Posts Tagged ‘In Memoriam’

Umesh Kumar Verma (’80)

Umesh Kumar Verma passed away surrounded by his loving family on Monday, the 26th of December 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio following a courageous battle with cancer. He was 65 years of age.
Mr. Verma met his wife, Preeti, while returning home to Mumbai to visit his parents and was immediately taken in by her eyes that sparkled when she smiled. After marriage, they moved back to Houston and had three “strong, independent, well-educated yet compassionate” daughters, Reva, Neha, and Kara.

Mr. Verma moved from India to the United States at the mere age of 17 to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Houston. After starting out at Brown & Root and Shell Oil, he pursued his entrepreneurial passion and founded his cybersecurity firm, BLUE LANCE. Thirty-three years later, it has become a leading global provider of IT security audit and compliance automation software, helping companies safekeep their digitally managed assets.

Mr. Verma was also an active community advocate and supporter. He was passionate about helping improve the lives of people with diabetes, serving the American Diabetes Association as Chair of the Houston Community Leadership Board (CLB), Chair of the Finance Committee, 2017 Secretary/Treasurer for the National Board of Directors, and 2020 Chairman of the National Board of Directors. He also served on the executive committee of the Houston Diabetes Resource Center. In addition, he has served as Chair of the Center for Houston’s Future and founded the community organization Cyber Houston, which hosts the annual Houston Cyber Summit, aiming to connect business leaders across small and mid-sized businesses with industry experts to become cyber resilient.

A funeral service honoring Mr. Verma’s life is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Sunday, the 8th of January 2023, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. For those unable to attend the service in person, virtual attendance may be accessed by visiting Mr. Verma’s online memorial tribute at and selecting the “Join Livestream” icon in the service section.

(Kindly note: In respect and honor of Mr. Verma, the family requests that attendees wear the color white, thank you.)

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent grand foyer, parlor, and Republic Wine Room.

A cremation ceremony is to follow, via an escorted cortege, at the Chapel of Eternal Peace Crematory on the grounds of Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in Mr. Verma’s memory may be directed to the American Diabetes Association at

Please visit Mr. Verma’s online memorial tribute at, where fond memories and words of comfort and condolence may be shared electronically with his family.

Clyde Elton Sloan, Jr. (’68)

Clyde Elton Sloan, Jr
11/04/1943 – 08/27/2022
Clyde Elton Sloan, Jr. passed away peacefully at home on August 27, 2022 and went to be with the Lord. Clyde was born on November 4, 1943 in Houston, Texas, but lived most of his youth in Baytown, TX. After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School (class of 1962), he went on to study business at the University of Texas and then transferred to the University of Houston where he graduated in 1968. Clyde met his wife Lee Etta at the University Religion Center and they married in 1968. After graduation, he went to work for Allstate and had a successful 32-year career as an agent until he retired in 2000 and sold his agency to his son.
Clyde was predeceased by his parents, Clyde and Catherine Sloan and is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lee Etta; brother William Sloan; son Warren Sloan and fiancé Micah Stewart; daughter Martha Sloan Salas and son-in-law Ruben Salas; and six grandchildren, Christian, Samuel and Abigail Salas and Alexander, Megan and James Sloan.
Clyde loved his family, church and community. He served as a Scout Master, coach, mentor, precinct judge and was an active church member. Clyde served on his high school reunion committee, the UH Bauer College of Business Alumni Association and the board of the Cougar Cookers HLSR cook-off team. Clyde never missed a UH football game or his grandchildren’s activities and he always lent a helping hand to friends and neighbors.
Clyde’s family would like to thank the doctors and care teams at MD Anderson, Houston Cardiac Clinic and Houston Hospice for their excellent care. A service will be held for Clyde on Saturday September 3rd at 10:30 AM at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 12535 Perthshire, Houston, TX 77024. A more complete obituary can be found at
Published by Houston Chronicle on Sep. 2, 2022.

