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Aloysius Martin Wickliff, Sr
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Birth: Oct. 11, 1921
Liberty County
Texas, USA
Death: Dec. 13, 2012
Harris County
Texas, USA

Mr Wickliff mentored countless colleagues during his 50 years as a Houston attorney, died Thursday. He was 91.

Wickliff, who practiced law from 1952 until retirement in 2002, was known for his work in the courtroom, but is remembered most for the people he mentored in law and civic activism, including his son, A. Martin Wickliff Jr.

"To have your father there, being your mentor as you matriculated through that process, it probably was the most unique experience that any son could have," Wickliff Jr. said.

Wickliff, originally from Liberty, studied at Prairie View A&M in the 1940s before joining the military. After being stationed in Hawaii as a captain in the Army, Wickliff graduated from law school at the Catholic University of America in Washington in 1949 and became a member of the D.C. bar in 1950.

Wickliff returned to Texas but became torn between practicing law in Liberty or in Houston.

"He had never lived in Houston," his son said. "(But) he thought he would have more success in starting a practice in the Houston area."

In 1952 he formed a partnership with fellow African-American attorneys, who were scarce in Houston at the time.

"He thought it would be more beneficial sharing an office arrangement with other minority lawyers," Wickliff Jr. said. "They were basically solo practitioners working in an office, sharing an environment where they helped each other, referring cases to each other."

Black lawyers in the Houston area were not permitted to join the Houston Bar Association at the time, so in 1955 Wickliff Sr. and others formed the Houston Lawyers Association to address issues affecting minorities.

Wickliff also taught as an associate professor at Texas Southern University in the 1950s. Even outside of the classroom he influenced future lawyers, judges and politicians over the years, from U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan to defense lawyer Robert. A. Jones.

"He was a lawyer's lawyer," Jones said. "He allowed lawyers to face challenges knowing they could rise to the occasion. He wasn't the kind of person that gave you step by step instructions."

After his retirement, Wickliff worked on church projects and continued mentoring, his son said.

"He helped younger lawyers with their cases. He read a lot. He didn't have any particular hobbies like tennis or golf, but I think he felt compelled to help younger lawyers."

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, 4000 Sumpter.

Complete obituary published by the Houston Chronicle, December 16, 2012 written by David Haydon
Family links: 
  Edward Wickliff (1896 - 1979)
  Ellen Ozan Wickliff (1900 - 1974)
  Mary Elizabeth Wickliff (1921 - 2004)
  Aloysius Martin Wickliff (1921 - 2012)
  Ernestine Bernadine Wickliff Fontenot (1923 - 2006)*
  Raymond Wickliff (1931 - 2011)*
*Calculated relationship
Houston Memorial Gardens
Brazoria County
Texas, USA
Created by: Catahoula Hound
Record added: Dec 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102227474
Aloysius Martin Wickliff, Sr
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