William Robert "Bill" Pakis, JD '60, passed away on April 23, in Waco, at the age of 86. Bill was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on September 10, 1933, the fourth and youngest child of George and Marie Pakis. He attended Hot Springs schools, and graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1951. Bill attended the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and graduated in 1955 with a BS in Accounting. During their college years, Bill started dating Margaret Phillips, who he had known since they were in the first grade. Bill and Margaret married November 5, 1955, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They moved immediately to Indianapolis, Indiana, where Bill served as an instructor in the U.S. Army Finance Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison and Margaret taught school. Bill entered Baylor Law School in December 1957, was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960, and started his career as an attorney in Waco.
Bill formed a law firm in 1963 that exists in Waco today as Pakis Giotes Page & Burleson. He shared his legal expertise and his business wisdom with many clients, friends, and family over the years, and was a mentor to many young lawyers, including his sons-in-law, Dean Tetirick and Boyd Naylor. His focus on helping individuals protect and administer their estates led to being certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Bill was an entrepreneur at heart, and in addition to practicing law, he had investments in businesses ranging from custom T-shirts, construction equipment rentals, pawn shops, oil and gas, and a nightclub. Bill held in highest regard his business association with J.D. Behringer and Helen Ridings which lasted over 50 years. Bill had a gift for analyzing all types of situations and offering wise, sensible advice, and he was generous to share that gift with his children and grandchildren, extended family, friends, business associates, and numerous organizations in Waco. It was very important to him that the younger generation of his family receive a good education, and he felt an obligation to support the Waco community financially and with his time. Over the years, Bill volunteered his time to serve at St. Alban's School, St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Vanguard College Preparatory School, the Waco Foundation and Hillcrest Health System.
Bill and Margaret made life-long friends in Waco and were active members of St. Alban's Episcopal Church. They raised their four children, Mary Katherine, Laura, Alison and David, in a home full of love, fun and inspiration. During the empty nester stage of their life, Margaret and Bill enjoyed traveling abroad with friends, hosting family and friends at their home in Port Aransas and spending precious time with their grandchildren. When Margaret passed away in December 2003, the couple had just celebrated 48 years of marriage. For the past 15 years, Bill's life was enriched by his friendship with Nancy Callan. They had a nightly dinner date, traveled with friends, and enjoyed being part of the Waco community together.
Family was of utmost importance to Bill, a concept he spoke of often throughout his life. Standing get-togethers occurred at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and many lunches and dinners in smaller groups whenever the opportunity arose. Everyone looked forward to the Pakis Family Vacation, a tradition that began while his children were growing up, and has continued annually, as the family expanded to include sons-in-law, Dean, Michael and Boyd, daughter-in-law, Kovianca, 13 grandchildren, and three spouses of grandchildren. On family vacations, Bill could be found in a quiet shady spot, enjoying a good book, a cool drink and a cigar. His family cherished the opportunity to talk with him about whatever was going on at that stage of their life. Everyone came away from their "Papa time" a little wiser and felt loved unconditionally. Quality time spent with Gran and Papa and the rest of the extended family on trips and during holiday gatherings resulted in a tight-knit extended family that was Bill's pride and joy.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Margaret; brother, Jack Pakis; and sister, Mary Frances Stonecipher. His survivors include daughters, Mary Katherine Tetirick and husband, Dean, and Laura O'Brien and husband, Michael; son, David Pakis and wife, Kovianca, all of Fort Worth; and daughter, Ali Naylor and husband, Boyd, of San Antonio; grandchildren Jessica Tetirick, Samantha McSween (Rett), Stephen Tetirick (Kendall), Mike O'Brien, Shannon Loftis (Reed), Kyle O'Brien, Brooks Naylor, Jared Naylor, Reagan Naylor, Nicholas Pakis, William Pakis, Zachary Pakis, and Anna Margaret Pakis; brother, Dr. George Pakis, Jr., of Jackson, Tennessee; and best friend, Nancy Callan.
Matthew Edward Sloan, JD '18, was born September 3, 1992 and passed away in an automobile accident on May 13. He is survived by his wife Destinee and his daughter Charlotte Grace, his sister Amy and his parents Jim and Edie Sloan and in laws, Matt and Denise Walker, Brittany, Matthew, Sam and Sophie Walker. Matthew loved his family and friends and will be missed greatly.
Matthew was wise beyond his years and in his short life he met and fell in love, started a family and found a career that brought him joy. His quick wit and sense of humor was something everyone counted on and his ability to quietly help others gave him his purpose. His love of sports drove his off time and he would never turn down a chance to discuss the history or stats of the 2005 Astros. He was a friend you could count on and had a moral compass stemming from his belief in Jesus that guided his life. He loved debating any side of a topic and pointing out the inequities of an argument. His passing will leave a void for many.