John Robert Lively died peacefully at home Tuesday, March 2nd surrounded by his family.
Born September 11, 1942 in Port Arthur, Texas to James O. and Pearl T. Lively, John spent his childhood in Navasota Texas, graduating from Navasota High School. He received a degree in History from Texas A&M University before receiving his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law Austin. During college summers, John worked as a roughneck on offshore drilling rigs, learning many valuable lessons that served him well throughout his law career. In law school, he worked in the Texas Legislature for two sessions as a legislative assistant to two former State Senators, as a staff member to the Sergeant at Arms, and on the Legislative Council. John began his legal career in 1968 as an assistant City Attorney for the City of Fort Worth where he was part of the team who was responsible for the condemnation work that made the construction of DFW Airport possible. He entered private practice in 1970 winning numerous cases including the largest jury verdicts ever awarded in Parker and Montague counties. John was a member of the Tarrant County Bar Association; serving as Chairman of the Fee Arbitration Panel, was a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and was recognized as a 50 Year Attorney in 2019. Despite all these accomplishments, John’s greatest joy in his practice was when his son, John Jr., joined him as a partner in 2008.
John’s passion for gardening was well known around town as he constantly shared his produce with family and friends. He passed his knowledge and love of gardening to his grandsons whom he taught to plant, grow, and harvest vegetables. As a PADI Divemaster, John combined his love of scuba diving and travel to explore the world. However, spending summers in Colorado and time at his house in the mountains of North Carolina brought him the most pleasure. He was a member of the Fort Worth Air Power Council, THATT Syndicate, a former member of the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate, a member of the Steeplechase Club and The Ambassador Club of New Orleans.
Love of his family was John’s guiding principle in life. During his short illness, he said that any day was a good day as long as his wife was by his side. He was proud of his children and their accomplishments, but his eyes lit up when he saw his grandsons. All three spent time at his office where he loved to take them on the daily mail run. They each earned their first dollar collecting the mail, teaching them the value of money.
John is survived by his wife of 52 years, Brooke Kelly Lively; children Brooke E. Lively, John R. Lively, Jr. and wife Amy, Lauren Lively Schmid and husband Matt; grandchildren John Robert Lively III, Walter Boone Schmid, and Ryan Matthews Schmid; step-grandchildren Whitney, J.R., and Grace Churchill; sister Susanne Lively Gilmore and husband Don; brother James O. Lively and wife Marianna; brothers-in-law Raymond B. Kelly III and wife Ellen, Jon M. Kelly and wife Kathy, and W. Whitney Kelly and wife Kristine; and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and their families.