One of the founding Board members of Archway and is proud to serve with an incredibly talented and generous group of people who are intent on bringing help and hope to hurting people. But, . . . in a perfect world, he wishes Archway had no reason to even exist . . . (More on that later). Born and raised on a farm in McGregor and a graduate of MHS in 1988, I grew up “living the good life”—great parents, great friends, and countless memorable high school experiences. I knew nothing about real loss or hardship until my older sister was killed in a car wreck in 1989. Although an immense heartbreak, with the grace and goodness of God, life got back on track as I continued my passion of playing football while graduating from Tarleton State and marrying Lorna, the only girl I ever loved and still my best friend after 30 years of marriage.
I earned my law degree from South Texas College of Law in 1996, and Lorna and I returned to McGregor where we began living “the dream.” We both landed great jobs, as Lorna was hired as an English teacher at McGregor ISD, and I became an associate and later, a partner at Pakis Giotes. We enjoyed great health; the best group of friends; and by 2003, we had three amazing kids: Ryan, Rhett and Mara. While raising our kids, working hard, and playing hard, we were also involved in our community. I was elected Mayor of McGregor in 2000 (still going strong 22 years later), I coached every youth sport imaginable, and I also led a church congregation. Although there were a few bumps along the way, life could not have been better. I regularly thought there was no one who I would trade places with. Until, . . . back to Archway, and the break in my Bio.
On December 28, 2015, Rhett died suddenly in a UTV accident that occurred at the end of our driveway. Life has not been the same, nor will it ever be. Suddenly, life became an aching mess; no warning; no time prepare—just a mess! In the innumerable acts of love and kindness from family, friends, and strangers, the RhettRevolution was born and then Archway became the spinoff.
As the years have passed, and through that never-ending well of God’s grace and mercy, I have seen many good days of life. I have learned that the most important things are relationships and experiences. I find value in serving and helping my clients as a lawyer, and I still serve my community as Mayor. In the summer on days-off, you can find me and Lorna on the lake in a boat, and in the fall and winter, you can find us at Mohawk Pass (our slice of land in Mills County named after Rhett). One of my “adventures” is hiking, whether it’s a mountain overlooking a fjord in Norway, the next Colorado 14’er, the Manitou Incline, a trek through the Grand Canyon, or around the rim of Big Bend. But, whatever I am doing, it is always better with Lorna, our kids and friends.
My focus today and everyday is “better.” I want to be a better husband, father, son, lawyer, mayor, servant, leader, and hopefully someday, grandfather. “Better” reminds me that I have not “arrived at” or mastered anything. Better gives me a reason to get up and serves as the marker for all that I leave behind.