McDonald, Gene Daniel Eugene "Gene" McDonald of Dallas, Texas, passed away at home on June 28, 2013 at the age of 81. Gene was born in Waco, Texas, on March 11, 1932 to Ollie Hendrix McDonald Sr. and Janie Christine Fouts McDonald. His parents moved back to Dallas shortly thereafter and settled in north Oak Cliff where he enjoyed a happy childhood surrounded by family and friends. Gene joined the Air Force reserves in 1949 while still in high school; after graduating from Sunset High School in Oak Cliff in 1950, he served two more years in active duty during the Korean War. After his military service, he moved back to Dallas and began a small welding shop that blossomed in 1961 to be Demco Manufacturing in Oak Cliff, where metal gift items were manufactured for over 50 years, earning him the nickname the "Duke of Davis". He was an entrepreneur at heart and a civic leader involved in a variety of businesses, organizations, political campaigns and charities in Dallas, including the Lion's Club and earning multiple lifetime memberships with the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. He was a lifelong member of Cliff Temple Baptist Church, and he was named Oak Cliff's Co-Man of the Year in 1981 along with his good friend Dan Eddy. Cars and motorcycles were his passion, and he greatly enjoyed "wheeling and dealing", making things happen whether for business, politics, church or charity. He loved politics and was campaign manager for many political campaigns over the years in Dallas. Gene greatly enjoyed helping others, and he was charming, funny, generous, dynamic, full of energy and life, never met a stranger, adored by so many, and stayed on the go until the end. He was a true original. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ollie Hendrix McDonald, Jr. and his nephew Lonnie McDonald. He is survived by his children, Dena McDonald, Daniel McDonald, Eliot McDonald, and Haley McDonald; nephew Larry McDonald; nieces Linda Baldor, Pam Lovell, Gail Manning, and Carolyn Garcia; his cousins DeNeyce Hackler and DeLoyce Wilder who were like sisters to him; and a large, extended family. Visitation will be Friday night, July 5, 2013 from 6-8 pm at Jeter & Son Funeral Home; funeral service will be on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 12 noon at Cliff Temple Baptist Church, 125 Sunset Ave, with graveside service following at Laurel Land Cemetery, all in Dallas.
Published in Dallas Morning News on July 5, 2013