Philip Joseph Burguières
Surrounded by his family and loved ones, well-known Houston business and community leader, Philip Joseph Burguières, passed away on the on the evening of June 30, 2016.
A devoted grandfather, father and husband Philip was born in Franklin, Louisiana on September 3, 1943. He was the only son and youngest child of Emma Louise LeBlanc Burguières and Denis Philip Joseph Burguières Jr. Having graduated from Catholic High School in New Iberia, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Louisiana - Lafayette, where a Chair in the engineering department has been dedicated in his honor. In 1992 he received the Outstanding Alumni Award.
Shortly after graduation, Philip married his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Courrégé. After moving briefly to New Orleans to work for a consulting engineering firm, Philip joined the Navy and completed training at Officer Candidate School. He served in the U. S. Navy for four years during the Vietnam era as a "Seabee", reaching the rank of Lieutenant.
Upon completion of his service, Philip was accepted to The Wharton Graduate School of Business. On graduation he accepted a job with Cameron Iron Works, Inc. in Houston, Texas. In 1971, the company moved the couple to Edinburgh, Scotland. Under the guidance of Herb Allen, Philip became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1981at the young age of 38. By 1986 he was one of the youngest Chief Executive Officers to ever run a Fortune 500 company.
In 1978, Philip first joined the board of the J. M. Burguières Company, a family-owned land-holding company that he would chair from 1986 until his retirement in 2012. Together with his cousin Ron Cambre, they grew the consortium from a small sugar farming and salt dome operation in south Louisiana to a substantial company with land and mineral interests in three states.
In 1990, Philip joined Panhandle Eastern Corporation a Houston pipeline company, for which he had previously served as an outside board member, as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Resigning 11 months later and taking a brief hiatus from corporate life, Philip returned to the oilfield service industry in 1991 as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Weatherford International, Inc. Under his leadership, the company grew organically and through acquisitions from $147 million in 1990 to $859 million in 1995. A series of successful acquisitions which culminated in a merger with industry peer Enterra Corporation in 1996. Soon after Philip resigned for personal health reasons marking the end of a 30-year energy career, during which he was named Energy Service Industry CEO of the Year three times by Financial World Magazine.
His work ethic and commitment to his community was evident in his unrelenting service to his industry. He served as President of the Petroleum Club of Houston, the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers' Association and as Chairman of the National Ocean Industries Association, the Board of Directors of Texas Commerce Bancshares, McDermott International and Cogen Technologies. He was also a member of the Texas Heart Institute's National Advisory Council and chaired the Board of Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.
After a brief retirement Burguières set about devising a "paradigm shift" for his life in order to preserve his health, scheduling time for regular physical activity, maintaining intellectual endeavors and connecting with people and causes near and dear to his heart. He devoted time to caring for his ailing wife Cheryl in her long battle withbreast cancer and to working with his friend, John Sage to conceptualize, research and develop the transformative prison ministry now widely known as Bridges to Life.
He consulted for Bob McNair at Cogen Technologies and in 1999 was tapped by his long-time friend to help develop the front office for Houston's new National Football League franchise, the Texans. Philip began a new career as Vice Chairman of the Houston Texans assisting with all aspects of the team's business operations, leveraging his corporate leadership skills and previous industry contacts to help ensure a successful launch of the franchise in 2002.
Inspired by Cheryl's ongoing fight against breast cancer, Philip began to courageously disclose his own struggles with depression and became an advocate for mental health issues on a local and national level. Being aware that most healthcare plans at the time did not cover treatment for mental illness Philip was instrumental in breaking down barriers for those needing treatment. He also recognized that in spite of the breadth of medical care available in Houston, the city lacked a treatment center for the broad range of psychiatric diagnoses.
He served as Chairman of Mental Health America of Greater Houston and in 2000 he received the organization's Ima Hogg Award. He paved the way for the Texans to be the first NFL franchise to implement mental health parity in 2002. For these efforts, he was named the 2003 William Styron Award recipient by the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America). In 2005 Philip received the Woodrow Wilson Corporate Citizenship Award from the Smithsonian Institute.
Philip served as vice chairman of both the Menninger Clinic and the Baylor College of Medicine as well as on the Executive Committee of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. He crafted a long-term, large scale vision for the Menninger Clinic "Mental Health Epicenter." In 2012, that vision became a reality as the Menninger Clinic opened its state-of-the-art 50-acre psychiatric hospital facility.
In this period professionally, Philip served as the Vice Chairman of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. He also conceptualized EMC Holdings, an investment management company specializing in the oil service industry. He served the Board of Directors of FMC Technologies, Inc. and Newfield Exploration Company and was a member of the National Petroleum Council.
