William Jackson Stradley (’65, LLB ’67)

William J Stradley


William (“Bill”) Jackson Stradley passed away peacefully at home on April 9, 2020, surrounded by his family. Bill was born in Houston, Texas on October 27, 1939 to Samuel Hoge Stradley and Mary Elizabeth (“Libby”) Mitchell Stradley. He was an only child raised in the Montrose area of Houston and attended Montrose Elementary, Lanier Jr. High School, and Lamar High School (from which he graduated in 1958). Bill began college at the University of Texas in Austin, where he met Emmalee, who would become his wife. Bill then transferred to the University of Houston, from which he earned his BS degree in 1965. He then earned his law degree from the University of Houston Bates College of Law in 1967.Bill and Emmalee were married in 1960 and were soon to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary. She survives him. Bill also is survived by their daughter Lisa Stradley Bergez (and her husband Craig) and their son William (“Bill”) Mitchell Stradley (and his wife Stephanie), as well as their five grandchildren, Katherine (and fiance Alex Cohn), Emmalee (and fiance William Holt), and Barrett Bergez, and Jackson and Jessica Stradley. Bill’s greatest pleasures in life were times spent with his family.Bill practiced law for nearly fifty years and was known for his integrity, compassion, and humility. He spent his entire career as a personal injury trial lawyer, proudly seeking to help injured Texans obtain just compensation for their suffering. He started his career at the predecessor to the law firm Jamail & Gano, spent many rewarding years at his law firm, Stradley, Barnett & Stein, and then finished his career at the Mithoff Law Firm. Bill was Board Certified in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.He was a President and Director of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, a President of the Houston chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and a Director and Director Emeritus of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He also served on many bar association committees, including the Houston Bar Association Committee on Professionalism and the State Bar of Texas Committee on Texas Federal Judiciary Appointments, as well as an appointment to the Supreme Court of Texas Professional Ethics Committee. He enjoyed mentoring other lawyers, and in the 1980s, he served on the advocacy faculty for both the University of Houston Law Center and the South Texas College of Law.Bill’s community involvement included serving for many years (including as President) on the City of Houston’s Mayor’s Police Advisory Committee during the administrations of Mayors Jim McConn and Kathy Whitmire, as a Director of the Houston Council on Human Relations, and on the Administrative Board of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (alongside his friend Rev. James H. Ellison).Bill was a true gentleman and an all-around great guy. That was recognized early by his high school classmates when they voted him Most Popular Boy of his senior class, and often thereafter as he touched the lives of the people who came to know him throughout his life. His idol, if he ever could be said to have one, was the young Frank Sinatra, who he emulated reasonably well on a record that Bill cut when he was in high school. He was deeply interested in comparative religion and the history of World War II. He spent much of his free time reading and studying those topics and reflecting on the meaning and life lessons that they provided.Bill had an almost spiritual way of making the people who had the pleasure of spending time with him feel better about themselves. The world would be a better place if the same could be said about more of us, particularly at this stressful time in our existence. Hopefully, that part of Bill’s spirit has rubbed off on the people who will miss him. His family will certainly strive to honor that spirit, and will always remember him with a smile in doing so. We hope that you will do the same.Bill would appreciate any contributions in his memory to the charity of your choice but would be particularly appreciative of any contributions made in his memory to the Houston Area Parkinson’s Society. There are no services scheduled at this time in light of current circumstances. We encourage you to celebrate Bill’s life safely in whatever manner you would like.

Submission Rules…

By submitting a class note, you agree:

  • All Class Notes are visible to the general public. Do not submit anything you wish to keep private.
  • The University of Houston reserves the right to edit all submissions.
  • No Advertising or any form of commercial solicitation is permitted.
  • Unauthorized copyrighted material will be deleted.

Learn More