June 2019

Hon. William Arthur Thomas Jr., JD ’52,

Hon. William Arthur Thomas Jr., was born April 28, 1924, to William Arthur Thomas Sr. and Zola (Downing) Thomas just outside Ranger, Texas. Bill had two older sisters Imagene Thomas (Corley) and Ina Thomas (Gibson). Bill was raised primarily by his sister Imagene. Bill graduated from White Deer High School and went to work for Skelly Oil Company. In late 1942, he went to join the Army Air Corps, but he was denied because he did not have a birth certificate. Shortly after he returned to work, he received a draft notice to report to Fort Sill. Bill was in Service Company C. 86th Blackhawk Infantry Division. He spent three years serving in France, Belgium, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria. He reached Salzburg Austria, (Hitler's home) on May 6, 1945, the day WWII ended. Bill was formally discharged from the Army in December 1946. Bill received 4 years of paid education on the GI Bill. He graduated from Hardin Simmons University in 2 years with a double major in Government and History. He took one year off to work before he returned to Baylor Law School. Bill completed undergrad and Law School, (7 years of education) in 4 years, all on the GI Bill.

Bill married Johney Maxine Riley on July 4, 1950. They remained married for 64 years until her death on October 2, 2014. They had two sons, Cliff and Clint Thomas. Bill spent numerous hours coaching his sons' baseball teams, serving as President of the PTA, Rotary Club, Little League, Colt League, Pony League, and Abilene High Booster Club. Bill served as County Attorney for Somervell County, Taylor County, Callahan County, Shackelford County and Stephens County. He was later appointed District Attorney for the 42nd Judicial Court until he went into private practice. Bill was appointed District Judge 350th Court in 1982. He served as District Judge for 5 years then went on to serve as Visiting Judge all over the State of Texas for 8 years. He retired in 1990. Bill and Johney moved to Granbury Texas in 2008 to be closer to their sons and their families. Bill is survived by his sons Cliff Thomas (Ilene), Clint Thomas (Glynis), Grandchildren, Christina Davis (Tim), Billy Ray Thomas (Taylor), Haley Walker (Kody), Crilion Thomas and Jake Thomas and Great-Grandchildren Lincoln Davis, Olivia Walker, Colton Davis, Paige Walker and Micah Thomas. He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters and wife, Johney Thomas.

Donald J. Baker, JD '64

Donald J. Baker of Woodway, Texas, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 13, 2019, surrounded by family and loved ones. Don was born April 1, 1940 in Austin, Texas and moved to Waco in 1949. Upon graduation from Waco High School in 1958, Don majored in business at Baylor University where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1962. Two months later he earned his CPA certification. In 1964, he graduated from Baylor Law School and went on to graduate from New York University School of Law in 1965 with a Master of Laws in Taxation. Don had many accomplishments to be proud of during his 50-year law career as he was appointed to practice in multiple courts throughout the United States and Texas; US Court of Appeals, US Tax Court, US District Court and the Supreme Court of Texas.

In addition to being a successful attorney, Don was an avid member of the Waco community, spending many hours supporting local organizations; he was President of the Northwestern Little League (now known as Lake Air Little League), Commissioner of the Texas Teenage Baseball League (District 14), Boy Scouts of America, Downtown Waco, Goodwill Industries and a Lifetime Member of Ducks Unlimited, just to name a few. In 1991, Don was elected as a Woodway City Council Member and subsequently elected as Mayor of Woodway in 1994. When he retired a Mayor after 23 years, Don was (and still is) the longest serving mayor in Woodway’s history. In 2013, the City of Woodway honored Mayor Baker for his service and dedication by forever naming the Council Chambers the “Donald J. Baker Council Chambers.”

Don is survived by his wife, Charlie; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Robin Baker of Houston; daughter and son-in-law, Stacey and Allen Brown of Crawford; grandchildren, Aaron, Jesse and Colton; and nephews, Mark Baker of Waco and Phil Baker of Houston.

Frank P. Dickson Jr., JD ’65

Frank P. Dickson Jr., was born in Temple, Texas on May 7, 1942, to Virginia Denson Dickson and Frank Preuitt Dickson Sr. He succumbed to Lewy Body Dementia on June 2, 2019. Frank graduated from Corsicana High School in Corsicana, Texas, in 1960. The summer after graduation, he met his wife, Elinor Misfeldt of Butte, Montana, at Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park where they both worked. They married on March 22, 1963 in Waco, Texas. Frank obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from Baylor University in 1965, and he and Elinor moved to Santa Fe shortly thereafter. He was admitted to the New Mexico bar in 1966. Frank practiced in a firm he helped found, then as a solo practitioner, and later he served as General Counsel at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Frank had a distinguished fifty-year career practicing law throughout New Mexico. He dedicated his life to zealous advocacy for his clients and to public service. He was personable, hardworking and had a great sense of humor. His practice drew him into many challenging and complex situations; it also introduced him to some colorful characters and wonderful life-long friends, colleagues and clients alike. He loved the West, particularly New Mexico, Montana and Southwestern Colorado, and the many pursuits offered there, including hiking, skiing and fishing. He was an avid reader, especially of history, and an amateur western historian. He was very active in his church, serving on the vestry and participating in the church's annual service project to build homes for people in need in Juarez, Mexico.

Frank is survived by his wife, Elinor; his three children, Frank and his wife Margaret, Claire and her husband Sam Gollis, and Mark; as well as his grandchildren, Bryan Galindro, Adam Dickson, Paul and Ella Gollis and Isabella Davis; and his sister Diana Saine, her husband Steve and their children Cynthia and Margie.

Jack Randall Crews, JD ’83

Jack Randall Crews was born in Corpus Christi on February 12, 1957, to Paul and Mozelle Crews. Jack lived a life full of faith and service to his family and community. He grew up in Houston where he met the love of his life, Diane, when he was 17 years old. They married on September 1, 1979, and went on to have five children: Andrew, Courtney, Amanda, Rebecca, and Clay. While beginning his career as an attorney, Jack coached his children in tee-ball, soccer, and basketball. He never missed a game, recital, or presentation. He was always there, a steady and reliable presence, through it all. He was a wonderful father and will be remembered for his generosity, compassion, and wise counsel.

Jack studied law at Baylor University and joined the firm Baird, Crews, Schiller & Whitaker, P.C. more than 35 years ago. During that time, he served his church and community in many capacities. More than anything, Jack was a man of faith who entrusted his life, family, and career to the God he served so devotedly. In 2017, he traveled to Uganda to share his legal expertise and Christian faith with young law students and attorneys who were striving to create a more just and honest society. However, he loved nothing more than to spend time with his family, especially his wife, children, and grandchildren. Jack is survived by his mother, Mozelle; his brother, Paul; his wife, Diane; his children, Andrew, Courtney, Amanda (and Brett, his son-in-law), Rebecca, and Clay; and his grandchildren, Madden and Miles.