In Memory of Robert Waltrip

Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases ICCFA March 1, 2023
ICCFA Robert Waltrip

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In Memory of Robert Waltrip

We sadly announce the passing of Service Corporation International (SCI) founder, Robert L. Waltrip.

Mr. Waltrip was not just the founder of SCI, but also a visionary leader. He started SCI in 1962, and served as chairman of the board for 54 years, between 1962 and 2016.

A third-generation licensed funeral director, Mr. Waltrip was an entrepreneur, a rancher, and a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Born on January 10, 1931, Mr. Waltrip grew up in the family’s funeral business. His father owned Heights Funeral Home, and Mr. Waltrip often rode along in the lead car during funeral processions. Inspired by his father’s quick wit, Mr. Waltrip developed a great liking for practical jokes as a child and always prized the humor life would bring.

Mr. Waltrip graduated from Reagan High School in 1949, where he played on the school’s football team. He then attended Rice University and the University of Houston, receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1953. During his college years, he met Claire Holly, the woman who would become his beloved wife of 66 years.

Mr. Waltrip was preceded in death by his wife Claire and is survived by his sons Robert L. Waltrip Jr. and W. Blair Waltrip; daughter Holly Waltrip; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

His generous philanthropic contributions helped improve the lives of many individuals and families in Houston and beyond. Mr. Waltrip was the driving force and founder of the Lone Star Flight Museum and the National Museum of Funeral History.

A visitation in memory of Mr. Waltrip will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 in the Library and Grand Foyer at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston, Texas.

The celebration of life service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 3 at Berachah Church, 2815 Sage Road in Houston, Texas, with Pastor Robert Thieme III officiating.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Waltrip’s honor may be made to the Lone Star Flight Museum and the National Museum of Funeral History.