City of Wolfforth attorney Jean Shotts dies unexpectedly
More than 20 smaller towns in the 806 area code, and about 35 small towns statewide, lost their legal representation last month when attorney Jean Shotts passed away.
The city of Wolfforth was one of the cities represented by Shotts.
Michael Guevara, a partner in the law firm of Shotts, Trevino and Guevara, said Shotts suffered a heart attack during a City Council meeting in Shallowater, where the presence of emergency responders at the scene saved his life. But ultimately, Guevara said, Shotts, 54, of Stamford and Lubbock died at a Lubbock hospital last week.
“It was absolutely not expected,” Guevara said.
He said Shotts had a passion for municipal law and for small towns, and worked to create a firm that catered specifically to those communities.
“His dream was basically to have a law firm that was lean and mean … to help small cities,” Guevara said. “We used to call him the godfather of West Texas.”
Because of the geographical characteristics of West Texas, with many small towns scattered over even more miles, Guevara said Shotts’ idea of catering to small municipalities worked. He said it was not uncommon for Shotts to put between 3,000 and 5,000 miles per month on his vehicle in visiting various cities.
“I think we’re pretty unique, maybe the only one in the state that was so situated,” he said. “Jean enjoyed it more than anyone else I know.”
Guevara said the other four attorneys at the firm plan to continue working in municipal law, “as much for Jean and his dream as for us.”
The impact of Shotts’ death was felt not just in the legal circle, Guevara said, but also among his friends and family.
“Jean Shotts was one of the most generous people I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Guevara said. “It was a tough loss.”
Darrell Newsom, Wolfforth city manager, said he considered Shotts’ death to be a big loss for the city.
According to his obituary available from Tankersley Funeral Home in Stamford, Shotts attended San Angelo Central High School, and performed in the musical production of “Texas” in Palo Duro Canyon following graduation. He graduated from Texas Tech in 1978 and received his doctorate of jurisprudence from the Tech School of Law in 1981.
Shotts is survived by his wife, Cloetta, and five children and their spouses, including Heath and Jana Shotts, Britton and Amber Shotts, Martin and Amanda Shotts, Kaeden Claire Shotts and George Christian Shotts.
He is also survived by eight grandchildren; his sister and brother-in-law, Virginia and Stan Cole of McKinney; and his brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Teresa Shotts of Shallowater.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jean E. Shotts, in 2007.
A memorial service was held last week at Bethel Lutheran Church in Avoca.
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