board of Governors; Permian Basin Area Foundation (2000); Board of Trustees; Permian Basin Petroleum Museum; and the Board of Trustees; Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.

Ray was appointed to the Texas State Highway and Public Transportation Commission in July of 1985 by former Baylor Law classmate and friend Governor Mark White, and in March of 1991, after successfully shepherding the Department through a penetrating Sunset review of its mission, and the creation of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot), Governor Ann Richards appointed him as Chairman of the newly formed TxDot agency. He was also a member of the Texas Turnpike Authority and High Speed Rail Authority Boards of Directors. He retired from TxDot and both Turnpike and High Speed Rail boards in January of 1993, and was appointed as Chairman of Texas Good Roads/Transportation Association, serving in this capacity until 2003, and upon his retirement, he was named President Emeritus. Ray was also attorney for the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD).

Ray helped lead successful initiatives to increase the motor fuel tax in 1986, 1987, and 1991. He advocated both rural and urban transportation issues and was instrumental in the development of the Texas Highway Trunk System, a 10,500 mile system of rural highways. He broadened the department's scope of working to create divisions dedicated to civil rights, environmental affairs, public transportation, and general aviation. Because of his work, Ray was inducted into the Transportation Hall of Honor in 2005.

As friend John Wilkins said, "Ray had a lot of important decisions, not only here in Odessa, but in Texas. He was instrumental in getting a lot of highway funds and stuff that would normally go to the east of Interstate 35. We've got a lot of good roads out here in West Texas, and part of that was due to his influence being chairman of the commission." One of those good roads here in West Texas is Highway 191 between Odessa and Midland, without which, the area would have suffered an even worse transportation nightmare.

Ray received numerous honors throughout his life including the dedication of the Ray Stoker, Jr. Highway, 1993; the dedication of the Ray Stoker, Jr. Ferry Boat, 1997, servicing Galveston to Bolivar; the Heritage Award of Odessa for service in a profession; the Coleman County Chamber of Commerce Award; the Russel Perry Transportation Award, 1993; Odessa Citizen of the Year, 1991; Transportation Award San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, 1992; UTPB President's Council, 1992; Outstanding West Texan by the West Texas Regional Council of the Texas Chamber of Commerce; All Southwest Conference Athlete in Golf, 1960-61; American College of Trial Lawyers; Fellow of American Bar Foundation.

One of Ray's favorite hobbies was hunting, especially hunting behind his English Pointers during quail season, and Labrador Retrievers during dove season. Quail hunting was not only a sport, but a sport in which he could socialize with his many good friends and enjoy the camaraderie while working to bring home food for dinner. He spent many enjoyable hours at his ranch, and other ranches, hunting various game.

Ray continued his love of golf from his Baylor days by playing golf all over the country with friends and family. In 1961, Ray played in the National Amateur at Pebble Beach. During the tournament, he wrote Carole a letter telling of a big blond-haired boy who could really hit the ball and would probably win the tournament. That blond haired boy was Jack Nicklaus. Ray was a member of the Odessa Country Club, where he spent countless hours perfecting his golf game. His favorite book of instruction was Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. He even used this book in college to teach himself the game. He also enjoyed traveling with friends from all over the state, and he enjoyed playing at golf courses from Augusta National to Pebble Beach and many more in between. Family vacations almost always included time on a golf course.

Ray also loved to fish and spent countless hours fishing for bass. On a trip to Alaska several years ago he fell in love with fly fishing. After this he spent almost all his time fly fishing for bass at the ranch, or trout in the waters of New Mexico. Fly fishing became a favorite sport.

Ray loved to practice law. When he first started his career in 1964, he tried all kinds of cases before narrowing his field of practice to insurance defense trial practice. He was always fair and honest with his clients and his law partners. Ray believed in doing the right thing and was able to solve problems efficiently. He was a clear thinker and arbiter. He had the ability to see a problem and solve it. He knew how to "get things done." He was a gifted writer in the field of law, and expected good quality from himself and others. He never expected more of others than he did of himself.

Ray had friends from all areas of his life and work, and knew so many people all over the state. He loved people and kept in contact with many of his teachers and friends from grade school through college and law school, and even old friends from Camp Stewart. He met so many new friends when he was appointed to the Texas Highway Commission, and enjoyed maintaining these friendships throughout the years.

A special friendship he maintained throughout the years was with Coach Hayden Fry. Fry's first coaching job was at Odessa High School, and Ray was the first quarterback he had ever coached. Ray continued to keep in contact with Fry all throughout his life. Ray and Carole visited Fry in person as often as they could, with their last visit in the spring of 2018. Ray and Carole traveled to many great places and had so many memorable trips with friends. Carole happily joined in on the fun whether it was golfing or hunting, and was always ready for the next adventure.

Carole shared about Ray, "He is the kind of man you hope your son will resemble. He has so many characteristics that are admirable and realistic. He truly was a man of genius, honesty, courage, love, athletic ability, emotional stability, and humor. He thought of his fellow man, and tried his best to help other's causes. His beliefs were strong and rigid. His faith in God saw him through many trials and uncomfortable situations, enabling him to grow in strength and stature. Truly a man to admire and of whom I was very proud. Preceding him in death were his parents, Claudene and Raymon Stoker; two children Raymon Charles Stoker, III and Carole Camille Stoker.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carole; son Craig of Odessa, TX; daughter Cathleen and husband Adam, and their son Connor of Spring, TX; sister Betty Stoker Elliott of Fort Worth, TX; nephews Stephen Elliott of Dallas, TX; Stanley Elliott and wife Sarah, and their three children Davis, Graham, and Abbie of Richmond, VA. Ray is also survived by numerous cousins.

