William Gonzalez '64 May 22, 2023 10:25 AM updated: May 22, 2023 10:32 AM
William Karl Gonzalez
January 9, 1943 – May 16, 2023
William Karl Gonzalez, 80 years old, of Houston, Texas, passed Tuesday, May 16, 2023.
W.K. (Speedy) was born to William Gonzalez and Karyl Ellen Graeff Gonzalez, on January 9, 1943, in Houston, Texas. He attended Moye Military Academy in Castroville, Texas directed by the Sisters of Divine Providence. He graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1960. He proudly attended Texas A&M University and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1964.
W.K. was preceded in death by his father, 2nd Lieutenant William Gonzalez in May 1945 while serving in the Army Air Corps. His beloved mother Karyl Ellen passed away in July 2011. He is survived by Donna L. Kyle who enjoyed life with him and who lovingly cared for him during his final days.
After graduation from Texas A&M, W.K. began his professional career in pharmaceutical sales in New Orleans, Louisiana. While working for Hoffman LaRoche, he was part of the sales team that introduced Valium to the medical profession. Subsequently he worked for Ciba-Geigy and was part of the launch for transdermal patches, a new delivery system used for scopolamine, in December 1979. He was one of the eight original sales representatives for Genentech, the biotech company that introduced tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) for heart attacks made by recombinant DNA technology in 1982 to the medical world. Genentech went on to produce human insulin and human growth hormone, two life-changing medications. In his last position, he served as the Executive Director of Sales for Serono Labs in Boston, Massachusetts, specializing in human growth hormone for children. His career in pharmaceutical sales spanned 50 years, and he saw many life-saving medications come to market during that time.
W.K. enjoyed driving fast cars and racing in the Sports Car Club of America events. This year he achieved his 50-year membership in the SCCA organization. He loved driving his yellow 2001 Dodge Viper, and he would take the 2008 Dodge Viper ACR to car shows and charity events. The ACR always attracted great attention and still only has 98 miles on the odometer. He was a member of the Houston Viper Owners Club and was a Mamba charter member of the Viper Owners Association. He also was an active member of the Houston Gun Collectors Association.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Monday, May 22, 2023 at 10AM at Forest Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale Avenue, Houston, Texas 77223. A reception will follow at the funeral home at noon.