Longtime Houston businessman, rancher, and outdoorsman Dunbar Newell Chambers, Jr., age 85, passed away on August 21, 2020.
Dunbar lived life to the fullest.
He was overjoyed by time spent with his wife, all his children, and grandchildren. He was proud of his friends and eager to share every sunset that came his way. His kindness was authentic. There were “D-Bar bear hugs” for grandchildren, “philosophizing” with young adults by the ranch fire, and cocktail rides to check on the cattle at the ranch. He was a mentor to many - planning white water raft trips, hosting in Snowmass, and teaching his children along with their friends to ski, hunt, and love the outdoors as much as he did. He was always ready to listen and engage. You knew he had a genuine interest in everything around him.
Dunbar was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on the 4th of November 1934 to Ruth and Dunbar Chambers. He treasured these roots. His family moved to Houston when he was 10 years old and he attended the Kinkaid School for his education. From there he went to Georgia Tech and the University of Texas. After the sudden death of his father in 1956, Dunbar joined Farnsworth Chambers as an estimator. During this tumultuous period, he became President of the firm and the company’s name was changed to Chambco Inc. He continued to operate Chambco for the rest of his life, assisted by Executive Assistant, Carol Ayo who was also devoted to all the Chambers Family. He was involved in construction, aggregates mining, real estate, farming, and ranching. He also continued the Honduran partnership his father had begun by building highways, operating a CAT dealership, and selling concrete in Honduras. Through various partnerships, Dunbar participated in the development of many office, retail, and warehouse developments in the Houston area.
For more than 35 years, Dunbar and Trish’s abiding love and unwavering commitment showed us all what it means to honor one another. They were always good company, and life was so much fun because of who they were together. Dunbar took great pride in spending time at the D-C cattle ranch near Brookshire with his family, friends, and faithful dog, Rowdy. He enjoyed harvesting pecans, growing tomatoes and hunting at his ranch. Early in his cattle ranching days, he originated the importation of French Charolais cattle from the Isle of Man, UK to Texas. He also developed a successful aggregates business at the D-C that still operates today. Dunbar lived life at the intersection of awe, adventure, and family. He piloted his own plane, climbed Kilimanjaro, and hunted around the world.
Dunbar treasured the honest relationships and communal wisdom of his beloved Young Presidents Organization and his forum for decades. The strength and joy of so many friendships stood the test of time, making him a popular lunch companion even when Alzheimer’s changed the landscape. You knew he still loved you. These memorable events later in life were made possible by his loving wife, family and friends in partnership with Robert Cantu, Rosa Rivas, and Debra Axel - part of an incredible team of devoted caregivers that also included, Mercedes Ellis, Richard Cox, Chris Barnes and Faustino Vaquero.
Dunbar was a member of St. Martin's Church, the Young Presidents Organization, and the River Oaks Country Club.
Dunbar was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Dunbar Chambers, his sister Ruth Chambers Lewis and her husband Bill, brother John Chambers, brother-in-law, Dave Chapman and son-in-law, Dave Kohler. He is survived by his wife, Patricia “Trish” Chambers, his sons, Dunbar Newell Chambers III and wife Joanna, Clayton Chambers and wife Vivian, Craig Chambers and wife Helen and his daughter Patti Chambers Kohler as well as 8 grandchildren- Andrew, David, Alexandra, Sarah, Rachel, Parker, Lauren and Isabel and one great-grandson, Jack. He is also survived by his wife’s sons and their families that he considered his “bonus” - Brady and Jill Lum, Brett and Kay Lum, Mark And Hope Lum and the 8 Lum grandchildren - Perry, Sandy, Wiley, Caroline, William, Holden, Mason and Shelby. He is also survived by his sister, Erminie Chambers Chapman, and his sisters-in-law, Jane Chambers, Jane Perry Porter and brother-in-law, David Perry and wife, Karen, along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church at 717 Sage Road, Houston, Texas 77056, The Alzheimer’s Association online at Alz.org or to a charity of your choice.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13.
6055 South Loop East, Houston TX 77087
St. Martin's Episcopal Church
717 Sage Rd., Houston TX 77056