In memory of our friend,
Thomas Fox Lay - AA5Y
July 11, 1928 - January 19, 2018
Thomas Fox Lay 1928-2018
Thomas Fox Lay, attorney at law, made his appearance before the bar of Heaven January 19, 2018.
He was born in Waller, Texas, graduated from Hempstead High School where he played trumpet in the band. He also played in a band that furnished music for dances on the weekends. Although highly motivated and super intelligent, he reluctantly learned Morse Code from his Dad. During WWII, at age 14, he became the youngest person employed as a telegrapher in railroad service.
He entered the University of Texas in 1945 and worked his way through school in the oil and gas division of the Railroad Commission. He graduated from law school in 1950. While attending UT, he was a member of Phi Alpha Delta, an honorary legal fraternity; vice president of his mid year law class, and Theta Xi social fraternity. He passed the bar in 1950 and was almost immediately drafted into the Army. After basic training, he applied for OCS and was accepted. He then attended Military Police School. He was ordered to North Fort Hood where he served as Provost Marshall until his discharge in 1953, after which he returned to the Houston area where he practiced law for over 50 years.
He was a Charter Member and Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, Houston Bar Association where he served on various committees, State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association, American Judicature Society. In addition to his private law practice over the years he served as city attorney for the cities of Pasadena, League City, and South Houston. Thomas served on city council and Mayor Pro-tem in Friendswood. He also taught Real Estate Law at San Jacinto College. Thomas developed Fox Meadows subdivision in Friendswood and acquired the land that Friendswood Methodist Church occupies today. He was instrumental in adding sound to the 4th of July fireworks in the stadium in Friendswood. His civic activities included: a charter member of the South Pasadena Rotary Club, president and secretary. Thomas was recently awarded his 50th year pin. He organized the Helping Hand Fund of that club and was designated a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also a member of the Pasadena Jaycees, secretary and vice president, and President of the Pasadena Exchange Club. Thomas assisted in the formation of Southmore Savings Association. He was General council and associate director for 25 years. Thomas was well known for his sense of humor. He emceed many Rotary banquets and Valentine dinners at Friendswood Methodist Church. He was always called upon for anything that went on at the church that needed a legal opinion, a speech or sound. He taught Sunday School for over 20 years and taught Bethel Bible Studies. He served as a Trustee of the Texas Annual Conference. He was responsible for equipping the previous sanctuary with sound and wireless microphones. He worked many years with the United Players furnishing sound expertise.
His hobbies include photography, Ham radio, and growing roses. We might also add carpenter to the list in that he build a pool house by himself, a tree house, and furniture for his girls. However, plumbing was best left to the professionals in that one of his projects failed and flooded part of the house. He was a great Dad! Set a great example as a man of God, always there when needed. Chose private practice over corporate law so that he could be with and raise his family. He was incensed when his daughter started playing basketball in middle school only to find they were limited to half court. He went to Austin to talk to members of UIL and helped change the rules. He loved that the girls were finally able to play full court. Thomas was a 32 degree Mason for over 50 years. His life was devoted to helping others. He was loved by his family, his friends, and his clients. His secretaries said that he was such a good man and the best boss ever. He will be greatly missed.
Left to treasure his memory are his wife of 63 years, Ruth, his daughter Alicia Perner (Mike), granddaughter Annelisse Smith (Warren), Jim Morris, grandsons Christian Perner and London Ham. Nieces Janice Hill, Mary Kesterson, and Molly Abbott, nephews Charles Smith, Brent Leftwich, and Ralph Lay. He was predeceased by his daughter attorney Margaret Alexander of Conroe.
"When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars. And he will make the face of Heaven so fine that the world will be in love with night…"
A memorial service will be held in his honor on Saturday, February 3, 2018, 11:00 AM at Friendswood United Methodist Church, 110 N. Friendswood Dr., Friendswood, TX. In lieu of usual remembrances the family requests memorials be made to the Music Ministry at Friendswood Methodist Church or to the charity of your choice.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Jan. 28, 2018