In Memoriam | January 2019

Harry Payton Wright, JD '54

Harry Payton Wright was born in Port Neches on January 14, 1931 to Vergie Payton and Edward Vernon Wright and died on December 4, 2018. A lifelong resident of Port Neches, he attended Port Neches Schools and completed his High School years at Schriener in Kerrville, Texas. He graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and received his Juris Doctorate from Baylor University School of Law in 1954. He was admitted to Practice by the Texas Supreme Court of Texas and before the United States Supreme Court. He began his private practice of law in Port Neches, Texas in 1954. For the first twenty years he practiced law as a solo practitioner, and established the firm of Wright & Pitre in 1974 which was recently restructured as Wright Pitre & Freimuth. He was still in active practice until the day of his death. Mr. Wright served as Municipal Judge for the City of Port Neches, Texas for 19 years, and in 1974 he was appointed City Attorney for the City of Port Neches. He served in that position for 31 years. His firm currently represents the City of Silsbee, Texas as its City Attorney. He served as President of the Jefferson Bar Association in 1970-1971, and served as the chairman of the local Bar Presidents Section of the State Bar Association. He was a sustaining life member of the Texas Bar Foundation, and was awarded the Blackstone Award by the Jefferson County Bar Association in 1996. He was named the Port Neches Citizen of the Year in 2001. He was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Port Neches where he was an active member. He was an Eagle Scout, and was a Master Mason of the Port Neches Lodge #1163 for over 50 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, V. G. Wright. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Dow Hendricks Wright; his children: Rebecca Miller (Nolan), Lisa Gorman (Dennis), Don Payton Wright (Melissa), Vernon Hendricks Wright (Deanna); Grandchildren: Kathleen LeBoeuf, Virginia Matteson, Rebecca Watkins, Caroline Moore, Anna Gorman, James Gorman, Tyler Wright, Victoria Wright, Carter Wright, Conner Wright, and Carson Wright, Ten Great Grandchildren, Sister in law, Frances Lawrence, Brother in law, Don Hendricks (Charlotte), numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. Neches.

Atmar W. Davis, Jr., JD '63

Atmar W. Davis Jr., was born on October 6, 1932 in Jasper and was raised in Newton, Texas. A.W passed away on Saturday, December 29, 2018. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Golda Humphreys Davis, who passed in 2011; his two sisters, Pauline and Zelmalee Davis; his parents A.W and Mary "Mimi" Gertrude (Norvell) Davis; and his son, John W. Davis. His survivors include his daughters, Tama Gann, Kay Davis Haiduk and Kay's husband, Geoff Haiduk; his sons, Thomas Norvell Davis and Karl Campbell Davis and Karl's wife, Kirsten Davis; seven grandchildren; four great grandchildren; one sister, Mildred Bush; his brother and sister-in-law, Joe Harris and Diana Humphreys Harris; five nephews and three nieces. After graduating from Newton High School, A.W attended and graduated from Sam Houston State University, served on the United States Air Force and graduated from Baylor University Law School. He was admitted to the Texas State Bar Association in 1963 and practiced law for 55 years, including serving as District Attorney for Newton County. A.W was fiercely dedicated to his work and especially passionate about seeking justice for child abuse victims. His life was filled with family and friends. A.W was a voracious reader and lifelong scholar. He enjoyed music and loved to travel with his family and friends.

John Robert Saringer, JD '73

John Robert Saringer, JD '73, passed away on January 10, 2019. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sandi; daughters Kellye Saringer and Stacey Moore and her husband Jeff Moore, grandchildren Reagan and Jack Robertson and Kylie and Brady Moore; sister Frances Jones and husband Bob; Niece Missy Romero and nephews Richard Jones and Tony Landrum; and of course his beloved canine companion Sasha. He is also survived by "The Dinner Club"- close friends who became local family and his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was pre-deceased by his parents John and Etolia Saringer, in-laws Ken and Nell Brooks, and sister Judy Landrum.

John grew up in Dallas and graduated from Bryan Adams High School. He earned his BS from Southwestern University in 1968 and his JD from Baylor University Law in 1973. He served in the US Army from 1968-1970 in Vietnam and Hawaii. John and Sandi moved to Abilene in 1973 where he served as a city attorney and later joined a private law practice with Don & Randy Wilson. He served as Taylor County Court-at-Law Judge from 1983 to 1987. In 1989 he joined the Wagstaff Law Firm where he practiced law until his retirement in 2017. During his law career he served on several Bar Association committees and boards at the state and local level.