LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - During its weekly First Friday luncheon, the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce presented Curtis Fenley III with its annual Silver Spike Award, which is given to 10-year Leadership Lufkin graduates for community service and leadership.
Dr. Sid Roberts, an oncologist with Lufkin's Memorial Hospital, presented the award to Fenley. He said Fenley's wife provided a quote from George Bernard Shaw that summed her husband's attitude toward giving back to the community.
"'I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live,'" Roberts said, reading the quote. "'Life is not a 'brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
After Fenley graduated from the Baylor School of Law, he returned to Lufkin to practice law with his father in a firm that Fenley's grandfather founded in 1927. Fenley, who was in the Leadership Lufkin Class of 1987, has been practicing law in Lufkin for 30 years.
According to the bio that Roberts read before he presented the Silver Spike Award, Fenley specializes in trucking and transportation litigation, labor and employee litigation, non-subscriber litigation, and personal injury defense. He is board certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Active in a number of professional legal associations, Fenley is most active the American Board of trial advocates, "an organization dedicated to preservation of the Seventh Amendment's right to trial by jury." He currently serves as the president of the organizations East Texas chapter. "Texas Monthly" recently named Fenley as one of the magazine's 2013 Texas Super Lawyers.
Fenley, a graduate of Lufkin High School, is a longtime member of First Baptist Church. He has taught Sunday School for more than 25 years in both the Young Adult and Youth Departments. In addition, he serves as a deacon and is a very active member of the choir.
"He has a beautiful voice and has sung at countless weddings and funerals over the decades," Roberts said during the award presentation. "On a personal note, I always consider it a privilege when I get to accompany him, and any of you who were at Emily Watt's funeral can testify to the power of music and amazing ability to communicate through song."
A member of the Lufkin Rotary Club, Fenley has been named a Paul Harris Fellow, one of Rotary's highest honors.
"A tireless volunteer for many organizations in Lufkin and Angelina County, he served for many years on the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce board and was chairman in 2007," Roberts said. "During his chairmanship, he advocated for a mental health crisis center and coordinated efforts to make that a reality."
In years past, Fenley has served on the respective boards of the Lufkin Association of Downtown Development, Main Street Lufkin, the Angelina Operations Immunization, and the Lufkin Volunteer Services Council. He currently serves as the board president for the Angelina Arts Alliance.
Fenley also got his undergraduate degree from Baylor University. While he was in the college's law school, he was named Baylor's Outstanding Advocate for 1982. He also received the Williams Foundation Advocacy Award.