Jewell, Jr., George H.
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George Hiram Jewell, Jr., age 91, died peacefully on Sunday, the 27th of January 2013, in Indian Wells, California, following a brief illness. He was born the 9th of January 1922, in Fort Worth, Texas, to George Hiram Jewell and Vera Lee Jewell. George attended Texas Christian University and later transferred to The University of Texas at Austin, where he received a degree with highest honors in physics and mathematics in 1942. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Psi social fraternity and the Texas Cowboys.
George was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 56 years, Betty Jefferis Jewell; and his grandson Robert Alden Jewell. He is survived by his wife of the past 11 years, Nancy Hart Glanville Jewell; his sister, Beverly Jewell Sealy of Fort Worth, Texas; his son, Robert Vance Jewell and wife, Evelyn of Houston, Texas; his daughters, Susan Jewell Cannon, also of Houston, and Kathy Jewell Wommack and husband, Tripp of Midland, Texas. He was blessed with seven grandchildren, Leslie Cannon Newcomer and husband, Randy, Brian Cannon and wife, Anne, Kristen Jewell Dolsen and husband, Brady, Trevor Wommack and wife, Natalie, George Wommack and wife, Christen, Wright Wommack and Will Wommack; and by eleven great grandchildren, Allison, Hunter and Bella Cannon, Sydney, Holton and Cannon Newcomer, Cooper and Tyler Dolsen, Tripp and Caroline Wommack, and Harper Wommack. He is also survived by his niece and nephew, Debbie and Dick Sealy; and by his four step-sons and their families, John, Charles, Tom and Rob Glanville.
George descended from a pioneer Texas family as a sixth generation Texan. His great great great grandfather, George Washington Jewell, was a Captain in the Tennessee Volunteers who came in 1824 to fight in the Texas War of Independence. George's great grandfather was the first Postmaster in Fort Worth.
George was called to service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving as a meteorologist on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific. He was stationed in Brisbane, Australia; Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands (now New Guinea); and Leyte Island and Samar Island, both in the Philippines.
Following the War, he enrolled in The University of Texas School of Law, graduating in 1950 with highest honors. George achieved the highest grade point average ever achieved at that time at the law school, breaking the previous record set by the then-Dean, W. Page Keeton. He was a member of the Order of the Coif, Phi Delta Phi, Chancellors and the Texas Law Review.
Following graduation, he moved his young family to Houston and joined the law firm of Baker Botts LLP. Shortly after he began work at the firm, he was recalled to active duty in the Navy in the Korean War and was stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. Upon his discharge with the rank of lieutenant, George returned to Baker Botts in Houston. Initially he practiced in the trial department, but about the time he was made a partner in 1960, and in response to the growing importance of tax law in the firm's practice, he either chose or was directed (recollections vary) to become a tax lawyer.
He was handed a copy of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and told to learn it. George spent months, some say a year, studying the tax code in the library. He then built a highly successful tax practice, developing a reputation for writing concise opinions - stating his conclusions in a single page when others might have taken tens of pages. He soon became head of the firm's tax department and served in that capacity for many years. George was also a member of the firm's executive committee during the tenures of both Bill Harvin and Bill Barnett as managing partners. George retired from the practice of law in December of 1989.
During his legal career, he was President of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Texas and was a member of the American Bar Association, where he served as chairman of several committees of the Section of Taxation.
In addition to being a successful tax lawyer, George was a close confidante of the CEOs of the clients for which he worked. He served for many years on the boards of directors of long-time Baker Botts clients Schlumberger Ltd., Pogo Producing Company and Bank of the Southwest/MBank. He was also a founding shareholder and director of Southwest Royalties, Inc.
He was known as a brilliant, distinguished gentleman, highly respected for his intelligence and his reliably sound judgment. He routinely dealt with people of power and influence at the highest levels, but he never took himself too seriously. He had a great sense of humor.
George had a particular love for Texas Children's Hospital where he served on the Board of Trustees from 1975 until his death. He was President and Chairman during this period. He was proud of the building program and vast enlargement in services for infants and youth which took place during his tenure on the Board.
George and his family and friends spent many happy hours at his ranch in Brenham, Texas.
George was a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church. He also made lasting friendships on the golf course and in the dining rooms at the Houston Country Club; the Coronado Club, Houston, Texas; Eldorado Country Club, Indian Wells, California; Blind Brook Club, Purchase, N.Y.; Old Baldy Club, Saratoga, Wyoming; Wee Burn Country Club, Darien, Connecticut; and the Del Mar Turf Club, Del Mar, California. George was proud to have been a member of the United States Seniors' Golf Association. He was also a longstanding member of Sam's Club. During the last few years, after arthritis prevented him from playing golf and fly fishing, he became a fly fishing consultant - he was quite proud of his new business cards - and devoted his intellectual curiosity to learning how to use the computer.
Arrangements in Houston are with Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, The Funeral Directors Since 1936, www.geohlewis.com, 713.789.3005.
A memorial service, celebrating George's life, was conducted last Saturday, the 2nd of February, in the Sanctuary of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Houston, where Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor, officiated. Immediately following, family and friends gathered to share remembrances of George during a reception in the Fellowship Hall.
Prior to the service, the family gathered for a private interment at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston.
Honored to serve as casket bearers during the services were Brian Cannon, Randy Newcomer, Trevor Wommack, George Wommack, Wright Wommack and Will Wommack. Serving as honorary pallbearers were all Baker Botts partners.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that remembrances be directed to Texas Children's Hospital, 6621 Fannin, Houston, Texas 77030 or the
Published in Darien News on Feb. 8, 2013