Philip John Huber (’80)

Philip John Huber was born March 9, 1958, to Patrick Wendell and Molly Ruth Huber (deceased), in Roswell, New Mexico. Phil was the youngest of three children born to the Hubers. Mary Faith Huber (deceased) and Judith A. Johnson were Phil’s older sisters. Peter L. Martinez was an adopted brother, that the Hubers adopted via Operation Peter Pan in the early 60s. Peter lived with The Hubers until his mother could be brought into our country from Cuba.
Phil attended Midland High School and Stratford High School. He participated in Band and was part of the cheerleading squad. He also worked with the school’s year book, and played basketball and football. Phil graduated from Stratford High in Houston Texas in 1976. He attended The University of Houston and studied Radio/TV/Film. Phil graduated in 1980 from The University of Houston.
Phil’s preparedness and willingness to go the extra mile helped him score the biggest news story of the day while working as a news photographer in Midland Texas, when Baby Jessica McClure fell down the well in Midland Texas, October 14, 1987. His microphone, duct tape, and a XLR cable coupled with his news camera helped determine if the child was still alive. Over the next 56 hours people came from all over to work their way down 22 feet and retrieve the 18-month-old child. His feed of the event went out over the wire nationally and around the world. For 56 hours the world hung onto every second of Phil’s footage captured during the rescue.
Phil spent most of his adult life traveling the country picking up stories and sharing them with others. He worked in the electronic news gathering business for many years, working with news organizations, in both Midland, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. He earned his title, “Lens Mule” by covering fires, hurricanes, crashes, and dignitaries, always capturing the moment of the day and recording it for others to see.
He opened his own production house and produced several local and nationally distributed programs. Programs like Tuesday Night Thunder, Gulf Coast Spotlight on local access, then Southern Experience, Arca Racing this Week, The American Rifleman, and Circle of Honor distributed nationally via The Outdoor Channel. He was also a freelance shooter and worked with companies, shooting racing, fishing, football, and all kind of other creative gigs. He was a natural-born storyteller. A storyteller with a heart as big as Texas and a creative streak a mile wide.
Phil and I met about 1993 or 1994. He had just left Channel 5 and was in full blown business-building mode with his new company, Parallax Productions. The journey we took together would cover the country and the latter part of Phil’s life. Along many of those trips, Phil began to teach me about his world. Together we put together an outreach program that allowed us to mentor to young men and women and teach them a marketable skill. The Odd Ducks came to be a force to be sought after in the production world. What started as idea on those long rides, has produced a lasting legacy that could continue decades from now.
Phil was a loving, caring, gentle soul; he wanted to help everyone. In fact, he made it his life’s mission to help others. His pay-it-forward philosophy became the motivation for his existence. He was known as “Dad” to at least 50 children who wore the ODB colors, but even before ODB, Phil had invested a lifetime in others’ educations and helping them to become their best selves.
Phil suffered his first stroke about twelve years ago. His nephew, Patrick Wihl, found him approximately three days after his stroke. Phil fought his way back to health but the storyteller had lost his voice. The stroke caused Phil to have a bad case of aphasia. Phil lost his business, his home, his ability to speak; he lost everything except his life and his friends.
He was fortunate to find Murray House. Murray House is where Phil lived the last twelve years of his life. While many would have been bitter and mad at the world, Phil made the best of his situation. He always made the best of bad situations throughout his career and after his career came crashing to a close, he continued to lead and help others. The examples he set were truly an inspiration to all who came to know him. His calm acceptance of the situation at hand helped others to see their way out of the forest.
Phil found a path to be creative again. He didn’t lose his framing, composition, or photographic abilities. He was never without his iPad nor the ability to snap a good photo or roll a few seconds of recording. He relearned how to tell the story without ever uttering a word. His pictures and his video told the story for him. He would see it for you. His vision of our world, even with his impaired abilities, shined through for all to see.
One last thing, Phil was a dog lover and his dogs loved him. His dogs were his best friends. He would always smile and say to me, “Unconditional love right there, that’s what really makes the world go around, unconditional love.” I have always been told that dogs are really good judges of character. I have to agree. Phil was one the good guys and our world will be a darker place without him in it.
He left behind a lasting legacy. A legacy whose story has yet to be written. Phil lived his life at 200 mph but he always had time to lend a helping hand and share a piece of timely advice or instruction. He worked at making other peoples lives better. We could all be more like Philip John Huber. He was a Lens Mule of the first order who saw the world through rose-colored glasses and he shared that vision with us all.
Philip John Huber passed in the morning of April 14, 2022.
He is survived by his sister, Judith Johnson, adopted brother, Peter L. Martinez an their extended families; his brothers and sisters of The Odd Duck Brotherhood; and a multitude of coworkers and friends.
May God grant Phil the welcome words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” He surely deserves it.
-A. Lee Abbett Sr.

