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Sam Douglass


1932 - 2014
Sam Douglass Obituary
SAM PRESTON DOUGLASS
1932-2014
Sam Preston Douglass was born in Houston, Texas on the eve of All Saints Day in 1932. He died with his beloved Paula by his side, on Thanksgiving Day, at the age of 82.
Sam graduated from San Jacinto High School in 1950. Attending the University of Houston, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with majors in Management and Finance. He was President of the graduating class of 1954 and of the Cavaliers, which later became Sigma Nu fraternity. Sam was also a Cougar cheerleader in 1952, 1953 and 1954. Graduating as a distinguished Military Graduate, Sam received a regular Army Commission, where he served as a Captain in the Quartermaster Corps.
After attending Baylor College of Law for one year, Sam moved to Austin, where he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas Law School. He was a member of the Moot Court Team and a member of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
Sam was a natural born leader. He worked during the summers as a counselor at Ozark Boys Camp and Brown and Root. His business career began as Vice President, Director and General Counsel for Marine Exploration and American Sulphur companies. Sam was a Vice President, Director and General Counsel for the River Oaks Bank & Trust Company. He later became a partner in the Yarborough, Brigman, Talley and Lucas law firm.
Sam left the practice of law to become Co-Founder of Service Corporation International, NYSE: SCI, where he served as President and Chairman of the Executive Committee. Later, he Co-Founded the Wedge Group of Companies. During his tenure at Wedge, he participated in the acquisition or formation of P&S Rice Mills, Rice Sales and Services Inc; Schoelman Lines of Texas, Inc., Locassine Rice Dryer, Inc. Kaplan Rice Mill, Inc., International Grain Management Corp., Market Produce, Inc., Saudi International Rice Company, Ltd., and American Foods. As Chairman and Co-Founder of Energy Services International, Sam was President of P.A. Incorporated, Petroleum Services International, Inc. and Zaploc, Inc.
Sam founded the Equus Group of Funds in 1978, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO until his retirement. He occupied the same office in the Wortham Tower as his respected mentor, Gus Wortham, Founder and Chairman of the American General Insurance Company, to whom he always referred as, ""Mr. Gus"". His most cherished and meaningful negotiation was with Mr. Gus, for the acquisition of some chairs from Suite 8-F, of the Lamar Hotel. It was a well- remembered and fond farewell.
Active in the Houston community, Sam served for many years on the boards of the University of Houston School of Law, The C.T. Bauer College of Business and The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. The Sam P. Douglass Courtyard was dedicated upon the completion of Herring Hall on the Rice campus. Later, the Sam P. Douglass Library was installed in the University of Houston Alumni Center. Sam was blessed to have received many awards during his lifetime but was most proud to be the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Houston College of Business and the 1989 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Houston Alumni Organization.
Sam was a member of River Oaks Country Club, where he particularly enjoyed his time in later years with CO in the men's locker room. He was also a member of the Coronado Club and the Argyle Club in San Antonio.
Sam was a Co-founder and Director of Chub Cay Associates, serving as its President. He loved the Bahamas and shared many years of fun adventure with his family and friends on the private island of Chub Cay. A one in the world, Flo's Conch bar was an out island ""destination"" favorite at high tide and the boat ride itself, was worth the trip. Sam loved summers in Aspen, especially Harley rides in the mountains with Preston and friends. Breakfast at the ""country club"" was a frequent stop and cigars on the Roaring Fork, with a good book, was his ideal respite.
A man of diverse interests, Sam was a voracious reader and took great delight in the exclusive Bookclub of Two, in which he shared books with Bennie. Sam rode cutting horses and was especially fond of ""Chi Willy"". He had a deep respect for the land, instilled by God and nurtured by his adored Grandfather and namesake, Sam Preston, of Midland, Texas. Sam enjoyed the years he spent as a Santa Gertrudis, Brangus and Exotic game breeder at his Kirschburg and Whiskey Canyon Ranches. His soul will always fondly hover in South Texas, Africa and the English Countryside, where the art of the shoot is perfected. A great shot, he treasured the many hunts with dearest friends and leaves a field legacy of good form and sportsmanship.
