Dr. A. Overton Faubus, 96, stepped out of this life and into a new one with the Lord, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010, at his home in Abilene, with his daughter and son by his side. He was the patriarch of Abilene Christian University's internationally accredited College of Business Administration, leaving behind three generations of former students and colleagues at ACU who loved and respected him.
He was born July 3, 1914, in Fort Worth, Texas, to David Alfred and Ida Anna Loeser Faubus, but grew up in Waco. Faubus earned a bachelor's degree in accounting (1939) and a M.B.A. (1955) from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Arkansas (1969). He joined the ACU business faculty in 1952 as an assistant professor of business administration, and was named chair of the business department in 1969. He retired in 1985 as professor emeritus of accounting, but continued to teach, consult and mentor. At the time of his retirement, he was asked why he came to ACU, and why he stayed. "Because of its Christian environment and the opportunity to touch and influence so many young lives, as well as have more time to devote to church and my family," he wrote. "That never changed."
ACU students and faculty selected Dr. Faubus as Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1972, and he was honored by his ex-students on Overton Faubus Day in 1980 with the establishment of the Overton Faubus Endowed Professorship in business. He received the Faculty and Staff Award in 1992 from the ACU Alumni Association for his dedication to educating students in COBA, and he was honored in 2005 at a Centennial luncheon for his dedicated service to the university and community. In 2009, ACU's Faubus Fountain Lake was named in his honor.He served on numerous committees at ACU, including the Academic Council, Graduate Council, Student Activities Committee, Judicial Committee, Wage Study Committee, Retirement Committee, Dean's Selection Committee, and the Centennial Photography Archivists Team.
He started the ACU Credit Union and served as secretary-treasurer its first four years. Dr. Faubus also was an active participant in the university's Christian Education Sundays program.In 1997, Dr. Faubus was named Outstanding Alumnus in Accounting by the Texas A&M School of Business and in 2006, he was selected Alumnus Accountant of the Year by the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Faubus became a CPA in 1959, and served as president of the Abilene Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs, as well as a committee member of that organization and the Industrial Development Board of Texas. He was a member of the American Institute of CPAs, American Management Association and American Banking Association, and served on committees for the U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Reserve. He was a founding partner in 1978 of the Abilene accounting firm of McCurdy, Faubus and Wright. He was active in Abilene's Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, and served six years on the Board of Trustees for Christian Homes of Abilene.
Dr. Faubus loved the church, and for most of his adult life, he served as minister, associate minister or elder of each congregation he attended. He was most recently an elder at Abilene's Hillcrest Church of Christ, a congregation he first served as a founding elder and assistant minister in 1959. He and Hillcrest were nearly inseparable ministry partners for more than half a century.
He married Annie Sybil Cochran on Oct. 29, 1939, and their nearly 51-year marriage produced two children before Sybil died Aug. 3, 1990. Dr. Faubus married Delfa Dee Yancy on Sept. 29, 1991, and she died Jan. 1, 2010. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 50 years; his second wife of 19 years; and a grandson, Allen Overton Griggs. Among survivors are a daughter, Ann (Faubus) and her husband, Dr. Jack Griggs, of Abilene; a son, Don Faubus, D.V.M., and his wife, Pam, of Tyler; and two step-daughters, Billye and her husband, Wyman Wilkerson, of Abilene, and Peggye and her husband, Dr. Dave Pullias, of Kerrville; and a sister-in-law, Bernice Jud of Waco. He has seven grandchildren: Tim Martin, M.D., and his wife, Angela (Griggs), of Abilene; Brent Pennington and his wife, Julie (Griggs), of Chiang Rai, Thailand; Dr. Mike Stegemoller and his wife, Ashlie (Griggs) of Waco; Jackson Overton Griggs, M.D., and his wife, Erin, of Waco; Chad Faubus and his wife, Mandy, of Bentonville, Ark.; Todd Faubus and his wife, Erin, of Bentonville, Ark.; and Seth Pace of Abilene and Kelly Pace Fossi of Alpine. Dr. Faubus also has 26 great-grandchildren. His grandsons will serve as pallbearers, and honorary pallbearers will be the elders of Hillcrest Church of Christ.The family expresses its heartfelt appreciation for Dr. Faubus' physician, William F. Shudde, M.D., and the selfless love and support of his dedicated caregiver, Sherri Thetford of Visiting Angels.A memorial service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Hillcrest Church of Christ, under the direction of Piersall-Benton Funeral Directors. A time of visitation with the family is from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home (733 Butternut in Abilene). Memorials can be made to ACU's Overton and Sybil Faubus Endowed Scholarship (ACU Box 29132, Abilene, Texas 79699-9132).
Published in Abilene Reporter-News from August 4 to August 5, 2010