Rolan Wilson Walton (’52)

Rolan Walton
May 27, 1929 – July 14, 2022
Rolan Wilson Walton was born on May 27, 1929 in San Antonio, TX. Rolan graduated from Lamar High School in 1946 and he was the student Regimental Commander of the ROTC. He remembered marching his unit on parades on River Oaks Blvd. Rolan loved all sports. While at Lamar he was the sports chairman for the Irari Club and played for the Lamar American Legion baseball team.

He attended Texas A&M and then transferred to the University of Texas, where he pledged Sigma Nu fraternity and was elected president of his pledge class. He later went to the University of Houston where he was the third baseman on the first UH baseball team, and as a senior, was captain of the 1951 championship team. He was the first 4-year letterman at the school. While in college he played for the semi-pro Victoria Rosebuds, winning the Houston Post tournament several times. He graduated from UH in 1952 with a degree in engineering. He played professional baseball for the Austin Pioneers for several years before joining his dad E Jack Walton in building the Walton Barge Terminal in 1954. In 1957 he formed his own company, Walton Transportation. He married young and had a daughter Renee Walton. He enjoyed watching her perform as the featured twirler for the Memorial Mustangs.

He later married Suzanne Luquette of Houston at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 7, 1975. They had one daughter Anne Keith Walton. He was always a very active and supportive father in all her activities. He admired her scholastic achievements and enjoyed watching her work as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C. Rolan was a member and past president of Lakeside Country Club. He was also a member of The Houstonian and the Hills of Lakeway. He was a member of Chapelwood Methodist Church and later joined St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.

In 1974 he went out to the baseball field at the University of Houston to help his old baseball coach Lovett Hill practice with the team. Shortly thereafter he was asked to become the head baseball coach. He continued running his transportation businesses while donating his coach’s salary to the baseball program. In 2006, he was inducted into the University of Houston Athletic Hall of Honor. He loved his coaching career and even coached his daughter Anne’s Kinkaid School middle school softball team as a dollar a year man.

The Hill Country of Texas was his special place. He spent many weekends hunting on deer leases and fishing on the Pedernales river at the ranch outside Johnson City. Most of all he loved playing golf at Lakeway where he owned a house on Bermuda Drive, the scene of many happy family gatherings. He always looked forward to time spent in Hunt, TX, picking Anne up from camp. He and Suzanne enjoyed many family vacations in California and Florida. They loved attending the theater in New York and Houston and they loved to dance. They were members of several dance clubs over the years and were always the first ones on the dance floor.
Rolan was always a gentleman: very mannerly and always ready to help others. He was admired by all for his easy-going, friendly personality. He had many friends and took the role of Dad very seriously. He was a man of honor and maintained a strong Christian faith throughout his life.
Rolan is survived by Suzanne, his wife of 47 years, his daughter Renee Walton of Panama, Florida and four grandchildren, his daughter Anne Keith Walton of Washington, D.C., his brother Andy Walton, two sisters, Leah and Shelley, Also Lydia Luquette, Elyse Luquette Dale, Quentin Keith Luquette. There will be a memorial service in the chapel at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Woodway, on Wednesday, July 27 at 2 pm. with a reception immediately following. Internment will be at a later date in the columbarium at the Garden of the Holy Cross at St. Martins.
For those desiring, memorials may be made in honor of Rolan to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston.

Published by Houston Chronicle on Jul. 24, 2022.

Joseph G. Ginn (’52)

