OBITUARY

Lester Lee Hewitt

March 11, 1942October 24, 2020
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Lester L Hewitt, passed away at the age of 78 on October 24, 2020 surrounded by his family in Houston, TX. A kind, hardworking, faithful Catholic, beloved by friends and family, Les will be missed dearly.

Les was born in Houston, TX, to James and Lena Hewitt. He attended Jones High School where he was involved in debate, drama, football, and tennis. He attended the University of Houston on a partial tennis scholarship, graduating in 1965 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In 1968 he graduated from the University of Houston Law Center specializing in intellectual property law. Les practiced law at the Houston firm of Pravel Hewitt Kimball and Krieger, before joining Akin Gump as a member of the firmwide management committee and co-head of the intellectual property practice. Throughout his 50-year law career, he served as lead counsel in numerous complex intellectual property cases involving patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret issues. He served as treasurer and president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, director of the 4th district of the State Bar of Texas, and adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center. He remained a partner with Akin Gump until the age of 65, then continued as a solo practitioner before officially retiring at the age of 73.

Les met his wife of 55 years, Taffy, as an undergraduate at U of H. They married in 1965 and were blessed with three children Chris, Lannie (Chris), and Brady (Annie). They love and adore their eight grandchildren Sadie, Field, Cassidy, Courtney, Jack, Hannah, William and Cora. Les and Taffy were members of Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church where he served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, was a member of That Man is You, and the Society of Saint Vincent DePaul. Les was a devout Catholic and member of the Sunrise Bible Study for decades.

Les proudly became a Knight of Magistral Grace in the Order of Malta in 2012. He lovingly served as chairman of the Mamie George Food Fair, volunteered at Martha’s Kitchen, participated in prison ministry, and was a pastoral minister at Memorial Hermann Hospital. As a member of the Order’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, he accompanied the Malades to the healing baths of Mary’s Holy Spring. He was also honored to serve as the assistant chairman for the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Good Help in Wisconsin. He received the President’s Award for Service from the Federal Association in 2017.

Les loved traveling with family and friends to many wonderful places. He was an avid tennis player and golfer, and an active fan of all of the activities his grandchildren were involved in. He also loved spending time at his beloved farm with loved ones hiking, mowing, taking care of trees, and admiring the beautiful Texas sunsets. He will be greatly missed.

There will be a visitation at 6 pm and a rosary at 7 pm at the Earthman Funeral Directors at 8303 Katy Freeway. The funeral mass will be held Saturday morning at 11 am at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church at 1801 Sage Road. Services will be live streamed and links will be available on the Earthman website for those not attending in person. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions may be sent to the Houston Area Order of Malta c/o George Smith, 5953 Green Tree Rd, Houston, TX 77057, or to Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road, Houston, TX 77056.

Services

  • Visitation with the family

    Friday, October 30, 2020

  • Rosary

    Friday, October 30, 2020

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  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, October 31, 2020

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Memories

Lester Lee Hewitt

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Causey Coffield

November 12, 2020

Dear Taffy,
We are so sad about the passing of Les! He was a true gentleman and great role model! Please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!
Love and blessings,
Causey and Michael

Shawn Coble

October 31, 2020

I met Les & Taffy at Martha's Kitchen many years ago. Working with them there on Thursdays and getting to know them and of the very full life they led was an incredible blessing! Les would always offer to take our prayer requests to Lourdes when they were making the annual pilgrimage with the Order of Malta. He was sincere when he asked who I needed prayers for and I will always cherish his genuine interest in my requests. Taffy would share many sweet & funny stories of their family get togethers and later of how they navigated the kids moving back in after the flood - I marveled at how happy they were to have them there & how they felt it to be the greatest blessing. - If we could all emulate just a few of Les' character qualities the world would be a better place!

As the pastor said at his funeral today, there will be a huge "hole" left for all those who knew him, especially for his dear family and dear Taffy - May the Holy Spirit keep you wrapped in love through this difficult time.

Shawn Coble

David Clonts

October 30, 2020

By the time I started at Pravel in ’91, Les was becoming the leader and Senior Statesman (at 49...!) of the Firm. My colleagues before have said it all…teacher, taskmaster, coach. But Les’s impact on me runs far deeper. And it is why I will always, always remember him for the tremendously good person that he was.

We were looking to merge in the late 90’s. Our committee picked a Firm, and it was all-on-board for the merger—our folks were thrilled. Our firm got a solid offer letter. But it cut me out—too young as a partner. I thought, ok, way it goes and I’d figure something else out…

Les. So he was mad. And not just a little mad, but boiling. Many of you know his passion. It’s not just a passion of anger—Les had a passion of Right and Wrong. He nuked this whole deal on principal. First time I’ve shared, but about time.

Since then, I saw it often—that Right and Wrong. I saw it when he refused to treat a troubled witness harshly. I saw it when Les talked with one particular client with tears in his eyes. Les was always true to doing what’s right.

So you may know him as a great lawyer, a hard taskmaster, an enigma. But I knew him as a bright shining light of right and wrong.

…and when I’m at the Pearly Gates, I suspect I’ll need good counsel.

I hope Les will be by my side.

