Joseph H. Staley, Jr.

Joe Staley

Renowned for his wit, intellect, competitiveness and compassion, Joe Staley lived an impactful life as a patriarch, a legal force, and an avid sportsman. Joe left this world on September 11th to be with his Savior in heaven. A spirited and tough man who had a generous and compassionate heart, Joe’s life was filled with seemingly incompatible interests and traits.

Joseph Hardin Staley, Jr, was born May 23, 1937 in Tyler, Texas, son of Mildred Wilkerson Staley and Joseph Hardin Staley. After graduating from Wichita Falls High School, he received his undergraduate degree from Yale, where he joined Beta Theta Pi fraternity and competed as a member of the swim team. The Bulldogs remained a lifelong passion as Joe served as class secretary up to his death.

In 1959, he married Linda Luan Best, his high school and lifelong sweetheart. They moved to Quantico, VA, then to Twenty Nine Palms, CA where Joe served his country as a heavy artillery platoon commander in the Marines, rising to the rank of Captain. He took great pride in being one of the few, the proud and above all, the faithful – OORAH!

After attaining a law degree from the University of Texas, he joined Locke, Purnell, Boren, Laney and Neely in 1964 and was a partner in that firm until he opened his own firm in 1999. Joe’s legal expertise focused on eminent domain, specifically Texas condemnation law, as a recognized expert for more than 50 years, including service as General Counsel for the Texas Turnpike Authority. Joe’s love for his country, led him to Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s as a valued and trusted advisor to Senator John Tower, his lifelong friend. And while staff counsel for the Banking Currency Committee of the US Senate, he was senate liaison to the Secretaries of HUD and Transportation. President Nixon appointed him to the National Advisory Council of the SBA, where he served for eight years.

He was the 1970 Republican candidate for US Congress representing the 13th Congressional District of Texas (Panhandle and North Texas). Although not ultimately successful in that campaign, Joe never let setbacks stop him. His numerous philanthropic interests included board positions at Southern Methodist University, Yale, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Midwestern State University, New Mexico Highlands University and ARM (Adult Rehabilitation Ministry). Perhaps his greatest gift was to others who he personally assisted with the struggles of addiction.

Joseph Hardin Staley Jr is survived by his wife of 62 years Linda Best Staley (Gigi to her grandchildren); children Joseph H. Staley III and wife Suzanne of Clermont, Florida; Stefanie Staley Rice of Silver Spring, Maryland; LuAnne Staley Hobbs and husband Rankin of Dallas; six grandchildren, two great grandchildren, two sisters and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Joe’s passions included ranching, fly fishing, wing shooting, golf, reading and storytelling. His thirst for knowledge was insatiable, his work ethic was unstoppable and his competitiveness was apparent. Despite Joe’s broad interests and accomplishments throughout a life that served and enlightened others, his greatest joy was his family, especially his wife, Linda. Joe and Linda delighted in hosting their family and friends at their beloved Belden Ranch, where “PeePaw” always made everyone cry with his “What I’m thankful for” speeches. His life was a Texas story tale from start to finish. We are thankful for that generous life that so enriched others.

The family would like to thank Joe’s doctors, caregivers and staff for their compassionate care and dedication. A celebration of life was held at Highland Park United Methodist Church on Thursday, September 23. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Highland Park United Methodist Church, ARM Ministries or the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.