Joseph G. Ginn, Sr.February 2, 1932 March 26, 2022Joseph George Ginn, Sr, 90, passed away on March 26, 2022 in Fredericksburg, Tx, following a short illness. Mr. Ginn was long time resident of Fredericksburg.Joe was born on February 2,1932, in Galveston, Tx, to William and Evelyn Ginn. The oldest of three boys, Joe graduated from Kirwin High School in Galveston, followed by earning his B.S. in Jurisprudence from the University of Houston and then a Law Degree from South Texas College of Law.During his college years, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Jane Margaret Mahan, also of Galveston. At the time he passed his bar exam, they would be parents to three children.Shortly following, Joe began to make strides in his career as he accepted the role of junior counsel with the Stauffer Chemical Company at their Adrian, Michigan offices. Within two years, Stauffer transferred him to their New York City offices. It was here that he excelled in his precise ability in working out contracts and that he began to learn the role of a manager of procurement. During this time their family grew by two more children.Longing to return to Texas, Joe entered into employment with the Albritton Engineering Corporation (ALENCO) of Bryan-College Station, TX, which grew to be the largest Aluminum door and window manufacturer in the US. With their return to Texas, Joe resumed his lifelong love of preserving and cultivating the historical significance of the state.Joe later joined AeroJet manufacturing based out of the Space Port in Houston. It was here that Joe would enter the height of his professional career in serving as a national officer of the National Association of Purchasing Managers, while also becoming the President General for the Sons of the Republic of Texas. Joe would then conclude his professional career with Southwest Research Institute out of San Antonio, Tx.Following his retirement, Joe kept active, along with his wife, in a myriad of state historical associations and within their church. Their most favorite activity was to travel and spend time with their family.Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Jane; his daughter, Margaret Ginn Reese; and his brother, Dr. Robert John Ginn. He is survived by his children, Joseph George Ginn, Jr. (Peggy) of Johnson City, Tx, Edward Michael Ginn of Fredericksburg,Tx, Gregory Ginn of Austin, and Christopher Ginn (Linda) of San Antonio; his brother, William F. Ginn of Dickinson, Tx; six grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.A Catholic Mass will be held in Fredericksburg, at 10:30 a.m. on April 22, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice .

Dorothy Jane Murphey (MA ’89)

Dorothy Murphey


Dorothy Murphey died peacefully in the presence of loving family at her home in Houston on April 2nd. She was born to David J. and Ethel Kreager in 1932. She was married to Carey Murphey for 60 years. She is predeceased by Carey, her brother Dave, and a nephew. She is survived by her three children: Richard (Amy); Don (Linda); and, Susan; and four grandchildren: Colleen, Matthew, Stephen and Michael. Dorothy was active in multiple organizations, including Texas Exes and Alpha Chi, her local Republican precinct, Junior League, Meyerland Club, Garden Club, Friends of Archeology and Presbyterian Women. She was treasurer for a local investment club, with her mother Ethel. The Murpheys lived in the Hague, Netherlands for two years in the early seventies, where Dorothy initiated family cultural trips across Europe. Once back in Houston, she began teaching, first at Bellaire High School, then Strake Jesuit, where she chaired the English department and ran the school paper, and then at University of Houston, where she got a master’s degree. She was very active, in turn, at St. Luke’s Presbyterian, First Presbyterian Houston, and St. Philip Presbyterian, and engaged the family in many church activities. After retiring, she volunteered for 30 years as a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts. There, as everywhere, she set a high bar by her diligent study before giving tours, and by befriending new docents and staff. She was an active, devoted, excellent mother to her family and a devoted aunt to her brother’s family. She cooked for and hostessed countless events for others. She traveled widely with Carey and family. She lead an exemplary life of faith, family and friendship. She will be greatly missed. Services will be held at St. Philip Presbyterian on Sat. April 23rd at 11am. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to her beloved Main Street Theatre or Classical Theater Company, or to your favorite arts charity.

Bryan Monroe Phillips, Sr. (’07)

Bryan Monroe Phillips, Sr., a seven-year resident of Pearland, Texas, formerly of Santa Fe, Texas, passed away on April 8, 2022, at his home in Pearland. Bryan was of the Christian faith. He was born on August 20, 1971, in Galveston, Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. He served his country in the U.S. Army for ten years. He leaves behind his wife of 19 years, Ana Phillips; parents, Nicholas and Viola Phillips; father and mother-in-law, Jose and Elida Barros; son, Jose Perez, son, Bryan Phillips, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Chelsea, daughter, Bryana Phillips, and son, Leonardo Phillips; brother, Jason Phillips and sister-in-law, Jennifer, sister, Erin Inala and brother-in-law, Andy; grandson Damien Phillips; and five nieces, Ashley Phillips, Kaitlyn Phillips, Sydney Phillips, Isabella Inala, and Gabriella Inala. Bryan loved to play, referee, coach and watch sports. His passion for sports began at a young age in Little League baseball and League soccer. He went on to referee soccer in the Bay Area until he joined the service. He later went on to coach his sons in baseball and soccer. He was a big fan and supporter of his daughter’s cheerleading. He never missed any of his children’s games or competitions. He was a life-long Cowboys, Astros and Dynamo fan, through thick and thin. There will be a visitation on Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. with a service to begin at 5:00 P.M. at Crowder Funeral Home, 2422 East Broadway St. Pearland, TX 77581. Flowers will be appreciated, or in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Camp Hope, PTSD Foundation of America.

