Roy Q. Minton
1931 - 2021
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Roy Q. Minton
Roy Quillin Minton, 89, stepped over to the other side in Austin, Texas on March 25, 2021, after a very brief bout of pneumonia. He will be remembered by his family as an incredibly devoted and loving husband – as well as a forgiving and patient father. Many others will remember him as an extraordinary lawyer, friend and mentor. A true southern gentleman, Roy's kindness, compassion and wit left an indelible impression on so many who knew him. He charmed his adversaries with genuine affection.
He will be missed every day from now until we all join him down the road.
Roy was born November 9, 1931 in Dallas, Texas and grew up in University Park, until the family moved to his mother's hometown of Denton in 1940. On August 26, 1946, Sonny (Roy's childhood name) struggled to save his father on the beach of Galveston, Texas, during a special trip including only him and his 52-year-old daddy. Despite his efforts, Roy Sr. tragically drowned that day with Sonny at his side. Just 14 years old, Sonny walked up to the hotel and called the neighbors to tell them to go to the family home, so as to be near his mother and little brother, David, to await his call regarding the life changing news. Roy suddenly found himself to be the man of the house, with a deep sense of responsibility to his family that stayed with him the rest of his days.
After high school, Roy attended what was then called Schreiner College in Kerrville before becoming an F-86 fighter pilot in the U. S. Air Force. When he returned to Denton to complete his undergraduate degree at North Texas State University, Roy – by then training pilots as flight commander captain for the Texas Air National Guard – met and married the love of his life: Barbara LaJoy Francis, a Texas Woman's University student from McAlester, Oklahoma. A few years later, Roy and Barbara moved their growing family to Austin, where Roy attended the University of Texas School of Law and graduated with honors in 1961.
Roy began his career in the Travis County District Attorney's office and in 1963 opened a law firm with Perry Jones – which later became Minton, Burton, Foster and Collins – in the red-brick building across the street from the courthouse. Although the firms' primary passion and notoriety drew upon criminal cases, Roy and the firm later became well known for their representation of many high-profile and complex civil litigation matters – some more popular in his hometown of Austin than others.
Roy was proud to call himself a trial lawyer first and foremost, but he was a lifelong learner, reader and epic storyteller – among many other things. His storytelling was at the core of his fierce advocacy of clients and friends. He deployed this gift in front of juries with incredible success for over 50 years. -And if the "situation absolutely demanded it," Roy was not opposed to doing the "wrong thing for the right reasons." He was never faint of heart in the breach.
One misunderstanding that the public may have from the press is that Roy was a one man show. Far from it. Charles R. Burton ("Uncle Charlie") was a quiet man who frequently had to redirect the situation – to save the situation. The other half of what for decades was simply known as Minton Burton, Charlie was a brilliant strategist and welcome relief to some jurors that were full-up for the day on Roy's "wit and charm." They were simply an incredible duo that was very effective in and out of the courtroom.
John Foster, who started at the firm as a young man after scoring the highest grade on the Texas Bar Exam, failed to follow his dream to cycle Europe for a year and fell in with this motley crew for the rest of his career. Roy referred to John for all those years as "my lawyer," as he knew that John was truly the smartest lawyer in any room. And Rip Collins could "bring a jury along" with him in countless ways – including his generous nature, easy manner and handsome smile. Roy sat down at the kitchen table and sobbed when he heard of Rip's passing last year. The press often failed to give these men the credit they so justly deserved.
Karen Trikilis ("Romeo") was Roy's Girl Friday – and she ran the show for them all.
MBFC was more than just a law firm, it was a gathering place where ideas could be calmly discussed or hotly contested amongst friends and adversaries. If you needed anything done in Austin, the "Red Room" was a good place to start. Whether it was political guidance, legal counsel or marriage advice, you could find it there – and take it with a can of Planter's mixed nuts and some Canadian Club or Lone Star beer.
Roy, who had a lifelong passion for airplanes, maintained his pilot's license and continued flying for business and pleasure well into his late 70s. Roy also was an avid swimmer and became a regular in the early mornings at Barton Springs. One of his greatest joys, however, was the annual week-long Fourth of July gathering of family and friends at his beloved Waltonia on the Guadalupe River where he spent his days swimming, kayaking, dam-sliding, eating burgers at the Hunt Store and making sure all his grandkids became strong swimmers. At night, everyone stayed up far too late swapping stories; the beer was cold, the laughter was constant, and the fireworks were legendary. The connections made were deep and lifelong.
It was clear to all who knew Roy that what was most important to him was his family. A dedicated son, brother, husband and father, Roy was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Quillin Minton, Sr. and Irene Davidson Minton, his sister Mary Minton, who died shortly after birth, and his brother, Eli Davidson Minton ("Uncle David"). Roy is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Barbara Francis Minton, and their five children: David Francis Minton (wife Sylvia), Emily Elizabeth Minton Lauderdale (husband Kenneth and former husband John Carsey), Burton Rix Minton (former wife, Lisa Minton), Franklin Thomas Minton, and Perry Quillin Minton (fiancée Zooey Wharton Cuilla and former wife Jennifer Minton). Roy's grandchildren are Halle Christine Goethal Minton, Katherine Quillin Minton Brindley (husband Sean), David William Carsey, Caroline Quillin Carsey Beaulieu (husband Corey), Charles Burton Carsey, Michael Harrison Minton, Hannah Lee Minton, Jackson Thomas Minton, Mary Alison Fiorenza (Perry's step-daughter), Lucy Quillin Minton and Maxwell Thomas Minton; he also has two great-grandsons, Clarke Quillin Brindley and Author Ames Beaulieu. Roy's family also includes his brother-in-law, Richard Francis (wife JoElla), as well as several nieces and nephews.
Roy was buried at Austin Memorial Park on Saturday, April 3, 2021 following a private family ceremony. A memorial celebration for Roy will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Roy's name to the Save Our Springs Alliance.
At times, when the odds were long and the circumstances dire, Roy would turn to those with him, smile and proclaim: "It's all fun."
He was something else. We are joyful, but we are crushed.
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Published in Austin American-Statesman from Apr. 3 to Apr. 5, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North - Austin
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April 4, 2021
Roy was such a great regular of Barton Springs! I have a picture in my mind of him eating his daily banana as he walked up and down the stairs of the pool for exercise before jumping in. I have so many wonderful memories of his warm kindness to my mother and the rest of our family, his delightful sense of humor, and of course, the annual Polar Bear Swim Elgin sausage feast he treated us all to every New Year's morning. He will be missed by many. Love to his family.
Ginny Rohlich
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