Sterling James Elza, 43, died at noon on November 25, 2017 in Amarillo, Texas. He passed away in a room filled with family and close friends.

Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with The Rev. Dr. Robert Pace officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

He was born September 4, 1974 in Amarillo to James and Gay Elza. He was a graduate of Amarillo High School (1993), Rice University (1997) and the University of Houston Law Center (2000 Cum Laude).

Sterling played football at AHS and Rice, where he was on The Southwest Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. After Law School, he joined the Ft. Worth law firm of Brown, Dean, Proctor & Howell, L.L.P. where he has practiced since 2000. Sterling focused his law practice on representing Texas businesses, including insurance companies, railroads and construction companies. He was honored over multiple years as a “Texas Rising Star” in the legal fields of Business Litigation and Insurance Coverage Law and as a Top Attorney in Tarrant County from 2013-17. Sterling was recognized with the “Always a Sandie” Scholarship Award in 1992. Sterling served as a volunteer with the Rice Admissions Office, was a Past President of Ballet Concerto, served on the Board of the Sanders Education Foundation, and was a long-time member of Trinity Episcopal Church (Ft. Worth) and St. Andrews Episcopal Church (Amarillo).

Sterling loved to travel, attend concerts and play music. He had a large group of friends that he regularly traveled and spent time with. He was a huge supporter of Rice Athletics.

Sterling is survived by his mother Gay Chalfant and Gailyn “Doc” Rodgers, father James Elza, two brothers: Slater C. Elza, wife Shanna Elza and nephew Sterling Elza and Sam Elza, wife Holly Elza and niece Chloe Elza. He is also survived by his Uncle Jay Chalfant, and cousins Tim, Mike, Pat and Chris Chalfant and their families. He had amazing friends, who are too numerous to list.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts in Sterling’s honor be designated to Rice University Athletic Scholarships. To make a gift, please call 713-348- 6922, or send a check, made out to Rice University, to: Rice University Department of Athletics MS-548, c/o Brian Mann, P.O. Box 1892, Houston Texas 77251. Sign the online guestbook at

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