Willias James McAnelly, JrJune 3, 2017
Willis James McAnelly, Jr., age 87, of Houston, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 3, 2017. He died peacefully just days after celebrating his 64th wedding anniversary with his beloved wife. Jim was born in San Antonio, Texas. After moving to Houston, he attended River Oaks Elementary, Lanier Middle School and Lamar High School. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1951. There he met and married the love of his life, Patsy Hartt. In 1954, he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law. He received a law degree from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1958 while also earning an advanced degree in economics.
In 1954, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Artillery for two years. He continued in the Reserves for seventeen years, earning the rank of Major. After leaving active duty, he joined Humble Oil (later Exxon) and spent the majority of his legal career there. He began work in New Orleans, followed them to Dallas, and finally on to Houston where he retired in 1994 as General Attorney. Subsequently, he joined the law firm of McGinnis, Lochridge and Kilgore as Of Counsel. When not practicing law, Jim was a gentleman farmer and attended to the family rice farm in Waller County. Jim served on the University of Texas Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee and remained involved with UT Law School. He was a Chair of the 2006 Kinkaid School Capital Campaign. In addition, he helped found several chapters of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity in Louisiana.
He loved the University of Texas and was a Longhorn for life. Jim played football for them as a freshman at The University, and over the years he could always be found proudly wearing burnt orange at all their football games and many of their basketball and baseball games. He treasured his friends from his time there. His weekend home on Lake Austin was the base of his many Austin activities. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and running every other day at The Kinkaid School or around Town Lake in Austin.
Jim was happiest when spending time with his family. He was a natural coach and held this role for many of his son’s baseball teams. If any of his children or grandchildren were having a game or performance, there was no place he would rather be.
He will be remembered most for being the consummate professional and a devoted “family man”. With his strong work ethic, he dedicated himself to the rule of law and the order it provides. He enjoyed working with his colleagues at Exxon and in the legal community. He approached his family life with the same standards and spirit. He saw the best in everyone from his co-workers to his friends and family, and in doing so, inspired others to do their best.
Jim is survived by his devoted wife, Patsy Hartt McAnelly; his children, Kathryn McAnelly Schwartz of Austin, Melissa Ruth McAnelly, Willis James McAnelly, III and wife, Sarah, all of Houston; and by his grandchildren, Matt, Roy, and Lauren Schwartz and Lane and Julia McAnelly. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy McAnelly Forson and husband, Norman, of Dallas; and by his nephew, James Hollis Forson and his niece, Diana Forson Hamilton. He was preceded in death by his parents, Willis James McAnelly and Lois White McAnelly.
The memorial service is to be conducted at three o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at Chapelwood Methodist Church, 11140 Greenbay Street in Houston. Immediately following, a reception will be held at the Forest Club to greet the family.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that contributions in memory of Mr. McAnelly be directed to the The Salvation Army, Greater Houston Area Command, 1500 Austin Street, Houston, TX 77002.