Robert “Bob” Grable died April 20, 2023 at 76. (Courtesy of Jeff Grable)

Don Plattsmier remembers chatting with Bob Grable at the Fort Worth Symphony Gala in February. 

They talked about golf, Grable’s career aspirations and checked in with old friends. When he got the call from Grable’s son on April 20, he was shocked. His friend died in his sleep.

“It was unexpected and it was very traumatic to me to lose him,” Plattsmier said. 

Grable died April 20. He was 76. He is survived by his wife, two children and two granddaughters. 

Throughout his life, Grable was involved in numerous boards and committees throughout the state including the board for the McDonald Observatory in West Texas and The Texas Ballet Theater

Grable was born in San Antonio to Charles Francis and Esther DeBoard Grable. He graduated from Dallas’ Hillcrest High School in 1964 and earned his bachelor’s degree at Southern Methodist University in 1968. 

Grable later received a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 1971. 

Plattsmier and Grable were friends and law partners at Kelly Hart & Hallman for 30 years. Plattsmier remembers meeting Grable when he joined the firm in 1986. They worked alongside each other and played golf on their days off. 

Everyone at Kelly Hart & Hallman  liked and respected Grable, said Dee Kelly, a partner at the law firm. Kelly called Grable one of the top oil and gas lawyers in the Southwest and well regarded by his colleagues and clients. 

Kelly and Grable talked about everything from politics to sports. 

“He was truly a brilliant man. He would converse about anything and was always fun to talk to,” Kelly said.

Jeff Grable is the son of Bob Grable and also worked alongside him at the law firm. Jeff Grable described his father as loving and encouraging. He always made time for his children despite his busy schedule, his son said. 

He gave his children caring advice rooted in wisdom and never talked down to them, Jeff Grable said. 

One of Jeff Grable’s fondest memories of his father was when he was hired at Kelly Hart & Hallman. They were working together, father and son.

Jeff Grable learned about being a lawyer from his father. He saw how his dad’s professionalism drew clients and maintained successful relationships with them. 

Grable always put his clients first, his son said. 

“He was a godly and caring man, who although was very gifted in his abilities as an attorney, cared for his people,” Jeff Grable said. 

Jeff Grable misses his father. However, he knows his dad impacted the lives of his coworkers and family — and his legacy will live on.

Disclosure: Fort Worth Report board of directors member Marianne Auld is the managing partner of Kelly Hart & Hallman. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Taylor Coit is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or on Twitter

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Taylor Coit

Taylor Coit is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She worked as a reporter and editor for The Shorthorn, UT-Arlington’s student publication...