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Bobby Marshall Gierisch

Obituary for Bobby Marshall Gierisch

August 19, 1946 - May 12, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 71


Bobby Marshall Gierisch was born August 19, 1946, in Goose Creek, Texas, a town which ceased to exist two years later (now it's part of Baytown). He was born to Edmund George Gierisch, Jr. and Thelma Roden Gierisch and was Edmund George Gierisch, III's little brother. After a childhood spent in Texas and Tennessee, Bobby graduated from Denton High School as student body president, varsity basketball and baseball player, and is remembered to this day for hitting two half-court shots in a single game. After earning degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he moved to Switzerland where he taught at the University of Zurich for five years. Upon his return to Texas he built a cabin and raised watermelons at the family farm before embarking on a career in public service.

After working as a Legislative Aide to State Representative James E. (Jim) Nugent, Bobby led Nugent's campaign for the Texas Railroad Commission and then served as Nugent's Executive Assistant during his tenure as Chairman. Following his work at the Railroad Commission, Bobby joined the Public Utility Commission as Executive Assistant to Commissioner Jo Campbell. Among many noteworthy professional accomplishments, perhaps his most lasting and impressive is his leadership in rewriting and modernizing Texas' workers compensation laws from 1987-1989. Bobby served as Legislative Director for the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives James E. "Pete" Laney from 1993–2003 where he was a leader in Texas' efforts to aid rural communities. He was a founding member of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Task Force on Rural Development, and he co-chaired the NCSL Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in 2002. Following his retirement in 2003 Bobby focused his energy on revitalizing the small rural towns he loved by founding Texas Rural Innovators and working in close partnership with the Rural Policy Research Institute, Ogallala Commons and other organizations that share this purpose.

Bobby met his wife of 39 years, Diane Holley, when they were both working at the Capitol. They married in 1978 in Seguin, Texas, bought a home in Austin and had two children, Adam and Holly. When Bobby wasn't working you could regularly find him quoting song lyrics, playing his guitar, riding his bicycle, reading, talking about seeing Willie at the Armadillo, cheering on the McCallum Knights and Texas Longhorns, cooking Italian food, planning the family's next biannual vacation (or helping others plan theirs), or spending time renewing and conserving the family's land in Streeter, Texas. He spoke German fluently (French and Italian less so), could quote "A Fish Called Wanda" at length, and regularly attended both the San Antonio Accordion Festival and the Cowboy Poetry Festival in Alpine, TX. In his later years he took up sketching (especially when traveling), bird watching, being Gus and Fiona's grandfather, and becoming a Certified Master Naturalist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. He was an interesting guy.

Bobby is preceded in death by his mother, father, and brother, and is survived by his wife Diane, daughter Holly, son Adam, daughter-in-law Kerry, two grandchildren Gus and Fiona, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and one great-grandnephew.

For information about upcoming events to celebrate Bobby's life, please visit his page on To remember Bobby, please consider contributing to Ogallala Commons, the McCallum High School band, or Hospice Austin, all organizations that played a big role in Dad's and our family's lives.

Recommended Local Florist

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • To remember Bobby, please consider contributing to one of these three organizations, all of which played a big role in Bobby's and his family's lives.
  • Ogallala Commons

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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