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Steven Calens Haley

Posted: Fri 9:52 AM, Feb 09, 2018
September 22, 1955 - February 2, 2018

Steven Calens Haley an accomplished attorney, avid Texas historian, and beloved actor – died unexpectedly on Friday, February 2, 2018. Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, February 9, at Memorial Oaks Chapel in Brenham. Services are set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 10, at First United Methodist Church, 408 N. Baylor St., Brenham, TX, 77833. A memorial bench will be placed on the Quad at Texas A&M University where Steve loved watching the Fighting Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets march in behind the band at every home game.

He was 62. Steve was known for his commanding personality, insatiable curiosity, and love for his family. He lived to explore life through his work, his art, and his passion for long journeys throughout Texas and the world.

Steve knew how to make an entrance. He was tall, boisterous and opinionated, and loved and respected by all who knew him. Whether on stage, in the courtroom, or simply seated around the dinner table, his command of a room made him magnetic. A natural-born storyteller, he drew in listeners with his expansive knowledge, quick wit, and distinctive Texas drawl.

Steve was born in Houston to William H. Haley Jr. and Cherilyn Smith Haley, on September 22, 1955. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, and continued on to Texas A&M University, where he graduated with honors from the class of 1978. He was a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets, Squadron 1, and a member of the prestigious Ross Volunteers. His son, Marshall, was also a member of the Corps of Cadets.

After graduating from A&M, Steve returned to Houston for law school, where he graduated with honors from the University of Houston, School of Law in 1981. He was an editor of the University of Houston Law Review, and a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honors Society, as well as the Order of the Barons. While working at the Department of Agriculture, where he began his career as General Counsel, he met Celia Baker, the love of his life, and the mother of his two children, Marshall and Callie Haley. Steve and Celia were married for 34 years.

Celia and Steve moved to Brenham, Texas where Steve continued his career at Moorman, Tate, Haley, Upchurch & Yates L.L.P. As Haley grew in his career, he received peer awards and state-wide recognition for his writing, leadership, and contributions to the law. He was a recognized legal authority on Texas Homestead Law. He was also recognized in 2004, 2007-2016 on the Texas Super Lawyers list for general litigation and real estate law, and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America from 2008-2016. In addition, he received the award for best speaker at the Texas State Bar's Advanced Real Estate Law Course in 2010. In July 2017, he received the Weatherbie Workhorse Award, which is given annually by the State Bar Advanced Real Estate Law Course. He was most proud of his children's decisions to follow his footsteps into the study and practice of law.

Steve also pursued another passion: the theater. In describing his love of the law and the stage, he always said there is a fine line between acting and advocacy. Both are public-facing, performative, and require an incredible amount of preparation and self-awareness. Steve was equally at ease in the courtroom and on the stage. Whether dressed for a role in a production of Birth of the Republic at Washington-on-the-Brazos or suited for the courtroom in a dark navy suit, he never shied away from the spotlight.

Along with acting and the law, Haley's particular passion for Texas history inspired his many hobbies and seemed fitting for a man of such bold independence and wildness of spirit. Committed to uncovering the mysteries of his homeland, writing and researching its lore, he adopted the manners not only of Sam Houston but of the fictional Sherlock Holmes, two outspoken characters whose spirits he truly admired.

Steve always woke before dawn. His morning routines set the pace of the life he lived: with strong conviction and fully prepared to handle what came his way. He took seriously the words of Sam Houston: "Do right, and risk the consequences." New days were taken as opportunities for new projects, new journeys, having lunch with old friends at Santa Fe Cafe, drives out to West Texas for hunting trips with family, going fishing on the Coast with his Corps brothers, pre-breakfasts and horseshoes at Grayton Beach, and singing the Twelve Days of Christmas at the annual Wackman Christmas Party. He took pleasure in creating a spontaneous experience. If you were lucky to be along for the ride, he'd take you places you'd never expect to go.

Steve is survived by his parents, his wife, his daughter Elizabeth Callan Haley of Austin, Texas, his son Marshall Wilson Haley of Lubbock, Texas, his brother William H. Haley III and wife Colleen of Mason, Texas; sister Leslie Elizabeth Adam and husband Ben of Boerne, Texas; sister in law Dr. Mary Zoe Baker of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; sister in law Beverly Gariepy and husband Paul of Covington, Louisiana; nephew William H. Haley IV and wife Brittany of Houston, Texas; John Houston Haley and wife Angela of Pensacola, Florida; Lynden Haley Briscoe and husband Justin of Houston, Texas; John Matthew Adam and wife Lindsey of Little Rock, Arkansas; Haley Elizabeth Adam of San Antonio, Texas; Amelia Morgan Gariepy of Atlanta, Georgia; Charles Louis Gariepy of Brooklyn, New York; and cousin in law Mary Alice Baker of Beaumont, Texas. Steve also took great joy in the newest additions to the Haley clan – Brooklyn, Liam, Caleb, Leighton, Caroline, Amelia, Hale, Connor and Leslie.

Honorary pall bearers include Kent Shepard, Kirk Garfield, Brad Cargile, Dennis Eubanks, Rick Spencer, Jimbo Hafner, Larry Urquhart, Bill Kendall, Tony Gregorio, Missy Bosse, his brother, his brother in law, his nephews, and the partners, associates, and staff at Moorman, Tate, Haley, Upchurch & Yates.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Star of the Republic Museum c/o Houston McGaugh, Blinn College Theatre Arts Program c/o Kevin Patrick, or the First United Methodist Church of Brenham where Steve was a lifelong member.

Funeral arrangements for Steven Calens Haley are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main, Brenham, TX. To post a tribute to the family, visit www.memorialoakschapel.com.