Donald L. Erskine

June 23, 1937 ~ January 23, 2021 (age 83)


Donald L. Erskine, 83, loving husband, father, and grandfather passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

Don was born on June 23, 1937 in Dallas, Texas to Donald Hall and Louise Cole Erskine. His family moved to McAllen, Texas when Don was in third grade.  He graduated from McAllen High School in 1955.  He was an excellent athlete and played quarterback (#19) for the high school varsity team for 3 years.  He also played third base and pitched for the varsity baseball team.  Don was especially proud of his selection to the South Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.

Don graduated from the Rice Institute (now Rice University) with a B.A. in Economics in 1960.  He also played baseball and football at Rice.  It was at Rice where he met the love of his life, Sharon Ferguson.  They raised two sons, Donald Cole and Keith Hall, and were married for 61 years.

Don, as his father and grandfather before him, spent his entire career in the oil and gas business. The industry at that time required frequent relocations throughout the country, often on very short notice.  He was once told in Odessa, Texas, on a Friday afternoon that he needed to move to Durango, Colorado by Monday morning.  Don’s young family proceeded to move 16 times in 18 years, and Don and Sharon would always seek out the best school districts for their children, in spite of two-hour and even interstate commutes for Don in some locations.

Don worked for Cameron Iron Works while still a student at Rice.  Upon graduation, he went to work for Tennessee Gas Transmission Company (Tenneco).  In January of 1965, he joined Shell Oil Company and later worked for Pecten International, a subsidiary of Shell.  While at Pecten, he traveled the world: Papua New Guinea, China, Brazil, and Syria.  He enjoyed learning about the local cultures.

Don always challenged himself both physically and mentally. Taking up the game of chess at age 68, he played in the 2008 United States Chess Championships with his wife and son, receiving an award for being the oldest player and also recognition in Chess Life magazine.

Don was known for his kind heart and compassionate spirit.  He will be missed by his many friends, including his English bulldog Cali.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Sharon, his two children, Cole and his wife Mary Beth, Keith, and his granddaughter, Kendra Nicole Toner and her husband Ian.

No services are planned at this time.

In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Don’s memory may be made to Houston Ballet Foundation, 601 Preston Street, Houston, Texas 77002 or the charity of your choice.


A service summary is not available


Houston Ballet Foundation
601 Preston Street, Houston TX 77002

Charity of One's Choice

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