Greenoaks Funeral Home & Greenoaks Memorial Park

9595 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA


William (Willie) Ferdinand Staats Jr.

February 9, 1938November 15, 2019

William F. (Willie) Staats, II passed away peacefully on November 15, 2019. Willie was born to William and Rena Staats in San Antonio, TX, in 1938. He received his BA from Texas Lutheran University where he and his future wife, Esther, were homecoming king and queen. He went on to receive his doctorate from the University of Texas. Willie enjoyed many years in the banking and finance world, and working was not “work” for him. He cherished the relationships and friends he made. After receiving his PhD, he taught briefly at Rice University, then was called to become vice president and corporate secretary of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the youngest ever at the time to have such a position. He then moved to Baton Rouge, LA, to be closer to his family in Texas. He taught for 30 years at LSU, holding the position of The Hermann Moyse, Jr., Distinguished Professor and Louisiana Bankers Association Chair of Banking. Always a proponent of sharing his insights on the “Big RW” (real world), he was known for asking his banking students to pass a map test on the states. Willie served as Director of the Bankers School for Supervisory Training. He was a member of the faculty at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, a member of the faculty of the LSU Executive Program, and served on the faculty of several state banking schools as well as the American Bankers Association Graduate School of Compliance Management. He was a director of the Farm Credit Bank of Texas. In addition, he was cofounder and Chairman of the Board of SevenOaks Capital Associates, LLC, and founder of two banks, the New Braunfels National Bank in New Braunfels, TX, and Lakeside Bank in Lake Charles, LA. He also was named to the board of the nation's first bridge bank by the FDIC and served on the Board of Regents of Texas Lutheran University for many years. As an eloquent and compelling communicator, he published many books and articles and was very active on the speaking circuit, making presentations across the nation. He enjoyed voicing his opinion in an opinion column in the Baton Rouge Advocate. He did extensive work as an expert witness in banking cases in several states. Willie loved his family and spending time with his wife and kids. He was also passionate about his volunteer work, serving in many ways over the last 48 years at St. Paul Lutheran Church and in the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. He served on the board of Money Management International and Consumer Credit Counseling Services, both non-profit organizations providing personal credit and financial counseling and education. His door was always open to students seeking professional advice. He loved country music, managed a band in college, and worked at KWED radio. He became family-famous for his "Monkey, Mouse, and Elephant" stories that he would tell his children every night when they were little. Those stories also reflected his love of animals, particularly dogs. Willie is survived by his wife of 59 years, Esther; his children, Stephen and Kristine; his son-in-law, Allen Brzozowski; his grandchildren, Audrey and Darren Staats and Kaylen and Ryan Brzozowski; his brother-in-law, Paul Collinson-Streng; as well as many beloved cousins, nephews, and nieces. Visitation will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2021 Tara Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA, on Saturday, November 23, 2019, from 10:00AM until the time of funeral services at 11:00AM. He will be buried in Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Willie’s name to Alzheimer’s Association, St. Paul Lutheran Church, or Texas Lutheran University.


  • Visitation Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, November 23, 2019


William (Willie) Ferdinand Staats Jr.

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David Alan Greene

December 2, 2019

Dr. Staats was my favorite professor while a student at GSBS at LSU. He could communicate the most difficult problem in a way that anyone could understand. His quick wit kept the class on it's toes and his classroom was regularly filled with laughter. My deepest sympathy to his family as I know you will miss him terribly as will every student that ever had the opportunity to study under him.
God Bless,
David Alan Greene
Jackson, TN

Wes Peoples

November 22, 2019

Dear Esther and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. TLU has lost a great advocate and friend. I so much enjoyed my time spent with Willie on the Board of Regents. Willie always used a well honed sense of humor paired with a deep knowledge of what was best for TLU to win the Board over to his point of view. He earned everyone's respect and friendship on the Board and throughout the TLU community. He will be greatly missed but always remembered by those of us that had the honor to be associated with him.
God bless and comfort you.
Wes Peoples

Mike Garnett

November 21, 2019

Serving with Willie on the board of the Farm Credit Bank of Texas was an honor and a tremendous experience. Kind, gentle, a loveing husband and father with great insights in the financial world of banking. Never at a loss for words of wisdom or encouragement and truly a mentor and a great friend. Matched with his equal in life he was outstanding wherever he went. May the Lord bless his journey and comfort his family.
Forever- Mike and Marti

Betty Flores

November 21, 2019

Dearest Willie, you changed my life for the better. When we first met I never imagined that 30 years later you would remember me and help upgrade our lives forever. You are many great things but most of all you are the worlds greatest teacher, mentor and a true friend to many. I will always remember the conversations at dinner before the board meetings in Austin. Your stories, your smile and your “picking on me” were always the best. I know we all miss you and your family, especially Esther will miss you dearly. But know that your love, kindness and generosity will always be remembered. Love you always, Betty, Tony, Cristina and Antonio Flores.

Hugh Chairnoff

November 21, 2019

Hedda and I will sadly miss "Willie." It is a friendship with Esther and Willie that extends for 52 years. As a friend, companion, and lately a business partner, we haven't experienced any stronger relationship than with the Staats family despite the physical distance between us and our significantly different backgrounds. As a colleague and mentor, he had a lot to do with my future success. And as a business partner for 23 years, we shared his insistence on integrity and honesty in building a lasting business that will benefit our children and grandchildren. Willie will be sorely missed.

Steve Anderson

November 18, 2019

Dear Esther and Family,

News of Willie's passing kindled many fond memories of my long association with you and Willie through TLU. I so enjoyed working with him during his tenure on the board of regents - not least because of his witty comments that kept the meetings lively and light-hearted! More importantly though, he cared deeply about our alma mater and contributed to its advancement in so many important ways through the years. I also will be forever grateful for his many personal kindnesses to me, including a surprise phone call one morning to check on my welfare when campus morale was very low during a particularly trying period. He probably never knew how important and helpful that was to me at the time.

I know I join countless others in saying I will miss him. May you and your family feel God's presence and peace as you mourn his passing and celebrate his amazing life.

Steve Anderson

Marilyn Rees

November 16, 2019

I had the pleasure of working with Willie Staats at the Farm Credit Bank of Texas where he served as a board director and Audit Committee Chairman. He was one of the most intelligent, articulate, and witty people I have ever met. A true gentleman of the highest integrity. The best was his caring nature for the people around him. He and Esther came to be some of my very favorite people. I shall never forget their kindnesses. So blessed to have known him. Praying for comfort for his loved ones.