AUSTIN – Last week, the Republican Party of Texas was saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Republican stalwart William A. McMinn.  Among other things, McMinn was the state finance chair of the Associated Republicans of Texas during the 2008 election cycle, during which approximately $1.5 million was raised for ART which was used to support Republican legislative candidates.  Mr. McMinn has a long history of service to the Republican party as well as the conservative cause, including being past president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

In response to the news of his passing, Chairman Steve Munisteri issued the following statement.  “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend Bill McMinn.  I knew of Bill for years as a result of his generous contributions to numerous candidates and causes.  I was very privileged to become friends with Bill during the last year and a half as he quickly became one of my favorite people.  Bill McMinn, along with Mike Boylan, were the two individuals who originally asked me to consider running for State Chair over lunch in the fall of 2009.  Ever since that lunch, Mike, Bill and I made it a point to try and visit regularly and Bill constantly offered encouragement through emails and telephone calls.”

Munisteri continued, “Bill was one of the most impressive men I have ever encountered.  He had a long history of accomplishment as an executive and successful businessman. But what impressed me more was how humble he was despite being a man of obvious means. He never once during any of our conversations bragged on himself.  Rather, the focus of his comments was always on how he could help me, the Party, or other people.  He was very generous.  Most recently, he gave the Party a substantial contribution, but more importantly, he offered sage advice. Perhaps what impressed me most about Bill, was his passion for life.  Bill went back to college in his 70’s and relayed stories to me of his taking cruises, working on his ranch, and even zip-lining in Hawaii – all at an age when many other people would be relaxing and taking it easy.  He never once mentioned to me that he was sick, so it came as a sad surprise to learn that in fact he had been sick, and ultimately passed away. In fact, I was planning to invite him to lunch the very week that he passed away. I take comfort in knowing that he is now with his beloved Nancy, whom you could tell he obviously adored from the kind and loving way he talked about her. I will miss my friend, as will the Republican Party.”

The following is from McMinn’s official obituaryWilliam Arnold McMinn, Jr., died peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer on Monday, April 11, 2011. Bill was born on July 29, 1930 in Clarksdale, Mississippi to William A. and Mary C. McMinn. He was married on August 30, 1951 to Nancy F. McMinn, to whom he was lovingly married for 55 years until her death in 2007. He is survived by his four children: his son William A. McMinn III and his wife Marie C. McMinn of Colorado Springs, CO; his daughter Mary M. Ogden of Houston, his daughter Nancy M. Beasley and her husband Stephen C. Beasley of Houston, and his daughter Patricia C. McMinn of Brookshire, Texas; five grandchildren: Michael McMinn, Christina Snyder and her husband Dyric, Tommy Ogden and his wife Marguerite, Brad Beasley, and Kate Beasley; four great-grandchildren; and his two sisters, Mrs. Caroline Murphy of Tampa, Florida and Sister Mary Magdalen of Lake Villa, Illinois.

Bill graduated from Clarksdale, Mississippi High School in 1948 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1952. While attending school in Nashville, he met his wife Nancy, who was a student at Ward Belmont College. During their marriage, they lived in Houston, Boston, Yazoo City, MS, New York, Philadelphia, Austin, and Brenham.

Bill’s storied career began as a research chemist at Monsanto Chemical in Texas City in 1952, and progressed through a number of executive roles with Petro-Tex Chemical, Mississippi Chemical, Delta Industries, and FMC Corporation. In 1986, he returned to Houston, joining the Sterling Group. Over the next several years, he was involved with some of the most successful business transactions of that era, assuming the role of President of Cain Chemical from 1987-89, Chairman of Arcadian Corporation from 1990-97, and Chairman of Texas Petrochemicals from 1997-2003. He also served on several boards of directors in the chemical, nanotechnology, and biotechnology industries. During that period, Bill worked with, and for, his great friend and mentor, Gordon Cain, whose love and friendship he treasured throughout his adult life.

To most of his friends, Bill was a ‘one-of-a-kind’ businessman, community leader, and friend. He spent his life helping others, never expecting anything in return. He was inquisitive, witty, and passionate about everything he touched. He had many interests. He was a lifelong student of history, physics, and astronomy. He spent nearly 40 years in cattle ranching, owning ranches in Brenham, Johnson City, McDade, and Gustine. He participated in the 1989 Montana Centennial Cattle Drive. He flew in a F-16 fighter jet. He was actively engaged in the Texas political process as a friend and supporter to many current and past political leaders representing Texas and the US, and served as Chairman of the board for Texas Public Policy Foundation, and on the board of directors for the Associated Republicans of Texas. He was an angel-investor in many leading-edge technologies including biotechnology, nanotechnology, bio-pharmaceutical, and the private space industries. In 1998, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Vanderbilt University, where he proudly served on its Board of Trust from 1993-2001. He was also honored with a lifetime membership on their College Cabinet and Chancellor’s Council. He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Abilene Christian University in 2001. He spent over 20 years passionately serving as a member of The Brookwood Community Advisory Board. And, throughout their life together, he and Nancy proudly and graciously shared their financial success with many important charitable and educational causes, including endowing several university honorary scholarships and chairs.

He will truly be missed by all of his family and friends.

Memorial Services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. in the Chapel of The Brookwood Community on Wednesday, April 20th, located just off I-10, west of Houston at 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire, TX (281) 375-2100.

In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to make contributions in the name of William A. McMinn, Jr. to The Brookwood Community, 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire, TX 77423 (281) 375-2100.