Gordon Arthur Holloway – dedicated husband, father, grandfather, lawyer and friend – passed away at the age of 85 on Thursday, the 28th of November 2023, in the arms of his loving wife of 63 years, Carol. A beautiful full moon lit the Texas sky that evening.
Gordon was born on the 27th of July 1938, in Wichita, Kansas, the only child of George Arthur and Rita Bondurant Holloway. When Gordon was eight years old, his family moved to Dallas, Texas. He attended Highland Park High School where he earned the honor of Eagle Scout, played baseball, and was a Highland Scotsman.
Gordon attended The University of Texas, earned a finance degree (largely to avoid foreign language classes!), and was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, serving as Pledge Trainer and Chapter President. Most importantly, UT is where Gordon’s charm and good looks caught the attention of Carol Criss. The couple married on the 1st of September 1960, and enjoyed a lifelong love that few are fortunate to experience. For 63 years, Carol has been proud to be “Mrs. Gordon Holloway” and still is!
In 1960, Gordon was admitted to The University of Texas Law School, graduating in 1963, moving to Houston to kick off his legal career that spanned over 50 years! He joined McGregor, Sewell, Junell, & Riggs (later Sewell & Riggs), quickly making Partner and eventually was named the firm’s Managing Partner, a role that taught him his true passion was the practice of law and not the management of lawyers. Gordon eventually ventured out to hang his own shingle forming the firm of Holloway, Rowley & Caflisch. Over the years, Gordon was regarded as of the finest trial lawyers in Texas, taking jury verdicts in a wide variety of civil cases. He was known as a gentleman’s lawyer and an institution in the legal community, even well into his retirement and he will be missed. In addition to receiving over 200 true jury verdicts, Gordon brought the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) to Houston, honoring the most accomplished trial lawyers in the area. He was one of Texas’ first lawyers to be board certified in both Civil Law and Personal Injury Law. At a cocktail party, Gordon remarked to an attorney friend that he, “tried 12 cases to a jury verdict this year,” and his friend laughingly replied, “the last time I tried a case to a jury verdict was 1979.” His passion for the legal profession led him to mentor and advise several fortunate young lawyers and aspiring ones (usually over a chicken fried steak at the Barbecue Inn at Yale and Crosstimbers or BBQ at Pizzitolas).
As much as Gordon loved the law and was proud of his vast legal accomplishments, his biggest pride and joy was his family. Carol and Gordon were blessed with three children and three grandchildren: Gregory Arthur (wife Bridget and daughter Gillian), residing in Houston, Criss Holloway Scruggs (husband Richard and daughters Samantha and Alexis), residing in Katy, and Garrett Austin, residing in Dallas.
Gordon led by example and taught his children to be hard working, thoughtful, and appreciative, while also giving them a life enriched with incredible experiences. Some of the best memories are with the family and dear friends at Lakeway on Lake Travis where he and Carol taught the kids to ski, fish, and appreciate nature. The family celebrated Gordon’s 80th birthday at Lakeway reliving countless stories and laughs! Gordon loved to travel and took the family on many other vacations including Hawaii, the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe. His happiest occasions were the simple times when the whole family was gathered together enjoying a well-prepared steak dinner, playing cards, or celebrating the holidays.
While Gordon was a proud Texan, he never shed his Kansas roots, especially during pheasant season when he loved to hunt on his farmland with his cousins, the Gantzes, and their families. He was a hunter at his core! He enjoyed shooting ducks and geese with his sons and son-in-law at St. Charles Bay Club in Rockport. He took many trips with family and friends to Mexico in pursuit of white wing dove. He enjoyed sitting in blinds in south Texas hunting white tail deer and feral hogs as well as quail. He took trips across North America hunting elk and moose. Most notable and memorable for Gordon was the trip of a lifetime with his father hunting big game in Africa. He has two trophies in Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game (and when he shot his Cape Buffalo, the animal charged him. When the professional hunter missed the kill shot, Gordon calmly worked the bolt on his rifle and took a second shot dropping the buffalo just a few paces away. He was very proud of this and loved sharing stories about his time in Africa with anyone who would listen.)
Gordon was a man of honor, character, and integrity. A lover of history. A savant of dates and numbers – birthdates, notable historic events, and even telephone numbers well in to the era of cell phones! Gordon enjoyed his Maker’s Mark cocktails and was lucky to take a private distillery tour with Garrett in 2011, led by Bill Samuels, Jr., then President and CEO, Maker’s Mark Distillery). Gordon loved dogs, often saying “I love dogs more than people.” But he also really loved people and was all about learning their life story. He had a magnetic personality and “held court” at many social functions, as people gathered to hear his stories and jokes – often talking to someone way longer than the 10-minute rule set by his kids.
Gordon always said he was the luckiest man in the world – blessed with great parents, the best wife, three children and three grandchildren who made him very proud, and the cutest West Highland Terrier, Mac (naturally named after General Douglas MacArthur). Luck is simply where preparedness and skill meet opportunity, and Gordon had many strong skills and made the most of every opportunity. Gordon will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts. He enters Heaven knowing he had the immense love and support of a family that is as proud of him as he was of each of them.
A celebration of Gordon’s life is to be conducted at two o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, the 4th of December, at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, 12955 Memorial Drive in Houston, where Dr. Brad Morgan and Reverend Jim McPhail are to officiate.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the nearby Friendship Court.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Gordon’s honor be directed to Memorial Drive United Methodist Church at https://www.mdumc.org/give or to Citizens for Animal Protection Houston at https://www.cap4pets.org/151-uncategorised/6352-donate