Houston’s obituaries this week celebrated the lives of a longtime photographer who met her husband when he walked into her studio for a portrait to send his mom, the first female Allstate Insurance agent in the state of Texas, and a chemical engineer who became president of the company where he started his career as a process engineer.
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Here are some of the Houston-area residents who are being remembered this week:
Thomas Edward Lasseter, 86
Thomas Lasseter died at age 86 on January 19, 2022, in Houston, leaving behind his wife, son, daughter, step-children and grandchildren, according to his obituary.
“Despite living many years with Parkinson’s disease and Dementia, Tom loved unconditionally and lived his life seeing the best in everyone he met,” his obituary said. “His declining health and challenges were met with grace and dignity that were the hallmark of his life.”
Lasseter was a native Texan, student athlete and University of Texas alumnus and sports fan. He attended the University of Texas for chemical engineering, the field in which he made his career as a longtime employee of SIP/Parsons (Worley-Parsons), where he started as a process engineer and retired 40 years later as company president.
“Upon retirement Tom lent his expertise to friends at Ref-Chem and S and B Constructors. He Joined the Executive Service Corps of Houston where he provided pro bono consulting services to local organizations and student groups,” his obituary says. “Tom delighted in many years of friendship and many rounds of golf and activities with his cronies, the Bay Oaks Old Boys at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake.”
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; his parents; his brother and his nephew.
Lois Beatrice Wilde, 88
Lois Wilde, affectionately known as Bea, was the first successful female Allstate Insurance agent in Texas, working for the company for five decades, her obituary says. She died January 15, 2022, at age 88, in Houston, leaving behind her two sons, seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
“She proudly represented Allstate Insurance for over 50 years and was their 1st successful female agent ever in the State of Texas,” her obituary says. “Well known for her beautiful spirit and kind heart. Everyone was special to her.”
Patricia Canfield Mickelis, 96
Patricia Mickelis liked to say lightning struck when she took her first photos of her future husband, Nick, and she “fell madly in love,” according to her obituary. Nick walked into her studio, Photos by Pat, to have portraits taken for his mother in his hometown of Patmos, Greece.
The two married in 1958 and had two children and four grandchildren, who survived Mickelis after her January 19, 2022, death. She was born in North Dakota and moved to Liberty, Texas, with her mother and two sisters in 1937 when she was 12. She learned photography from her mother, Ruth, who opened her own studio in Liberty.
“Patricia learned the art of color photography by hand at a young age,” her obituary says. “In 1942 she graduated at the top of her class of Liberty High School. Patricia was an excellent businesswoman which was extremely rare for the times. Her excellent business acumen led her to open her own photography studio, Photos by Pat on McGowen Street in downtown Houston.”
Patricia and Nick “raised their family upstairs in the Cleburne Cafeteria on Cleburne Street between Main and Fannin,” her obituary says. “Patricia and her late husband Nick spent their entire lives working side-by-side in the Cleburne Cafeteria, Pat could always be seen at the cash register helping move the line along.”
According to her obituary, Patricia leaves behind a son, a daughter, four grandchildren and “many friends and nieces.”