Harry Sockol passed away Jan. 2, 2019 in Austin.
An alumni of Brownwood High School, Harry graduated in 1962.As a student, Harry loved debate, drama, and was a drum major in the band. Earning a chemistry scholarship, Harry went on to attend college at The University of Texas. He later married his beloved wife, Kay “Katie” Walls, his high school sweetheart, in 1974, becoming stepfather to her daughter, Kristana. In 1980, they moved to Austin.
Developing an avid interest in radio news and sportscasting in high school, Harry went on to work for TV and radio stations such as KBWD, KXAN, and KNOW in his professional years. He broadcasted football with colleague, Dallas Huston, for Jamar Media Group and later served as the Comptroller. His incredible radio voice was recognized all across central Texas. While in Brownwood, Harry was also elected Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Brown County, becoming the youngest sitting judge in the state at 22 years of age. After moving to Austin in 1980, he worked in both TV and radio as an anchor and News Director for an NBC affiliate station. He was also Vice President of Finance and Accounting for Scientific Measurement Systems, Inc., a contractor for computerized tomography. He was proud to work on projects with the US embassy in Moscow, turbine blade deficiencies for United Technologies, and engine block inspection for General Motors. Later in life, he was also the interim Executive Director of the Travis County Democratic Party.
Harry’s love for his friends and family were strong. As a family of “only children,” Kay, Harry, and Kristana valued their circle of friends, considering them extended family. Harry loved nothing more than when his daughter’s friends drove down from college in Dallas or in their early adult years to descend on their home on weekends. She and her friends always knew he and Kay would welcome them with open arms. He was Kay’s #1 fan, pushing her to use her creativity to paint and encouraging her to pursue personal growth through professional writing, founding a private school, and leading development retreats.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Austin. Burial will be held near Brownwood on Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. at Eastlawn Memorial Park.
Survivors include wife, Kay Sockol; daughter, Kristana Kane; cousins, Patricia and Wayne Laitala, and their family.
Memorials may be made to National Alliance for Mental Illness at https://namiaustin.z2systems.com/np/clients/namiaustin/donation.jsp?campaign=23&.