Later that same year, Philip sustained a brain injury and spent nearly three months in-patient at TIRR Memorial Hermann and another year in intensive out-patient therapy. In spite of the remarkable recovery he made in so many other areas, Philip never regained the ability to speak or write. He worked tirelessly to recover and regain as much of his pre-injury life as he could and his efforts were nothing short of heroic.
The essence and legacy of Philip Burguières continued to shine through his injured exterior. He remained proud of his small-town beginnings and could create a connection with anyone from any background. Before his accident, he was well known for making anyone he was speaking to feel like the only person in the room and his incomparable memory never failed him. He had a genuine interest in everyone he met and was equally at home on a shop floor or in an executive office suite. Being raised in south Louisiana, Philip had cultivated the fine art of "visiting" to its highest form of expression and greatly enjoyed the simple human connections a good conversation afforded. He was often claimed as "the first friend I made in Houston" by many colleagues and friends.
Philip was a man of quiet yet enduring faith and strong moral convictions. He attended mass weekly and supported Catholic education. He believed in treating everyone with dignity and respect and was uncomfortable with guile. In business and in life, his reputation and his word, were maintained to sterling standards which earned him trustworthiness and success in negotiations and transactions across the board.
Philip believed that those blessed with resources had an obligation to use them, at least in part, to improve the world in some way. He practiced this tenet by mentoring younger colleagues, by volunteering with and leading charitable organizations and by donating generously to those organizations aligned with his values. He was selfless with everyone and all who encountered him felt richer for the experience.
For Philip, family meant everything and as a parent, he took pride in sharing the fact that his adult children were his closest confidantes and he looked forward to their company in all capacities. It was in relaxed moments following a meal with loved ones that he was most happy - sharing jokes, reminiscing and being fully present in the moment, at peace with himself and enjoying life, which coincidentally were some of the very character traits that friends and family sought to emulate and drew people close to him.
Although Philip will be sorely missed by everyone whose lives he touched and who had the privilege of knowing him his remarkable legacy to his family and to the city of Houston will be recognized for generations to come.
Philip was preceded in death by his parents, Denis Philip Joseph Burguières, Jr. and Emma Louise LeBlanc Burguières and his first wife, Cheryl Courrégé Burguières. He is survived by his wife of nine years, Alice Kirkpatrick Burguières, whom he married in 2007, his children Emily Burguières Dalicandro and her husband Steve, P. Martial Burguières and his wife Valeria, his step-children Stephanie and Morgan Harcrow and Ashley Harcrow Moseley and her husband Seth, grandchildren Luke, Beau and Emma Burguières, Joe and Sam Dalicandro and Alice Mae Moseley, sister Denise Burguières Hein, brother-in-law John Edward Courrégé and his wife Dana, sister-in-law Susan Courrégé Phillips and her husband Gary, sister-in-law Catherine Courrégé Huckaby and her husband Victor, nieces Lauren Huckaby and Katelyn Huckaby Sarkies, Nicole Dronet and Juliane Courrégé, nephews Émile and John Courrégé, Robert, Denis and Steve Hein, Logan and Baron Phillips, and Victor Huckaby, 6 great-nieces and 9 great-nephews, many cousins, other relatives and friends.
On Wednesday, July 6, 2016 a semi-private Rosary for family and close friends will take place at four o'clock in the afternoon at the Bradshaw-Carter Home, 1734 West Alabama St., Houston, followed by an open visitation period from half past five o'clock until nine o'clock in the evening. The family will again receive friends on Thursday, July 7 from noon until three o'clock in the afternoon at the Bradshaw-Carter Home. A Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Thursday evening, July 7, at five o'clock in the afternoon at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer Rd., Houston, Texas 77098. A reception will follow in St. Basil Hall. The family will receive friends in Louisiana on Friday evening, July 8 from six until eight o'clock in the evening at Ibert's Mortuary, 1007 Main Street, Franklin, Louisiana 70538. An interment service will be held at St. Helen Cemetery on the Florence Plantation in Louisa, Louisiana on Saturday morning, July 8 at nine o'clock. A memorial mass will be celebrated on July 8 at half past ten o'clock in the morning at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 108 East St. Peter St., New Iberia, Louisiana 70560. A reception will follow at the Gouguenheim, 101 West Main Street, New Iberia, LA 70560. Friends are cordially invited to all services.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Menninger Clinic (www.menningerclinic.com/donate/make-a-donation-to-Menninger
), Office of Philanthropy, 12301 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77035 or to the Burguières Family Foundation (www.GHCF.org/donation-ghcf/
) payable to the Greater Houston Community Foundation, ATTN: Gift Processor, 5120 Woodway Dr. #6000, Houston, Texas 77056. Please note "Burguières Family Foundation" in the memo line of the check.
Published by Houston Chronicle from Jul. 3 to Jul. 6, 2016.