A Midland legend passed away Friday night.
Clayton Williams was surrounded by family and loved ones in Midland when he died from complications of a bout with pneumonia, according to a long-time work associate. Williams was 88.
Close friends already started to remember Williams — a hall of famer in the oil industry and one of the greatest characters in the history of Texas politics — on social media Friday evening. Williams ran for governor in 1990, losing a spirited race to Ann Richards. Still, Williams remained a loyal Republican and an even more dedicated graduate of Texas A&M.
Williams, A&M class of 1954, received a degree in animal husbandry and was a member of the school’s Corps of Cadets. His generosity over the years earned him high praise from his alma mater. In 1981, he was named an Association of Former Students Distinguished Alumnus. A&M named the school’s alumni center in his honour.
In 2002, Williams was named as the honoree of the Permian Basin International Oil Show. Williams also was inducted into the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2005. The Permian Basin Petroleum Association also had honoured Williams with its Top Hand award.
In January 2017, Noble Energy purchased Clayton Williams Energy in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2.7 billion.
Williams’ impact on Midland was greater than just oil and politics. His name lives on in the office complex he developed – ClayDesta, located northwest of the intersection of Wadley Avenue and Big Spring Street. The complex was named for Williams and his wife, Modesta.
The couple were giving of the community where they made their fortune. Both Clayton and Modesta were on hand in November when the Association of Fundraising Professionals Permian Basin Chapter honored them as its “Outstanding Philanthropists” during the AFP’s National Philanthropy Day luncheon at the Petroleum Club.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.