Kenneth Horace Crow, JD '68

Kenneth Horace Crow, 74, passed away peacefully on Monday, September 3, 2018. Crow was born March 4, 1944, in Waco, Texas, to Horace Sherman and Cleo Francis Morgan Crow. He attended Waco High School, where he met his wife, Betty Jantz, and they both graduated in 1962.Together, they attended Baylor University and were married their sophomore year on December 22, 1963. He went on to graduate from Baylor Law, where he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1968. He went to work for the McLennan County District Attorney's Office as a prosecuting attorney from 1968-1972. He then partnered with Ron Moody and together they opened a private practice, Moody and Crow Attorneys at Law, where he practiced as a criminal defense attorney for 36 years. He was a member of the State Bar of Texas, McLennan County Bar Association, and the McLennan County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Ralph Wayne Nichols, JD '70

Ralph Wayne Nichols left this earth on July 29, 2018, at his home in Fort Worth.

Nichols was born on March 13, 1945, to Jewel Alene Melton Nichols and Robert Vernon Nichols in Fort Worth. He graduated from Paschal Hugh School in 1963 where he served as student body president. He received his Bachelors in English degree from Baylor University in 1967 and his Juris Doctor degree from Baylor Law in 1970. He practiced law in Fort Worth from 1969-1985. He was a certified Family Law Specialist. He served as the Minister of Music at Calvary Cathedral International in Fort Worth from 1983-1992.

Nichols was an active member of Christ the King Church in Weatherford where he served on the worship team and as a deacon.

In later years, he was employed by the Fort Worth Independent School District and worked as a substitute teacher, mostly at William James Middle School. Nichols never retired.

Nichols was an accomplished vocalist and a skilled trombonist. He also composed and arranged music, mostly sacred in nature.

His hobbies included spending time with his beloved family, reading, talking to and feeding the birds and squirrels in his yard, making cookies with his grandchildren, traveling with his wife, and making people laugh.

His greatest desire was to serve his family (all of whom he adored) and to live for and honor his precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, both of which he did to the fullest degree.

To his family and friends, he is a hero, a warrior and a champion in the greatest sense. He will be sorely missed by all of us who know and love him. Nichols is survived by his wife of 38 years, Kimberly Nichols; sons, Kyle and wife, Lydia, Clark and wife, Kimberly, Colby and wife, Breanne; six grandsons; one granddaughter-in-law; two granddaughters and one on the way; one great-granddaughter; brothers, Robert Nichols and Paul Nichols; and a myriad of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Robert W. Lee, JD '75

Robert Lee passed away Thursday, July 19, 2018 in Tyler, Texas, surrounded by his family. He was born February, 14, 1948 in Dallas to Robert Elvin Lee and Kathleen Louise Cotter Lee.

Lee was a member of Green Acres Baptist Church. He graduated from Baylor University where he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees. He began his career as the Assistant City Attorney, before opening his private practice, where he worked until retirement.

Lee was an avid sports fan and loved participating in golf and baseball as much as possible. He found great joy being involved in his children’s athletic endeavors, and he influenced many young men and women who knew him as a coach over the years.

Lee is survived by his loving family including his wife of 46 years, Vinni Lee; his children, Jason Lee and wife Audra, Christa Hagler and husband Trace, Greg Lee and wife Jessica, and Traci Lee; his grandchildren, Lynsey and Lauren Lee, Aidan, Rebecca, Andrew and Annalise Hagler, Makayla, Kaydence and Oscar Lee; his sister, Sandra Kachel and husband John; his niece Abby Homer and nephew, Cody Kachel.

John Paul Lyle, JD '92

John Paul Lyle, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, passed away in Divide, Colorado on July 20 at the age of 50.

Lyle was born on April 18, 1968 in Plainview, Texas, to Paul and Linda Kay Lyle. He graduated from Plainview High School in 1986, Baylor in 1990 with a bachelor of arts in sociology, and Baylor Law in 1992 with a Juris Doctor degree. After moving to Colorado Springs, Lyle began working for Porter, Spencer, and Patin Law Firm as an attorney. Over the course of his life, Lyle also worked as an attorney for several law firms, including the El Paso County District Attorney's Office (1993-1995), Braden, Frindt, Stinar and Stageman (1995-1997), and Lyle and Moran Law (1997-2006). He operated his own brief landscaping business, JP Lyle Landscapes in 2006, was a 5th Judicial District Magistrate from 2007-2008, and returned to the practice of law as an attorney once again with Marrison Law Firm from 2008-2015. He spent the last few years of his life on sabbatical back in his hometown of Plainview, Texas, working part time as a substitute teacher at several Plainview schools. Lyle is remembered by his family for his cleverness, intelligence, perspective, intellect, many artistic talents, his love for gardening, his punctual sense of humor, which never failed to liven up the room, and his soft, kind soul. His inquisitive demeanor and attention to detail always shined through his work, whether it was a unique dresser he built and carved by hand, a landscape he designed, a case he worked on, or one of his many incredible drawings.

His laugh was eclectic and his compassion and generosity demonstrated through an array of community involvement and volunteer service with the Ben S. Wendelkin America Inn of Court, El Paso County Bar Association, where he chaired the Ask A Lawyer Program, First Presbyterian Church, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Lyle is survived by his father, Paul Lyle, of Plainview, Texas, his two children, Dallas and London Lyle of Colorado Springs, his sister, Leah Kay Gabriel, brother in law, Brent Gabriel and his niece and nephew, Garrett and Olivia Gabriel of Southlake, Texas, as well as his aunt and uncle, Jerry and Karolyn Rogers, of Midland, Texas. He was preceded in death by his mother, Linda Kay Lyle of Plainview, Texas.