HOUSTON — Sidney Smith McClendon III died from a tragic accident on Saturday, the 12th of June 2010, in Houston, Texas. Sidney, a native Houstonian, was born on the 4th of October 1928. He was the only child of Marie Millicent Dancy and Sidney Smith McClendon, Jr. Sidney’s Texas legal roots were deep. His father was a partner at Vinson & Elkins, Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas for almost 40 years, and wrote the charter for St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. His great grandfather, Micah H. Bonner, was a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court during the Civil War and Chief Justice during the Reconstruction.
Sidney attended grammar, junior high, and high school in the Houston public school system, graduating from San Jacinto High School as a captain in the R.O.T.C. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Rice University in 1949. Sidney graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1952, where he won the Moot Court Competition and was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. He was also a member of Phi Delta Theta.
Sidney joined Vinson & Elkins in 1952 where his principal area of practice was business, real estate, and energy law. Sidney joined the Judge Advocate Corp of the United States Army rising to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He returned to the firm where he remained throughout his legal career and became partner until he retired in 1994. His unique character fostered some pranks in the office while still diligently attending to the practice of law. He was also a member of the Houston Bar Association, the Texas Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
He was a lifelong Episcopalian and a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church for 55 years. Sidney had a long tenure in service to the Episcopal Church. He served as Vice Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas from 1969 through 1981 and as Chancellor from 1981 through 1998. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital for almost 30 years. Sidney continued his service to the Church in various capacities until his untimely death.
Sidney loved the water and being on the water. His retirement years were dedicated to beach preservation. He served on various boards, including the West Galveston Island Property Owners Association, Pirates Property Owners Association, and the Galveston County Task Force. He steadfastly fought to protect and enhance Texas beaches and wetlands.
Sidney was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Sidney is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Caryl Wagner “Bunny” McClendon, of Houston; his three children, Sidney S. McClendon IV, Robin McClendon Stephens, and Scott W. McClendon, and his wife, Paige; and his six grandchildren, Brooke Stephens Oliver, and her husband Robert, Heather Ann Stephens, Mary Megan Stephens, Conor Elizabeth McClendon, Scott Wagner McClendon, Jr., and Austin Matthew McClendon; and several cousins.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from six o’clock until eight o’clock in the evening on Thursday, the 17th of June in the Library of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
Arrangements in Houston are entrusted to Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, The Funeral Directors-Since 1936. 713.789.3005, www.geohlewis.com.
A memorial service is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Friday, the 18th of June, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston where the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr, Rector, will officiate assisted by the Rt. Rev. Andrew C. Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas (retired), and the Rev. John R. Bentley, Jr.
In lieu of flowers and customary remembrances, memorial donations may be directed to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road, Houston, Texas, 77056; St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, the Sidney McClendon Fund, c/o Philanthropy Office (MC3-206), 3100 Main Street, Suite 865, Houston, Texas, 77002; The Bonner Whitaker McClendon House, P. O. Box 10036, Tyler, Texas, 75711; or to the charity of one’s choice.