He was born in Modesto, California where his father worked for the Dole Cannery after returning from an assignment in Hawaii. The depression brought them back to his hometown of Humboldt, Kansas where he grew up. Starting at the age of 13, Don worked for a butcher delivering groceries to help ends meet. At 17, Don joined the Navy, went through basic training in San Diego. He was then stationed in Washington, DC as an encryption specialist. After his Navel service, the GI bill enabled him to attend Tulsa University and graduate with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1954. He began his career with Carter Oil which became Exxon and was Exxon for 26 years. In 1979, he became Vice President of Production for Delta Drilling in Tyler, Texas. After leaving Delta, he was a partner in Fourmore Oil, a gas production and drilling company. He also attended the University of Texas at Tyler and graduated with an MBA in 1994.
Many will remember Don most for his work as the Executive Director of the Tyler Catholic School Foundation where he was recognized for his 30 years of service with the honor of receiving the 2016 Milan Joseph Humanitarian Award.
Don met his wife, Peggy in Durango, Colorado and together they raised three children. Don’s foundation was his faith and he put his family first. He taught his family the importance of living life to the fullest, focus on education, learn the value of money, and use the gifts and talents that God gave you to succeed.
In retirement, Don and Peggy cruised the Mediterranean, walked the beaches of Mexico, and traveled through Europe on several walking tours. They always returned to Durango where they first met and got engaged. They truly enjoyed their life together!
Don’s legacy will live on through his family. He leaves behind his children Christy and Eric Ford, Mark and Donna Emery, and Carol Emery, as well as his four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was great role model, had a great sense of humor and will always be remembered with love!
Memorial service and Mass will be held at 11 am on Monday, November 23, 2020 at Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, 23 S Broadway Ave, Tyler, TX 75702
Donations in Donald Emery’s honor can be made to the Tyler Catholic School Foundation P.O. Box 131175 Tyler, TX 75713.