Donald H. Gullquist, 76, died peacefully at home on January 8, 2020 after a courageous 19-month battle with lung cancer. Son of the late Stanley M. and Marian K. Gullquist, he was born on September 24, 1943 in Oak Park Illinois.
Don graduated from Proviso West High School in Illinois in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business economics in 1966 at Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois. His business career started at US Steel in Chicago. He then moved to Houston in 1975 with Houston Natural Gas where he served as Treasurer. Following the Houston Natural Gas merger with Internorth in 1983, he became Vice President of Finance for Enron and was later appointed Chief Financial Officer with Coastal Corporation. Don’s sharp understanding of the financial markets allowed him to arrange over 25 billion of external financing for the companies for which he worked. His other business awards and accomplishments are too numerous to list. With his keen business and financial sense, he mentored many a friend on career and fiscal issues.
Don met the love of his life and future wife New Orleans beauty Gaylon Bailey while employed at Houston Natural Gas. She was with Oppenheimer & Co., and they shared their corporate ties and enjoyed traveling, sports, entertaining, Mardi Gras, and animals. Still members of the “Krewe of Carrollton”, they have shared celebrating with their many friends, this New Orleans tradition.
Don and Gaylon have given richly over the years to many charitable and nonprofit groups. Their home in Costa Rica, which they have given so freely, has raised thousands of dollars for many organizations. Don and Gaylon’s true passion has been their love of animals. They have given tirelessly over the years to Citizens for Animal Protection. The Houston Ballet and Nutcracker Market have also been huge recipients of their generosity.
Don was an excellent athlete and participated in tennis, skiing, working out and his true love golf. He cherished his many years as a member of Lochinvar Country Club challenging his numerous friends. Over the last few years, Don has looked forward to his weekly card games at River Oaks Country Club with his “Gin Buddies,” who will miss him desperately.
Don was an outstanding gentleman who will leave a legacy of integrity, honesty, great faith, and an abundant affection for his fellow man.
Don leaves behind to grieve his devoted wife of 35 years Gaylon; his son Todd Gullquist of Reston, Virginia; his brother Herbert W. Gullquist and wife Anne of Johns Island, Florida; his nephew Dr. Scott D. Gullquist and wife, Missy of Richmond, Virginia; his niece Anne Mullin and husband Pat of Darian, Connecticut, and many other beloved nieces and nephews.
He also leaves behind his faithful and broken-hearted “four-legged children” Henry, Radley, and Claiborne and an extraordinary number of close friends.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation on Saturday January 11, 2020 from eleven o’clock until one o’clock in the afternoon with a memorial service beginning at half passed eleven o’clock at Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services, 1734 West Alabama in Houston. A reception will follow at a location to be announced.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Don’s memory may be given to: Houston Ballet Foundation, 601 Preston Street, Houston, TX 77002 or Citizens for Animal Protection, 17555 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77094.