FORT WORTH --
Don Looney, prominent Fort Worth citizen, and legendary football player, peacefully passed away Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 at home. He was 98 years old.
Funeral: 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Greenwood Chapel, Fort Worth. Don will be entombed in Greenwood Mausoleum, as it was always his wish to play cards again with his old and dear friend, Ralph Lowe.
Memorials: Donations may be made to the Texas Masonic Retirement Center of Arlington, Texas, The Shriner's Hospital for Children
or to a charity of one's choice
Honorary Pallbearers are F.H. (Buzz) Mills, Dr. Bill Kalchoff, James Justiss, Harry McClain, Jim Adams, and Ryland Howard.
Don was born Sept. 2, 1916, on the family farm in East Texas and came to Fort Worth to attend TCU in 1936. He distinguished himself as a great athlete from an early age, leaving home at the age of 15 to play football for Sulpher Springs High School, where he was named All-State. Following high school, he accepted a scholarship from Texas Christian University. He played ball under Coach Dutch Meyer and is the last known survivor of the legendary 1938 TCU National Championship Team. He was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates and was Co-Captain of the football team. After college, he joined his teammate Davey O'Brien playing professional football for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he set records that hold to this day. He was named #1 NFL Receiver of 1940. In 1941 and 1942, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. During World War II, he was ordered to Randolph Field by General Hap Arnold and played intercollegiate football with the Randolph Ramblers.
After the war, at NFL Commissioner Bert Bell's invitation, he became an NFL Official. He brought several of his Fort Worth friends in as officials, including Bruce Alford and the legendary "Purple Lawman", Sheriff Lon Evans. He continued in this hobby until 1963 when his son, Joe Don Looney, went into the pros. Don and Joe Don were among only a few father and son NFL players. At his death this week, Don Looney was the oldest living NFL football player.
Don was in the oil business in Midland and Fort Worth where he was President of Ralph Lowe Drilling Company and later was an executive with Mary Ralph Lowe's Maralo Oil in Houston, Texas. He was also associated with the Justiss-Mears Oil Company of Houston, Texas. Mr. Looney along with partners Buzz Mills and Jack Russell was active in West Texas oil activities and he was the major stockholder in the Bank of Jena, Louisiana, partnering with Jim Justiss and Tom Hunt.
Don was a 65 year member of the Julian Field Masonic Lodge, a Shriner, a member of the Royal Order of the Jester and a lifelong Republican from the Free State of Winston County, the only Alabama county that did not secede from the Union.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George Washington and Mary Ellen Penn Looney, his son, Joe Don Looney, his brothers, Howard Looney and Bill Looney, and sister Hazel Dodd. He is survived by a granddaughter, Tara Casimano and four great grandchildren, Nicole, Thomas Don, Margaret and Sarah Casimano, several nieces and nephews and his many, many friends. He was blessed with a loving team of caretakers, Amber Felker Seely, Vincent Jankowski, Stephanie Johnson, Crystal Crank and Candace Meyer.
3100 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth, Texas 76107 (817)336-0584