John Russell Feather

June 7, 1936May 24, 2023
Obituary of John Russell Feather
John Russell Feather, corporate and intellectual property litigator and bible teacher, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 86 years old in his home with beloved family by his side. His substantial legal career spanned more than 60 years (50 years in 2010). He received his BA in Mathematics and History and his JD from Baylor University in 1959 after only five years of study, where he was both top of his class and editor of the law review. He began his career at the Federal Reserve Bank and continued throughout his life to follow monetary policy closely. Subsequently, he joined the Dallas law firm of Stroud & Smith. Early in his career at Stroud & Smith, he successfully represented his client in the highly-noted Gulf Oil v Southland Royalty case. Stroud & Smith’s team received a directed verdict which was upheld through the Supreme Court of the United States. His career continued to shape legal precedent as he formed a boutique firm in Dallas. He also taught legal procedure at Southern Methodist University. After trying many cases in Houston focusing on intellectual property litigation, he and his family moved to Houston where John joined the firm of Vaden, Eickenroht, Thompson & Boulware. One colleague described how his great passion for the law enabled him to drill down deep to the core of a legal problem while still paying careful attention to the economics of the case. Though many described him as one of the best legal minds in the room, he remained focused on finding the best solution for all parties involved. This attitude propelled him into mediation and dispute resolution work where he won both the Association of Attorney Mediators President's Award for Excellence in Service (2004) and the Dispute Resolution Center’s Outstanding Contribution Award (2001). His legal accomplishments were matched (and some might say surpassed) by his devotion to bible study. Having taught Sunday School since the time he was a teenager, he began teaching the weekly, historically-informed bible study, Roundtable Class at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, which he led for 36 years, missing very few Sundays during that time. St. Paul’s and the Roundtable Class recently dedicated the classroom where he taught by renaming the room the “John Feather Roundtable Class.” John’s theological library will be donated to the church and housed in the classroom. These accomplishments were part of his legacy from his parents – William R. (Foots) and Margareta (Mimi) Feather. Foots and Margareta married in Margareta’s hometown of Ploesti, Prahova, Romania where Foots was leading the geological crew at the Humble Oil Refinery. Mimi was a translator for the company. Shortly after, Foots was Party Chief for the seismographic crew that ran the Humble Oil & Refining drilling on the King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas. John was a devoted husband, father, teacher and friend. He leaves to mourn his children, Susan Elizabeth Feather; William Paul Feather and wife, Stacey; and Jennifer Feather, PhD, and her partner Rev. Audra Abt; a brother, Peter Brown Feather and wife Renee Feather; numerous nieces and nephews; and his beloved SuZanne Feather, and friend and mentee, Leo Vasquez. Every member of the Roundtable Class was not just a friend and a fellow student, but also family. He cherished every person who ever sat in the John Feather Roundtable Class. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the St. Paul’s Methodist Church Foundation, Scholarship Fund. This fund was established with initial donations in honor of the lives of Foots and Margareta Feather, his parents. Donations may be made via check mailed to St. Paul’s Methodist Foundation of Houston, 5501 Main Street, Houston, TX 77004) or online at (select “Foundation” and put “In memory of John Feather, General Scholarship Fund” in the memo line). Services and reception will be on Wednesday, May 31, at 4pm at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main Street, Houston, TX.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Memorial Service