Beth Shea

October 30, 2020

Taffy, I am so sorry for Les’ passing. He was such a lovely man and always so kind and gracious to me when we were together. May God comfort you and your family and bring you His healing grace.
Warmly, Beth Shea

Carol Allen

October 30, 2020

Dear Taffy,
Sending prayers and my deepest sympathies to you and your family. I know the loss you feel. Chris and I loved the many tennis gatherings at HRC so many years ago.
❤️Carol

Megan Williams

October 30, 2020

I will long remember Mr. Hewitt’s kindness and hospitality during our introduction at Brady and Annie’s wedding many years ago. A true gentleman, and a man of so many good deeds. May he Rest In Peace. My prayers and sympathy are sent to his dear family and friends.

Jim Bushman

October 29, 2020

Taffy
You have lost a great husband and father. The rest of us have lost a great man. May God comfort you in this time of grief.

Sincerely

Jim Bushman

Mark Garrett

October 29, 2020

Dear Taffy and family,

May the resurrection of Christ bring you peace and hope in this time of loss. I met Les in 2013 related to a patent project. Since then, we have worked on several patent projects. He demonstrated a great ability to communicate complex concepts while enabling a layman's understanding. In this world, he will be missed, but in the next, there will be a joyful reunion. I will pray that you are comforted with this thought.

- Mark Garrett

Kathleen Schoeffield

October 29, 2020

Dear Taffy and family,
My deepest condolences and prayers to you and your loved ones. I'm so deeply sorry for the sudden loss of your precious Les. It was such a beautiful day recently serving together, at Mamie George. Les was so caring & kind, always thinking of others. Les touched our hearts! May he rest in peace in the arms of Our Lord.
Peace and much love,
Kathleen and family

John Dale MD

October 29, 2020

Taffy,
Pat and I are so sorry for your loss. Although we were together for just a short time in Lourdes, we remember you both as such a caring and warm couple. We send our love and condolences.
Part and John Dale

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Biography

Les Hewitt’s life story in his own words, penned by Les in September 2020 in support of his application to join the St Vincent DePaul society…

My Mom and Dad are from Giddings, Texas. My mom only went through the fifth grade, but ultimately my Dad got a degree from A & M. They moved to Houston and lived very modest lives.

Taffy and I are Houstonians by birth, and we have lived all of our lives here except for a year in DC. She went to Mt. Carmel High School and I went to Jones High School, which, when opened in 1957, was actually a very good school. At Jones, I played football, tennis, did a little on the speech and drama side. I had a partial tennis scholarship at the University of Houston, but did not last long because the other guys were better.

Taffy and I met at the University of Houston, where I was a year ahead of Taffy. I was in the Engineering department and she was taking Education. I joined SAE and met Taffy when she was our Sweetheart. Taffy and I married in 1965 just after graduation from UH. I began my first course in UH Law School that year, when the Law School was still trying to gain footing.

I went to work as a Mechanical Engineer and continued Law School at night and finally graduated in 1968. Because of my goal of practicing Intellectual Property Law, Taffy and I moved to DC for a year, where she taught in a challenging low-income elementary school in the District while I worked in the US Patent Office.

We moved back to Houston in 1969. I worked for several different small firms, including a 20-person firm ultimately known as Pravel, Hewitt, Kimball and Krieger, where I practiced trial work until I joined in Akin Gump in 1999 as head of the IP Section. I began patent trial work at the Pravel Firm and continued with that specialty the rest of my career. I remained a partner with Akin until I turned 65, and was given space in Akin to continue as a solo practitioner. I finally retired at 73.

Taffy was a cradle Catholic, but I became Catholic while in DC. Within a week or two, I went to Confession with Taffy going first. I then went into the Confessional, but it was only a few moments before the Irish priest starting yelling at me to actually confess sins. I still have that trouble, being a great rationalizer.

After returning to Houston, Taffy and I joined St. Albert’s in southwest Houston. Ultimately, I became Chairman of the Parish Council, probably in reflected recognition of all the work Taffy did in starting a day school for St. Albert’s.

In about 1982 we moved to Memorial and became members of St. Cecilia’s, where we stayed for many years before joining St. Michael’s in 2002. We have 3 children. Currently our two boys live in Houston while our daughter lives in Dallas-Denton. We have 8 grandchildren, ranging from 5 to 21.

In 1985, while at St. Cecilia’s, I joined my first weekly Bible Study. I still am engaged in Bible study today. Taffy is currently part of a women’s Bible Study group.

When Harvey hit about 4 years ago, both the boys were flooded out, and our younger son, daughter-in-law, Annie Billipp Hewitt, and their 4 children, then ranging from 2 to 8, lived with us for 2 years. Thankfully, they now live a beautiful new house. Those 2 years were truly a gift from God to Taffy and I.

Taffy and I are currently Ministers of the Eucharist at St. Michael’s.

In 2011, a good friend and Knight in the Order of Malta introduced me to the Order. Lourdes, France is well-known for its baths, which are from a spring that Mary disclosed to Bernadette in 1858. It is believed by Catholics throughout the world that bathing in Mary’s Holy spring in Lourdes may physically heal, and always strengthens faith. In May of each year, the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta world-wide travel in pilgrimage with their sick, known as “Malades”, to Lourdes. We have now traveled to Lourdes with the Order each May for 9 years.

Taffy and I and others in the Order have served as Chairpersons of our ministry to serve the poor and sick at Mamie George Catholic Charities Community Center in Richmond, which began in 2011. The Order also helps St Martha’s from Kingwood serve the poor and sick at Martha’s Kitchen near downtown Houston every week. Taffy and I have served at Martha’s Kitchen several times a month for many years.

The charisms of the Order of Malta are to serve the poor and sick, so joining the Saint Vincent de Paul society fits right in with my faith, and I am grateful for the chance to help the poor in need.

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