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DAN L. DUNCAN Obituary
DAN L. DUNCAN, visionary business leader, philanthropist, conservationist, devoted husband and family man, passed away suddenly on the 29th of March 2010 at his home in Houston. A man of great vitality, compassion and authenticity, Dan made the most of every moment of his life. And every life he touched was in turn impacted and uplifted - each one possessing equal value in his eyes and each deserving equally of his attention. He will be deeply missed by family, friends and the community. However, he leaves behind a legacy of accomplishment, service and dedication that will continue to inspire and challenge others to use their gifts and talents to the fullest.Dan Duncan was born on the 2nd of January 1933 in rural Shelby County, Texas, where he developed a love of the outdoors and a passion for hunting that would continue throughout his life. When Dan was about 3 years old, his mother developed tuberculosis and would often spend months at a time at a hospital in San Angelo. Dan and his older brother would then live with their maternal grandmother. When Dan was 7, his brother died from blood poisoning after cutting his hand on a rusty can. Dan's mother died three months later. His father then ceased farming and moved away for work. Dan continued to live with his grandmother until he graduated from Shelbyville High School in May of 1949 at the age of 16. She instilled within him the strong work ethic that would drive his future success and was summed up in the simple message she often repeated, "Do the best you can every day."Shortly after graduating, Dan followed in his father's footsteps and set off for the oil and gas fields to work as a pipeliner and roughneck. When Dan was 17, his father died from leukemia. While these early tragic events would seem an unlikely beginning for the great success that lay ahead, Dan's hard work and determination enabled him not only to persevere but also to flourish.In 1953, he joined the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War. After leaving the service in 1955, he studied business, finance and accounting at Massey Business College in Houston while working at the post office on the G.I. Bill. Dan began his energy career in 1957 when he went to work for Wanda Petroleum. Armed with the midstream knowledge he gained while at Wanda, $10,000 in capital, and two propane delivery trucks, he helped found Enterprise Products Company in 1968.Under his leadership, Dan built one of the nation's most successful families of midstream energy companies that now includes three publicly-traded partnerships with an aggregate enterprise value of more than $30 billion. The largest of these entities, Enterprise Products Partners, is one of the premier midstream energy partnerships in North America. Through its comprehensive network of pipelines, plants, terminals and storage facilities, Enterprise plays an important role in meeting the country's demand for the energy that heats homes, powers industry, fuels vehicles, including commercial and military aircraft, and drives economic growth. Dan was elected chairman of Enterprise in 1995. In addition, Enterprise has become a Fortune 100 company that is consistently ranked among the nation's best-managed organizations.Dan led his company selflessly and without pretense, always encouraging and quick to express his confidence in the abilities of others. One of the pillars of Dan's entrepreneurial success and a reflection of his management style was a commitment to long-term relationships and his insistence that transactions benefit both the customer and the company. His focus on relationships was an integral part of who he was as a business leader, but more importantly, who he was as a person. One could not know Dan without understanding the great value he placed on honesty and integrity and on building relationships based on trust.Amidst all his many achievements, Dan never forgot who he was - a man of deep faith, unwavering determination and boundless optimism. His quiet, unassuming and humble charm endeared him to countless friends and business associates who were drawn to the genuineness and honesty that made him so approachable. Dan lived his life by the simple Bible principle, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Many have observed that success never seemed to affect Dan, except that it gave him the opportunity to help others. He recognized that his financial good fortune came with responsibilities, and he became one of America's most generous philanthropists.A world-class, international big game hunter, Dan Duncan hunted on six continents. Among his outstanding achievements in this area were the Weatherby Award, the Safari Club International Hunter of the Year, the Houston Safari Club Hunter of the Year Award, and the Conklin Award. His Smithville ranch has been recognized for its conservation efforts by the state of Texas, the only partial high fence ranch to win such an award. Each year, groups of underprivileged youth and handicapped children, along with their families, are guests at the ranch for a weekend event during which Dan helped instill a spirit of conservation within a new generation. In honor of the brave service men and women of the armed forces who have been severely injured in battle, Dan hosted hunts at the ranch for members of the Wounded Warrior Project. He also promoted the responsible use of our natural resources by serving as a member of the Weatherby Foundation International board and the Shikar Safari Club International board.Perhaps Dan's most enduring legacy is that of being a strong supporter of medical research and comprehensive patient care. Through his generous commitments to Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dan helped ensure that Houston will remain a leader in the field of medical research, treatment, and the prevention of cancer. Having survived prostate cancer, he took a personal interest in seeing the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine provide care and hope to others facing their own battles with the disease. The Dan Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center focuses on preventing cancer and sustaining healthy lives. The Dan L. Duncan Neurodevelopmental Clinic provides testing, treatment and interventions for children with a wide range of learning differences. Together with his wife, Jan, Dan played a pivotal role in ensuring that children with autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and various other neurological disorders have a chance to reach their full potential through the establishment of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital.Dan served on the boards of several prestigious medical institutions, including the board of trustees at Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development board and the Texas Heart Institute.Dan Duncan's life is a story of great tragedy and even greater triumph. While his passing leaves a void that will never be filled, his uncompromising commitment to hard work, persistence and personal integrity in the face of adversity will be timeless examples of life's fundamental lessons and a call to, in the words of his grandmother, "Do the best you can every day."Dan Duncan is survived by his wife, Jan Ellis Duncan, and daughters Randa Duncan Williams and husband Charlie, Dannine Avara and husband Thomas, Milane Duncan Frantz and husband Matthew, son Scott Daniel Duncan, four beloved grandchildren, as well as numerous extended family and friends.Dan knew that all of his honors, accomplishments, and the wealth God had blessed him with would be gone the moment his life on earth ended. He knew that what would matter for eternity would not be what was important in the eyes of the world but what was important in God's eyes - how much he had loved and the good he had done.

The memorial service, in celebration of Dan's life, is to be conducted at one o'clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, the 6th of April, in the Worship Center of Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway Drive in Houston, where Dr. H. Edwin Young, Pastor, is to serve as the lead officiant.

Immediately following the service, all are invited to gather with the family during a reception to be held in the adjacent Atrium of the church.

For those desiring, and in lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in memory of Dan L. Duncan may be directed to the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital, P. O. Box 300630, MC-4-4483, Houston, TX, 77230; Texas Children's Hospital, Office of Development, P. O. Box 300630, MC-4-4483, Houston, TX, 77230; the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, BCM-305, 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX, 77030; the Baylor College of Medicine, BCM-160, 1 Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX, 77030; the Dan Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, P. O. Box 4486, Houston, TX, 77210; the Dan L. Duncan Children's Neurodevelopmental Clinic at The University of Texas Health Science Center, 7000 Fannin St., Suite 1200, Houston, TX, 77030; or the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, 6701 Fannin St., CC-1210, Houston, TX, 77030.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Apr. 1 to Apr. 5, 2010
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