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Bob G. AGNEW

AGNEW, Bob G.

Bob G. Agnew passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on June 3, 2014. He was born October 15, 1930 in Coleman, Texas, the son of Henry Gilbert and Treva Polk Agnew.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Betty Batts Agnew. In addition, he is survived by two daughters, Lesa Agnew Kastler (William V. Kastler, Jr.), Laura Jane Agnew (Hill Abell), and one son, Gil Agnew (Quinton Jenkins). He has two grandsons who he adored, William V. Kastler III and Robert H. Kastler. Bob was beloved by his family for his unconditional love, unwavering support, sense of humor, and astute wisdom always delivered in perfect measure with impeccable timing. These gifts are appreciated by all who have known him.

Bob grew up in Ballinger, Texas where he was a varsity letterman in football, basketball, baseball, and track. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Texas at Austin graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1953. While at UT, he played baseball for two years and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity.

He began his career as a roughneck for Humble Oil and Refining Company. During the Korean conflict, he took a two-year leave serving in the U.S. Army Quartermasters Petroleum Headquarters where he taught officers and enlisted personnel how to manage petroleum supply depots and laboratories. After the service Bob resumed work with Humble Oil. He held various engineering and management assignments in Texas and Louisiana and then joined Esso Middle East/Africa in 1970 at the headquarters in New York where he was a Producing Advisor. This work led to extensive worldwide travel. Subsequently, he returned to Texas as Deputy Manager of the International Drilling and Exploration Department in Houston. In 1986, he became head of Worldwide Drilling. He retired after 41 years with Exxon Corporation.

He has been a pioneer on many fronts, helping to advance the science and practice of drilling by authoring technical articles and registering three patents. At Exxon, he was a member of the Production Research Advisory Committee. Of particular note is his participation in the development of deep water offshore technology and operations enabling the discovery and commercial production of significant oil and gas reserves. In the industry, Bob was a long-standing member of the Society for Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute. He served as Director of the Permian Basin Oil Show, as well as Chairman of the SPE International Drilling Conference held in Amsterdam.

More than technical expertise, Bob possessed keen abilities for developing and managing strong teams. In addition, these skills served him well in working with people from many cultures. He was widely respected for his fairness, kindness, and good humor. These qualities he also put to good use in his community as a member of The Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, The Council for Retarded Children, and Spindletop International Charities. He was elected to the Board of the latter and served as Chairman in 1987.

After retiring he and Betty moved to The Hills of Lakeway in Austin. There he was a long-serving member of the Hurst Creek Municipal Utility District Board. Bob served five years on the Board of Directors for Core Laboratories, a Dutch oil field services company. He also spent many happy hours on Riley Mountain in Llano County with family and friends.

An avid golfer since his junior year in college, golf remained a major part of his life. He was widely recognized, envied, and celebrated for his 2 leftie handicap. He was a longtime member of Champions Golf Club in Houston and The Hills of Lakeway Club in Austin. He won the Spindletop International Golf Tournament five times and was Senior Club Champion at Champions Golf Club three times. He took his passion to courses on three continents.

He was a member of the Petroleum Club of Houston, Friends of Alex Petroleum Engineering Foundation, and the University of Texas Chancellors Council. He and his wife, Betty, endowed a scholarship for undergraduate petroleum engineering students at the University of Texas at Austin.

Following a private family service, he will be interred in the Memorial Garden at The Lakeway Church. Memorials may be made to the Bob and Betty Agnew Scholarship in Petroleum Engineering at the Cockrell School of Engineering, 301 E. Dean Keeton Street - C2104, Austin, TX 78712.

The family expresses deep appreciation for the kind and professional care provided by the staff of The Plaza at Querencia and the staff of Halcyon Home.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from June 5 to June 6, 2014
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