Sam was a founder of the Cowboy Artists of America Museum in Kerrville, Texas and was a member and former Director of the Tejas Vaqueros for 41 years. Membership in this fine organization was shared with his son, Preston. Their adventures on horseback were of great importance to him and he looked forward to the week in the canyon with his close vaqueros each year.
Sam was honored to be elected a delegate from St. Martins to the Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Church. He loved smoking cigars during reflections with the Bishop and many priests on sunny days in God's gardens. At the time of death, Sam was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church of Aspen and St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Houston. Sam felt the collective Love of the Body of Christ through all of his health challenges and was most grateful for this most precious gift from God.
All who knew Sam will remember his warm smile and zeal for all of life. He was strong but gentle, delighting in teaching and helping others and loved deeply, including special friends Emma Cate, Bella Francis, Bruno and Beau Jaune.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Tommie Preston Douglass and Louie Earle Douglass; and Emma Chase.
He is survived by Paula, his wife of 36 years, with whom he had a life long partnership and love affair. He is also survived by his mother-in-law and friend, Bonnie Callahan Terry, ""Zette"" of Houston; Brother-in-law Ira James Terry, Jr. and wife Susan of Pittsburg, Pa; daughter, Brooke Douglass Graubart and husband Marc, of Houston; son Sam Preston Douglass, Jr. and wife Kate, of Portland, Texas; grandchildren, Treva Grace Graubart of Houston; Emily Douglass Murdock and husband Bailey, of Charlottesville, Va., Sarah Park Douglass of Oxford, Miss; Sam Preston Douglass, III of Ft. Worth, Texas; Cody Sachse, Bryanna Sachse and Will Sachse of Portland, Tx; nephews Christian Griffin Pendley and wife Marci, of Houston; Ira James Terry, III and wife, Erin, of Wake Forest, NC and Jonathan Terry of Atlanta, Ga; Sam took great delight in his Great nephew, Preston Pendley of Houston, Texas and his Great niece, Lauren Terry, of Wake Forest, NC and good friends and cousins, Preston Bridgewater, of Houston, Texas and Gary Babb of Huntsville, Alabama. Sam will always have a special place in his heart for Carmen and the Villacorte family, including Lala and faithful companion, Alberto Aburto. He is grateful for the loyal devotion of Dawn Clark and his trusted friend and ally, Molly Alonso. One of the best, last gifts Sam received were bedside visits from twins, Owen and Carlyle and his beloved, brilliant physician, Dr. James L. Pool, M. D.
Pallbearers will be Robert L. Waltrip, James H.Greer, R. W. Wortham, III, Allen Lawrence Berry, Charles R. Ofner, Dan Moody, III, Ira James Terry, III and William Bailey Murdock. Honorary Pallbearers will be The Honorable James A. Baker, III, Jerry E. Finger, Robert A. Day, The Honorable George Argyros, John P. Wade, Frank D. Adams, J. Thomas Bagby, John H. Duncan and the Membership of Tejas Vaqueros.
Friends are invited to a visitation fiesta with the family from 4 o'clock in the afternoon until 7 o'clock in the evening on Tuesday, the second of December, 2014, at the Douglass family residence. A service of holy burial will be conducted at 1 o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, the third of December, 2014, in the Sanctuary of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, Texas. The Rev. Dr. Clay A. Lein, Rector, The Rev. Dr. Douglas W. Richnow, Sr. Associate Rector and
The Rev. Bruce McNab, officiating. A private Interment will follow the celebration of the Rite of Burial.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The Kelly Day Endowment at the Baker Institute for Public Policy; C.T. Bauer College of Business; The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, Agape Development in Houston, Texas or the .
Almighty Father, we thank You for providing warriors, doctors and nurses who have cared for us, prayed with us, come to the Lord's Table with us, shared their lives with us, comforted us. Especially hold safe the one who sees us all, as ""her family"". Protect, guide and strengthen them, day in and day out, as they continue to care for Your weak, wounded and sick.
""Come unto to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."" Matthew 11:28
Published in Houston Chronicle from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2014
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