Obituary: William Hallman, 78

William Hallman

William Prestridge Hallman Jr., 78, a co-founder of the Kelly Hart & Hallman law firm, died on Nov. 30 from complications of cancer. He was surrounded by family.

Hallman was born Sept. 5, 1942, in Cleburne, the first child of Ida Ruth and William Hallman. At age 3, he contracted polio, which left one of his legs paralyzed but never limited his pursuit of interests. He played sandlot baseball, going to bat for himself and using a proxy to run the bases. His love of the sport and encyclopedic knowledge of baseball trivia never waned.

Through his youth and early teens, Bill had numerous experimental surgeries in hopes of preserving his ability to walk. The success of these procedures had a profound impact on his life and gave him a deep respect and reverence for doctors. His family is grateful for the exceptional care provided by his physicians, including Drs. Alan Davenport, Justin Martin, John Burk, John Heymach, Thomas Dewar, John Durand, Carlos Bagley, Cory Collinge and Sanjay Oommen. The wise counsel and close friendship of Dr. Jim Harper also has been invaluable to Bill and his family for many years. 

Hallman received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and MBA from Stanford University. He started his career as a tax accountant in Dallas before practicing law. He met his best friend, Mark L. Hart, Jr., when he moved to Fort Worth to open a satellite office of Vinson & Elkins LLP and provide additional legal services for clients of prominent trial lawyer Dee J. Kelly. Mark and his wife Adele introduced Bill to the love of his life, Nancy. They recently celebrated 42 years of marriage. 

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In 1979, Bill co-founded the law firm Kelly, Hart & Hallman LLP, which has grown to more than 150 lawyers with 5 offices throughout Texas and Louisiana. He enjoyed a long and fulfilling client relationship with the Bass family. Through his work, Bill and Nancy met many of their closest friends—Robert and Mary Ann Cotham, Greg and Pam Kent, Don and Joanie McNamara, Martin and Judy Bowen, Dick Gushman, Sid Bass, and Clive Bode.

A patron of the arts, Hallman devoted decades of service to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He also served on the board of Fort Worth Country Day. 

Hallman is survived by his wife, Nancy Law Hallman; daughter, Lee Hallman; son, Will Hallman; daughter, Mary Hallman Smith and husband Dwayne; grandchildren, Austin, Emily and Henry Smith; brother, Jim Hallman and wife Kathy; and sister, Ruth Hallman Scogin and husband Robert; sister-in-law Ann Harwood Niemiec; and many nieces, nephews, and extended family. In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Bill’s memory may be directed to MD Anderson or to the charity of one’s choice.