• April 1, 2020

Connally dies at 84 in Odessa - Odessa American: Local News

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Connally dies at 84 in Odessa

Connally was lawyer, district judge

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2020 3:31 pm

An Odessan who served as a county judge and district judge and touched the lives of thousands during a legal career that spanned five decades has died at age 84.

Judge Joe Connally died at home on Tuesday in Odessa, his daughter, Julie Nutter Hubele, said Thursday. Service information is pending, but Hubele said her father will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery.

Odessa attorney Michael McLeaish on Thursday said Connally officiated at his wedding in 1979 and that Connally was one of the nicest and most polite and affable judges he had ever been around.

“I have known him for 49 years and he was courteous to litigants and he was good lawyer who knew the law and he was very patient.”

McLeaish said he never knew him to lose his temper in court and that he enjoyed life and “was a really good judge.”

Connally graduated from the University of Texas law school and came to Odessa in 1964 to open a new office for the law firm of Turpin, Smith, Dyer and Hardie. He was elected Ector County judge about 10 years later.

He was then appointed to the newly-formed 244th District Court by then Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe in 1977. He remained in that seat until he retired in 1998. He would also become a visiting judge following that retirement.

In an Odessa American archive story from 1997 on his retirement, Connally said he likes to think people believe he did a good job.

“I’d like to be remembered for being fair, for never needlessly embarrassing anyone and for knowing the law,” he was quoted as saying in the archive article.

His daughter said he lost his wife, Martha, several years ago and that his health had declined in recent years.

“He was the smartest man I knew and everyone learned so much from him,” she said and added that his obituary and service arrangements would be ready sometime on Friday.

Odessa, TX

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