William McCain Lively III

April 10, 1941March 24, 2013

God called William McCain “Mac” Lively III home on Sunday, March 24, 2013. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday March 28 at Grace Bible Church on Anderson. He is survived by a family who loved him very much – his wife of 40 years, Cathy; his daughter, Jenny Larkin, Jenny’s husband, Heath, and their children Avery, McCain, and Ella; his son Scott and Scott’s wife, Kristen; his sister Susie Ferguson; his brother Ric and Ric’s wife, Jan; and several nieces and nephews. Mac loved God and his family and loved talking about both to anyone who would listen. Mac was born on April 10, 1941, in Dallas, Texas. He remained in Dallas to receive a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, finishing school in 1971 and later registering as a professional engineer with the state of Texas. Mac married the love of his life, Cathy, in 1972, and they settled in College Station, where Mac taught computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University for nearly 40 years, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2011. During his tenure at Texas A&M, Dr. Lively co-founded the Institute for Software Engineers and served as Director of the Laboratory for Software Research. He was an academic mentor to the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets for over ten years and received the Corps’ Outstanding Faculty Advisor award in 1998. Mac enjoyed helping and learning from colleagues and students, be it in matters of technology, research, or faith. In 2007, SMU honored Dr. Lively with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Mac loved playing and watching sports and was a lifetime Dallas Cowboys fan. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, driving, dining, movies, and being with his family – especially playing with his three grandchildren. Mac would do anything for a family member or friend, and he always testified to the Lord Jesus Christ as his redeemer and the giver of every gift in his life. From his beloved family to childhood friends, Texas A&M students, and colleagues, Mac leaves behind dozens of adoring loved ones who will miss him greatly but rejoice that he is at home with the God about Whom he always spoke. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Grace Bible Church, 700 Anderson Street, College Station, Texas 77840 or Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 West 26th Street, Bryan, Texas 77803.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, March 28, 2013

William McCain Lively III

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Jessica Gonzales

April 10, 2014

Dr. Lively was my professor at TAMU and he was truly one of the best man I've ever met. He always encouraged me and he believed in my potential. Even after I took his class he was always a joy to see and was as kind as he was when I first met him. I attribute much of my success to him and his dedication to computer science and teaching. I know I wouldn't be who I am without him. I look forward to seeing him again when we're reunited in Heaven. Blessings to him and his family.

Much love and respect!

Norman Ma

July 4, 2013

Dr. Lively and I walked similar paths at different times. He was a member of my PhD committee and we can both call Southern Methodist University (SMU) our alma mater, thirty years apart. He was born and raised in Dallas and I lived in Dallas and love that great American city. To me, whom came to the U.S. after graduating sixth grade from Taiwan and grew up at Chicago, Dr. Lively is the quintessential scientist, Texan, and American. He is tall, good looking, intelligent, righteous, and most importantly, has a passionate and kind heart towards his graduate students. It is not easy, but it is rewarding and good to have Dr. Lively on your committee. He was an early educator and researcher of the human-computer interface hypertext paradigm which later developed into the web browser as we all known today. His graduate courses in software engineering contains essential knowledge for practioners to manage and control software project complexity. Every one of his courses that I have taken is useful in my career. In graduate study we were advised to use our critical thinking skills to learn from a wide community of researchers, as a new researcher we search through an endless sea of interesting information. Dr. Lively has taught me to formulate an internal conviction and righteousness from one's ideas for focusing and energizing one's research. Dr. Lively is a solid scientist, educator, Texan, and American. I am grateful and glad that Dr. Lively was a part of my life. I wish the best to his memories and his family.

Clay Williams

April 26, 2013

I was very sad to hear of Dr. Lively's death. He was the co-chair of my PhD committee and was a good friend. My deepest sympathy to Cathy and the family.

Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

Jeff Jilg

April 26, 2013

My deepest condolences to the family. Dr. Lively was a mentor and a member of my dissertation committee, contributing deeply to my Ph.D. in 1992. His classes were fun, and his coaching and advice were par excellent. RIP Dr. Lively.

Rabi Mahapatra

April 4, 2013

I knew Mac for more than 15 years in CS Department. He used to be very friendly and always greets you with loud laughs. We did not expect him to leave so soon. But God's plan is mysterious. Mac will be always remembered.

April 1, 2013

Andrew let us know about Mac. We have enjoyed both of you as our 'back fence neighbors' and we are sorry for your loss. We will be glad to help you do anything needed. Blessings-Tom and Lindy

April 1, 2013

I have known Mac as one of the first six faculty members in this department. We have lived through 40 years of struggles and friendships and now are ready to pass the department to the next keepers. And as Mac would say, "us old folks did very well, thank you." He will be very much missed.

Frank Ivy

March 31, 2013

Looks like I waited too long to tell you how important you were to me. You were the most constant friend I ever had. I will miss you terribly.

Hank Walker

March 30, 2013

When I moved to College Station, Mac was one of the first people I met. He immediately made me feel welcome, and was a constant source of sound advice. On his last day in the office, we were busy planning an upcoming visit for one of his former students. I will miss his barking laugh that could be heard all the way across the building.

Salih and Lale Yurttas

March 28, 2013

Mac was a good friend.
We will always remember his friendship and kindness.
Our sympathies to Cathy and children.