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Harless Ross Benthul

In Loving Memory

Harless Ross Benthul

10/23/1935 - 1/24/2018

Harless Ross Benthul, 82, passed quietly in his sleep in Friendswood, TX after a 2 ½ year recovery from a major stroke. He began life’s journey in Dallas, TX, the first son of Harless Eugene Benthul and Louise Fouse Benthul. His early years were in Longview, TX and in 1947 the family moved to Dallas.

His interest in model airplanes and books began a lifelong passion for learning. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1954. He then graduated from Texas A&M in 1957 in Aeronautical Engineering. In 1957 he married Allison Reilly. They were married for 48 years until they parted amicably. They had one daughter together, Grace, whom they both adored.

While at Texas A&M he was in the Corps and graduated a commissioned officer in the US Airforce. He served at Holloman Air Force Base in El Paso, TX and in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

After the Air Force, the family moved to Dallas where Harless worked for Chance Vought and was President of the Park Cities Jaycees. Harless attended the SMU law school and graduated with a doctorate in Juris Prudence. He began work for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Upon retirement from EPA, he and Allison moved to Friendswood, TX where he established himself as an environmental attorney while serving as adjunct faculty at UH law school and South Texas College of Law. He was active in the Houston Aggie Club, a leader in the Power Squadron, a faithful supporter and devotee of the Houston Grand Opera, and loved sailing in his sailboat. He was an avid rock climber and runner, forming many lifelong friendships along the way. He was a loving and devoted Catholic congregate.

He built his dream home in Galveston, TX where he could moor his sailboat and later his power boat to skipper the family on numerous rides.

Harless loved his family dearly. He kept in touch with all the Benthuls, frequently gathering them for reunions at his home in Galveston. He was especially proud of his daughter, granddaughters, and their families. He is survived by his brother, Gene Benthul and wife Marty of Lorena; sister, Beverly Barry and husband Ken of Dallas; daughter, Grace Townsend and husband David of Friendswood; ex-wife, Allison Benthul; granddaughters, Sarah Townsend and husband Richard, Mary Beth Hillenburg and husband Russell, Emily Hoskins and husband Hunter; five great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and cousin; and many other relatives and cherished friends who will miss him dearly.

A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at the Sacred Heart Church, 1302 Broadway St., Galveston, TX 77550 with Father Jude Ezuma officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Texas A&M at www.aggienetwork.com/give/memorialgiving/ or the Houston Grand Opera at www.houstongrandopera.org.

Condolences may be sent to the Benthul family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com.

February 20,2018 - 12:47 pm

Brenda Donaloio

To Harless'family - We've never met. It was only happenstance that I glanced at the obituaries and saw the sad news. Harless and I carpooled to environmental professional meetings together. He was polite, kind, funny, a wealth of knowledge, a true gentleman. Since I had a home in Galveston, we often talked about the construction ups and downs of his dream home on the water. He will be missed. My deepest sympathy.


February 20,2018 - 5:03 pm

Larry Griffin

Grace. Joanne and I are saddened by your Dad's passing. I understand that he enjoyed his life in Galveston. I'm sure that his Wagner presentations were a great contribution to the community. --Larry


February 18,2018 - 9:14 am


Offering our deepest condolences. May 'the God of all comfort' be with your family at this difficult time. Psalms 46:1


February 20,2018 - 11:33 am

Richard Bartley

So sorry to hear of the passing of Harless. As a fellow EPA attorney, working with Harless was an honor and a privilege. Harless was always professional and certainly a kind gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.


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