The Dallas Bar Association lost its 80th president on November 20, 2010.
Spencer Cone Relyea was born on April 2010, 1931 in Dallas and graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. degree in 1952. After graduation, he served in the United States Army. He then enrolled in the University of Texas Law School and graduated in 1959. He was employed by the Supreme Court of Texas as a Briefing Attorney to Chief Justice John E. Hickman and Justice Robert W. Calvert.
After a year’s clerkship, Mr. Relyea joined the firm of Burford, Ryburn & Ford, where he practiced for 13 years. In 1973, he was named Associate at Worsham, Forsythe, Sampels & Woodridge, which eventually became Hunton & Williams, where he practiced until his retirement.
During his year as Dallas Bar Association President, the association had a membership of 6,500. Under Mr. Relyea’s leadership, 1989 was a busy year. The DBA Securities Law Section was created and the Dallas Bar Foundation established summer clerkships for the SMU Sarah T. Hughes Fellows. The National High School Mock Trial Competition was held in Dallas and the DBA earned several Certificates of Achievement from the State Bar of Texas. In addition, Mr. Relyea instituted the annual dinner honoring all DBA Past Presidents, an event that is still being held today.
Board members in 1989 included Mike Baggett, Jim Burnham, Al Ellis and Ralph C. Jones.
In addition to his DBA service, Mr. Relyea served as a member of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He was also a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
He was also active in the community, including serving a term as President of Our Friends Place, being an assistant chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and serving as chancellor of the Church of Incarnation.
Mr. Relyea is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Jeff DeBord; son and daughter-in-law Denny and Sheryl Relyea; and grandchildren Sarabeth DeBord and Scott Relyea.