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Robert “Bob” Harris Halford

Last updated on July 18, 2022

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Robert “Bob” Harris Halford, 91, of Garland, Texas passed away June 23, 2022, at Baylor Scott & White Sunnyvale Hospital. He was born June 8, 1931, in Ft. Worth, Texas.

He is predeceased by his parents: R.E. Lee and Martha Velvin Halford of Rockwall, TX, his sister: Betty Ann Burks of Quitman, TX, and his ex-wife: Celia Bealle Halford of Palm Desert, CA. He is survived by his partner of 42 years: Jeanne Baker, of Garland, TX, and his children: Robert Halford Jr. of Alameda, CA, Jennifer Halford of Marietta, GA, Helen Halford of Haddon Heights, NJ, and Christy Todd (Steve) of Flower Mound, TX; and grandchildren: Grant, Evan, and Hope Williams, and Austin and Madeline Todd; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was a devoted father, a loyal and trusted friend to many, and a gifted human being who left his mark on life during his 91 years.

From his small-town Texas upbringing and graduation from Rockwall High School, he went on to the University of Texas in Austin where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. During his time on the 40 Acres, he was a writer for the Daily Texan student newspaper, focusing primarily on sports and combining his love for the written word, athletics, and the University of Texas. He served his country in the US Army during the Korean War upon graduation from college. After his Army service, he returned to Austin, where he went to work as a sportswriter for the Austin American Statesman. After a few years in that role, he joined the Sports Information staff at the University of Texas under his long-time friend and mentor, Wilbur Evans.

Through his relationships at UT, he was recruited to be part of a new professional football enterprise, named the American Football League, being started by Lamar Hunt and others in the early 1960s. He joined the Dallas Texans as Director of Public Relations from which he had a front-row seat on the wild ride that was the AFL in its formative years, moving with the Texans to Kansas City, where they became the Chiefs, and later joining the Oakland Raiders in the Al Davis era.

During these years, he married Celia Bealle, and together they welcomed their son and three daughters into the world.

In 1970, he accepted an opportunity to join the Six Flags organization to become Public Relations Director for a new amusement park being planned for St. Louis, Missouri. After a successful opening and several year tenure at Six Flags over Mid America, he joined the State Fair of Texas executive team returning with his family to Dallas, a position he would hold for 20+ years until his retirement. During this time, the State Fair saw great growth.

His retirement years were spent enjoying a slower pace with his beloved partner Jeanne, keeping a watchful eye on the triumphs and travails of his Longhorns, Rangers, and Chiefs. He remained in good spirits, of clear mind, and with his friends and family a constant presence in his life.

A memorial service will be planned at a later date in celebration of his life.

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