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Silver Taps Notification

Donald "Don" Stigall '51 August 17, 2020 11:42 AM updated: August 17, 2020 11:56 AM

Donald Van Stigall
JANUARY 15, 1930 – AUGUST 9, 2020

Don V. Stigall passed away peacefully on Sunday the 9th of August 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Don lived an incredibly blessed life with reverent dedication to his Catholic faith and his family.

Don was born in Bay City, Texas on January 15, 1930. His younger years were spent in Wharton, Texas where he was involved in Boy Scouts, sports and altar boy service. Don attended Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, Texas where he excelled in academics, football, basketball, band and the ROTC. Don and several of his classmates formed an orchestra that performed at social gatherings on the weekends. His musical instrument of choice was the trumpet. Don graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1947. From there he proudly attended Texas A & M University where he continued his admiration and respect for the military through his dedication to the Corps of Cadets. His exemplary service in the Corps of Cadets was rewarded upon graduation in 1951, when he was one of two cadets invited to join the West Point graduating class for a training mission. Don became a member of the 1st Armored Division and trained with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Benning, Georgia. He continued to proudly serve during the Korean War while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Don made lifelong friendships during his service in the military and often spoke fondly about the time they shared together.

Upon being Honorably Discharged from the United States Army, Don returned to Wharton, Texas where he and his father, T Van Stigall owned and operated the Oldsmobile Dealership, Stigall Motor Company. Don and his parents, extended family and many friends often spent time at their ranch (Circle S Ranch) in New Braunfels, Texas. Don was an outdoorsman. From fishing in Galveston, Rockport, Port Isabel, Cancun, and Alaska to hunting in Wyoming, Colorado and his ranch in Belmont, Texas, Don was a “Man’s Man”.

Although always surrounded by friends, James C. Smith (Jimmy) was his closest friend, confidant and hunting partner. Jimmy introduced Don to Sherlee Jamail who just happened to be Jimmy’s wife’s sister. In 1957, Don and Jimmy became brother-in-laws when Don and Sherlee married at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Houston, Texas. Don embraced Sherlee’s Lebanese heritage and in fact, became the first non-Jamail President of the United Jamail Club of Houston. He served as President of the Fellowship Club of Houston numerous times as well as President of Caney Valley Memorial Hospital.

Don and Sherlee’s young married years were spent in Wharton, Texas enjoying parties at the “bottom”, hunting trips, bowling leagues, playing golf and racing horses at the local brush tracks. From Wharton they moved to Austin where Don owned and operated Stigall Motors, received his Texas Real Estate Broker’s License and began his career as a Rancher and Ranch Developer. He raised cattle and horses, but his favorite pastime was racing horses. His famed racehorse and multiple stakes winner, Dr. Box, brought great excitement and triumph to the Stigall Family.

Don loved spending time with his family. Whether it was in Lafayette, Louisiana, Galveston, Texas or his second home in Canyon Lake, Texas, he always made certain that a good time was had by all. He was enormously generous and lavished his family with all that life had to offer but he was most generous with his love, time, attention, and infinite wisdom. Don and Sherlee were happily married for 63 years and traveled the world playing golf and making beautiful memories with lots of love and laughter. Don referred to Sherlee as the “Wind beneath his Wings”.

Don is preceded in death by his father, T Van Stigall and his mother Grace B. Stigall. He is survived by his wife Sherlee; his son Stephen Stigall and wife Trudy, their sons Stephen, Christian, James, and Donald; his daughter Suzanne Krejci and husband Darrell, and their son Nicolas.

In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in memory of Don V. Stigall may be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Wounded Warriors or BoysTown.

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