Texas Commissioner of Insurance David Mattax, 60, devoted son, brother, uncle, and friend, and dedicated public servant, died on the morning of April 13, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born January 15, 1957 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, David lived in Bordeaux, France before moving to Houston. An avid historian and mathematician, David graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and later received his Doctor of Jurisprudence.
A long-time state government attorney, Mattax served in the Texas Attorney General's Office as Director of Defense Litigation and chief of the Financial Litigation Division. As Deputy Attorney General he supervised the defense of all lawsuits against the State. In 2004, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Texas.
Governor Greg Abbott called Mattax "a brilliant lawyer whose loyalty to Texas never wavered. . . . David's brilliance, wit, and wisdom will be dearly missed by all who knew him."
Mattax was appointed Texas Commissioner of Insurance in 2015 and elected National Association of Insurance Commissioners Secretary-Treasurer in December 2016. NAIC President Ted Nickel said, "It was a true testament to David's character and commitment that he worked right up until the very end of his battle. . . . That's Texas for you."
Mattax was a member of the State Bars of Texas and the Commonwealth of Virginia and was admitted to practice before the four Texas Federal District courts, the Fourth and Fifth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
A boy soprano as a child, David had a resonant baritone voice that he used with great eloquence. He was a lover of music, art, fine food, and wine, and was a masterful bridge player. David traveled extensively, as documented by the many artful photographs that adorn his walls. Genuinely interested in people, he was warm and generous. "A lawyer's lawyer and a mentor's mentor," he drew out the best in people, mentoring and promoting the careers of countless colleagues. He actively participated in the University United Methodist Church, serving on the finance committee, the Board of Trustees, and as co-chair of the Amos Commission.
David is survived by his loving mother Carolyn Josephine Botkin Mattax, an accomplished musician; sisters Carol Curry, Charlotte Mattax Moersch and Cathy Mattax; their children and grandchildren; and his extended family of friends and colleagues. He was preceded in death by his father Dr. Calvin C. Mattax, a brilliant scientist and co-author of what remains the seminal reference book on reservoir engineering.
Mr. Mattax will lie in state from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, April 20th and 21st at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar Boulevard.
Funeral service will be held Saturday, April 22nd at 11:00 a.m. at University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe Boulevard.
Interment will follow the service at the Texas State Cemetery.
A reception will be held at The Rotunda of the William P. Clements State Office Building, 300 West 15th Street.