ABINGTON, William Henry "Bill"
William Henry (Bill) Abington, a former Texas state legislator and longtime oil industry executive, passed away in Austin on January 4, 2014 at age 92. Abington was born on September 6, 1921, in Childress, Texas at the home of his parents, Hallie Crawford Abington and Edward Bannerman Abington. He graduated from Childress High School and moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1939. He attended Texas Christian University until the beginning of World War II
at which time he enlisted in the Army
Air Corp. He was assigned to the 486th Bomb Squadron, Eighth Air Force, located in East Anglia, England. He served from 1942 to 1945 during which he met and married his wife, Katherine Ruth Salisbury. After VE Day, he returned to the United States and his wife, Katherine Ruth Salisbury Abington and daughter, Judith Ann, who was born while he was overseas. Following his return from active duty, Bill served four consecutive terms as a member of the Tarrant County delegation in the Texas House of Representatives from 1946-1953. Also, during this period, he attended Baylor University Law School and received his LLB and JD degrees and entered into private law practice in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1950, a second child was born to Ruth and Bill, Thomas Edward Abington.
He left his private practice in 1953 when asked to join Texas Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association (now Texas Oil & Gas Association) to serve on staff as an attorney. He was then promoted to General Counsel in 1960 and further promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel in 1971. In 1981, he was made President and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1989. He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award in 1990 recognizing his service and leadership to the development of the Texas petroleum industry throughout his career. Abington was a prominent figure in the petroleum industry for almost four decades.
Bill had many avid interests. Among them were golf, travel, gardening, politics and entertaining. As a member of golf clubs in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and Colorado Springs, he shared many memories with friends, business associates and most fondly with his son, Tom. He also fulfilled a life- long dream of playing some of the most revered golf courses in Scotland and Ireland with Tom. He loved and valued his family, friends and country. He had an exceptional way with people regardless of their station in life. He was truly interested in others and that endeared him to all that knew him. Among his many admirable qualities were his sense of optimism and his integrity which served him well throughout his life and provided a role model for others. In 1998, he lost his wife, Ruth, to Alzheimer's disease after many years of his committed care for her. A year later, he married Nancy Sayers and they enjoyed years of travel and sharing of friends, family and good times. The Sayers and Abington families dovetailed beautifully and he considered Nancy's sons, their wives, children and grandchildren his family as well.
Preceding Bill in death were his parents, Hallie and Edward Abington, his brother, Edward Gordon Abington, a step-mother, Hazel Hunter Abington and his first wife, Katherine Ruth Abington. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Sayers Abington, daughter Judith Ann Abington, son Thomas Edward Abington and wife Glynda Abington. Also, surviving grandchildren are Leigh Abington, Ashley Abington Mannschreck, husband Chapman Mannschreck, their daughter, Campbell and son, Colt. He is survived by nephew, Edward G. Abington, Jr. and wife Simone, nephew, Kerry Abington, and wife Deborah, niece, Catherine Abington Faircloth. Also surviving are great nieces, Alexandra Abington, Karen Abington and Lisa Faircloth Arnold. He is survived by step-son, Scott Sayers, wife Julie and their children, Charisse Sayers, Samantha Sayers Bernstein, husband Stuart Bernstein, their daughter Blake Sophia and son, Stuart Bowman. He also is survived by stepson, Dr. Brian Sayers, wife Maryann Sayers and their children, Christopher Sayers, his wife Emily and daughter, Ann Tinsley, Anna Sayers Balthazar, her husband Matt Balthazar and Mary Claire Sayers.
The family would like to extend gratitude and a special thank you to Paul Estrada who cared for Bill impeccably and professionally as well as being a friend.
A service will be held on Wednesday, January 8th at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 3201 Windsor Road Austin, Texas 78703-2243 at 1:00 p.m., immediately followed by burial and a reception at The Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota, Austin, Texas 78702. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd Memorial Endowment Fund or The Friends of the Texas State Cemetery.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com