Rebecca Sue Thacker (’10)

Rebecca was born on April 30th, 1984, in Houston, Texas to Robert and Cheryl Boyle. Becky graduated Sum Cum Laude at The University of Houston in 2010, and Cypress Creek High School in 2002. Rebecca was a member of The Girl Scouts and earned The Gold Award, their highest honor. In 2009 she married the love of her life, Joshua Thacker. Becky was an avid participant in the Choir at Foundry United Methodist Church and at U of H where she served as the President of the Student Ambassador Program. Rebecca pursued her passion for reading, music and service by her work as a teacher for over ten years. Becky and Josh could commonly be found on a vacation or spending time at Disney World or at home with their four cats. She is survived by her husband, Joshua Thacker, her Mother Cheryl Bailey, Father Robert Boyle (Lisa), her sisters, Sarah Listi (Matt), Jennifer Beltracchi (Shawn), Her Nieces and Nephews Benjamin, Abigail, Evelyn, Aidan, and Oliver. Her In-laws Joanne and Ulan Thacker, Her Goddaughter Lilian Martinez, The Faculty and Students of Marathon High School, and a large number of friends and family. Preceded in Death by her Grandparents, Robert and June Lusk, John Jr and Kathleen Boyle, Stepfather Julian Bailey, and her beloved cat Shasta.

Rita Wright Colina (M.Ed ’92)

Rita Wright Colina 71, of Houston passed away April 6, 2022. Rita was born July 6, 1950, in Keene, New Hampshire to Elliot and Olga Wright. She is preceded in death by her father Elliot. She is survived by husband Fernando Colina, of 47 years of marriage; children, Joseph Colina and Maria Colina; mother, Olga Wright; and sister, Diane Foley. Rita grew up in Keene, New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in language education which she later furthered with a Master’s in education from the University of Houston. Her desire to perfect her Spanish led her to live in Spain where she met her husband, Fernando. Throughout her long teaching career, she taught Spanish to Elementary and High School students, as well as adults. Later, she found a passion for teaching English to recent immigrants, helping them acquire the everyday skills necessary to live and thrive in America. Rita enjoyed travel and she was an avid student of her Catholic faith. She was passionate about helping married couples strengthen their relationships. To this end, she presented Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends with her husband. Rita was gentle, compassionate, and had a talent for making the people around her feel at ease. A faithful Catholic, she was courageous in defending her faith with words, deeds, and through the example of her life. She was fierce in the protection of her children and loved ones. Services will be held Monday April 11, 2022, with visitation beginning at 6:00 PM and rosary service at 7:00 PM at Dettling Funeral Home, 14094 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079. Funeral Mass will be held the following morning Tuesday April 12, 2022, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 625 Nottingham Oaks Trail Houston, TX 77079. Rita will be laid to rest at Holy Rosary Cemetery, Rochester, New Hampshire. In lieu of flowers please consider a charitable donation to: The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation ( ) The Fr. Chuck Gallagher Legacy Fund (Worldwide Marriage Encounter) (

Victor Contreras (’75, MA ’83)


Victor Vela Contreras

March 31, 1953 – April 4, 2022

IN THE CARE OF Calvary Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery

Victor Vela Contreras entered eternal rest on April 4, 2022 in Dallas, TX. He was born on March 31, 1953 to Longino and Carmen Contreras. Victor was married to his wife, Liz for 8 years but were friends for many more than 8. He was an avid Dallas Stars fan and took Liz to a game for the first date. Victor was a graduate of Bishop Dunn High School and took his educational career to another level. In 1973, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston and in 1983, he received his Master of Arts from the University of Houston Central Campus. A very educated man, Victor continued his education at Southern Methodist University in 2003 with a second Bachelors degree in Social Science and also a second Masters in Applied Sociology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2006. Lastly, he proudly completed his Doctorate degree in Philosophy in Public Policy and Political Economy in 2011. Victor was a loved man and will be missed by his family. Victor will be remembered for his loving, caring nature, his passion for learning and infectious smile. He is preceded in death by his parents; nephew, Clint Brannon; and numerous aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife and their dog, Sophie Lynn; brother, Robert and his wife Gloria; sister, Marlo and her husband Allan Samples; nieces, Monica Gonzalez and Renee Contreras; cousin who was like a sister to him, Ramona Padilla and lots of extended family members. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Thursday April 14, 2022 at 11 am at Calvary Hill North Mausoleum Chapel Dallas, TX.