The Honorable Austin O. McCloud, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, was called into the arms of his Lord and Savior on November 30, 2018. He was born March 17, 1929 in Edom, Texas, and grew up in Lubbock. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Tech University in 1951. After serving his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree cum laude from Baylor Law in 1957. He then became an associate with the law firm of Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman, Bates and Jaworski in Houston. In 1960, he set up a law practice in Colorado City, Texas. He was appointed to the 32nd District Court of Texas as District Judge on August 31, 1963, where he served in that capacity through December 1970. He was elected as Chief Justice of the Court of Civil Appeals, Eleventh District of Texas, in November 1970, where he served until his retirement on December 31, 1994. Not truly ready to retire, Judge McCloud served as a Senior Justice to Texas Courts of Appeals, subject to assignment by the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. He was one of five chosen to serve on the Real Property Drafting Committee of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which drafts the real property questions that are included on the multi-state bar examination. Judge McCloud was named Outstanding Jurist of Texas in 1994; served as President, Council of Chief Judges of Courts of Appeals of the United States 1993-1994; President, Council of Chief Justices of Texas Courts of Appeals 1991; and President, Baylor Law School Alumni Association 1975-1976. He was appointed by the Council of Chief Justices Texas Courts of Appeals to serve as an ex-officio member of the Texas Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee and served on numerous other committees determining appellate procedure. He represented the Council of Chief Judges of Courts of Appeals of the United States at the first joint meeting of federal and state judges. He was also a member of the State Appellate Rules Committee, the Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section and the State Bar of Texas. He truly loved the law and its interpretation and was a man of unfailing integrity. As a long-time member of the Methodist Church, he taught Sunday School for many years. His deep faith and commitment to the Scripture was evident in the example he set.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Hoyett and Velma McCloud. He is survived by the love of his life, Mary Anne Kelley McCloud; a sister, Loraine McCloud Culver; daughter, Melinda Musselman and husband, Henry; and daughter, Sharon Burgher. He was a loving grandfather to Louisa Musselman Fikes (Brendan), Luke Musselman (Julie), Molly Musselman Smith (McLean), Mary Peyton Burgher, Nancy Burgher Turnbull (Robert), and David Burgher III. He proudly welcomed nine great-grandchildren into this world. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
The Honorable Charles E. Myers of Abilene, passed away Wednesday, November 28, 2018 in Abilene. Charles was born in Houston to Charles & Dorothy Myers on February 13, 1946. He graduated from Abilene High School in 1964. Charles graduated from Baylor University with a B.B.A and a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1969. He was honorably discharged from the Texas National Guard in 1976. He was assigned to Port Neches National Guard, Corps of Engineers 277th Dredge Detachment. He also qualified as Infantry Paratrooper. He worked as an attorney until being sworn in as an Associate Judge on October 31, 2009. Charles is survived by his wife Kristine Myers of Abilene.
W. Stephen Cockerham, after a valiant fight against cancer, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Stephen was born on April 14, 1962 in Memphis, Tennessee to Virginia Sue Moore and William Stephen Cockerham Jr. He spent his formative years on his family’s farm in Mississippi County, Arkansas. Later, the family moved to Dermott, Arkansas, where Stephen attended the local high school and eventually graduated from All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Stephen attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he received his law degree in 1986. He passed the bar exam and began working as an attorney at Worsham, Forsythe and Wooldridge in Dallas. Stephen continued working with the firm as it merged with Hunton and Williams until 2010. He next worked for the Dallas office of Brown McCarroll, which then became Husch Blackwell. Stephen experienced a successful and effective legal career, from his winning trial record to the articles he wrote about labor and employment law.
Professionally and personally, Stephen was known for his big heart. He played an important role on the board of several local non-profits, such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, CitySquare, Grace Place Properties, and Ministerio Next Generation. He was also the recipient of many awards for his pro bono legal work. Stephen’s greatest roles, however, were that of father and husband. In 1995, he wed Kristi Kay Cox. They lived in Dallas, Texas until the birth of their first daughter, Kate, in 1997. In Ovilla, Texas, their new home, they also raised daughters Maggie, born in 1999, and Emma, born in 2006. Stephen was known for taking his daughters on grand adventures through his special ability of storytelling.
Stephen was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Kristi Cox Cockerham and three daughters, Katherine Kay “Kate,” Margaret Grace “Maggie,” and Emma Victoria; three siblings, Courtney Rader, her husband John Rader and their three children, Chris Rader and his wife Katherine, Caroline Rader Thicksten and her husband Nicholas, and William Rader, Casey Cockerham and his wife Alicia Zatcoff, and Ginny Cohen, her husband Josh Cohen and their four children, Ethan, Jacob, Austin, and Luke. Stephen is also survived by Jimmy and Pat Cox, parents-in-law, and brother-in-law, Kyle Cox and his wife Jessica and their children, Preston, Kayleigh and Ryker. Stephen was the uncle, cousin, and friend to many.