Decker Dawson
Ellis Funeral Home
801 Andrews Highway
Midland, TX
Decker Dawson, beloved husband and father, left this world on February 6, 2018 to be reunited with the dearly departed love of his life Louise (Lou) Loper in the presence of his Lord and Savior. Deck, as Lou referred to him, was born to Louis Decker Dawson and Suzie Cramer on July 28, 1920 in Tulsa, Ok. Decker was born at home in Tulsa and passed in the comfort of his home in Midland surrounded by his loving family and caregivers. Following his love of music, Decker was a clarinet player in the marching band at Tulsa Central High School. He continued to play the clarinet in various bands to help fund his early years in the School of Engineering at the University of Tulsa from 1937-1939. Coming to the realization that his love of music (or lack of talent, as he often quipped in jest) was not going to provide an adequate living, he transferred to Oklahoma A & M (State) in 1939 and completed his degree in Civil Engineering in 1941. Unable to find an engineering job, he took a doodlebugger job as a geophysical helper (juggie) with Magnolia Petroleum Company (ExxonMobil) working in Oklahoma and Texas. After one year in the oil patch, Decker served the country in the United States Naval Reserves as a Civil Engineer. He was stationed on the island of Guam during World War II preparing for the invasion of Japan. He left the Navy having served as an Ensign and Lieutenant (jg) in 1946. After his time in the Navy, Decker took a job with Republic Exploration Company as a seismic party chief in Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. In 1950, Republic moved him to Midland as a seismic supervisor. When Decker arrived in Midland so many years ago, he had no idea he had found Paradise. Here, he found the love of his life Lou. Lou and Decker were married in 1950 until her passing in 2011. Lou and Decker have one daughter, Mary. Decker's love for his beloved wife and daughter were clearly exhibited right up until his final days. In 1952, after Republic had declined to field another crew, Decker approached Forest Oil concerning the possibility of him fielding a crew for the account of Forest. Upon a positive response, Decker and Lou founded Dawson Geophysical Company and Lou became the first pregnant seismic computer known to the industry. Dawson Geophysical became an industry leader in the adaptation of technology and currently is the largest provider of geophysical services in North America and the longest standing name in the industry. The success of the company is simply the adherence to the simple value set in place by Decker himself, "Do It Right." Decker has served his profession as Past President and honorary life member of the Permian Basin Geophysical Society. From 1989-1990 he served as President of the Society of Geophysicists after Secretary-Treasurer from 1984-1985. He was a member of the SEG since 1948, awarded the Enterprise award in 1997 and Honorary Life Member in 2002. He was a past director, Chairman of the Board and honorary life member of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors. With a true love of Midland, Decker and Lou served the Midland Community with love and support beyond his professional contributions. While their service contributions are too numerous to name including past president of the Midland Community Theater, Midland Country Club and the Petroleum Club, several were near to their hearts. Since 1979 Decker was a Member, Board of Governors for the Midland Memorial Hospital Foundation. He served his church as both a Deacon and an Elder. Outside of Midland, Decker was a member, past Chairman and Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council of the Jackson School of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Later in life Decker was the recipient of multiple awards. In 1997 he was inducted into the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum Hall of Fame. In that same year he received the "Top Hand" Award from the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. Five years later Decker received the Hearst Energy Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 2005 the Top Pioneer Award from the Permian Basin Petroleum Pioneers. The AFP Permian Basin Chapter presented Lou and Decker as Outstanding Philanthropist in 2010. Decker was also the recipient of the T. Boone Pickens Boot Strap Award from Oklahoma State as well a member of the OSU Hall of Fame, School of Engineering both OSU & University of Tulsa. Decker leaves behind his beloved daughter Mary as well as many longtime friends, colleagues and co-workers. Decker was known for his honesty, integrity and compassion. He was often referred to as a "Gentleman's Gentleman." He loved people, life and those around him. Decker and Lou's wonderful caregivers made tough days easier to endure. We are grateful to longtime household and family cornerstone Maria Hernandez Martinez, her husband Adolfo, and caregiver Marina Galdamez. Heartfelt thanks go out to Dr. Summer Merritt, Visiting Angels and Hospice of Midland for their wonderful support and care. Memorial services will be held Saturday, February 10 at 11 AM at First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Steve Schorr officiating, with a reception to follow. Arrangements are under the care of Ellis Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to TIRR, brain injury research center in Houston, the Permian Basin Area Foundation scholarship awards, or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be offered at
Published by Midland Reporter-Telegram from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2018.
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13 Entries
He was a wonderful person! I
was employed by him to work
at Dawson Geophysical.He was a great man & employer! He gave me a rememberance I will never forget. He was more
than an employer. He was a dear friend. He gave me a
meaningful beginning in the
business world. He encouraged me & took an
interest in me. After being with him for over 5 years, I expressed a desire to go back to college & get my degree to
become a teacher. He encouraged me to do so. Not
wanting to leave Mr. Dawson’s
employment, but it was the only way I could finish my degree. I moved to Lubbock &
finished my degree at Texas
Tech. Then I started teaching
School, but I never forgot the
very special treatment. & encouragement I received from Mr. Dawson. He was absolutely The Best! I still have the letter of reference from him. He will always have a special place in my heart! ❤
Patsy Byrd
May 5, 2021
When I moved to Midland in the early 1980s, Decker was kind enough to take a meeting with me and share some advice. He suggested that Midland had been enjoying a great economic time and that in the near future holding onto to cash and assets might be wise. I followed his advice and was able to acquire business during the subsequent downturn. Thank you Decker for your wisdom, commitment to Midland and kindness to me.
Mark Kimball
February 2, 2020
Tommy Box
February 22, 2018
Mr. Dawson was a class act, a leader in the search for hydrocarbons, and great human being. I cannot presume to have been close to him, but he encouraged me several times during my career. He was a major figure in the field of geophysics. May he rest in peace.
Randy Keller
February 15, 2018
What a great man. He shared his observations of Midland with me when I first arrived, it was so valuable.
Mark Kimball
February 13, 2018
Bernie Lambert
February 11, 2018
I was very fortunate to serve with Mr. Dawson on the board of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors at an early stage of my career in the geophysical industry. Mr. Dawson made a tremendous impression on me, representing everything that I thought was good and right about doing business.... integrity, intelligence, accountability, compassion, kindness, respectfulness, and all with great humility. All those who have prospered in our industry are grateful for the example he set.
Hank Hamilton
February 11, 2018
In 1955 Mr D became my mentor.He encouraged me faithfully to excel in all aspects & departments of the Company, making the accounting Dept my final position, leaving the Company in 2008. He was a great friend, as well as Mrs D & Mary. I have been so blessed to have had them in my life and still the lasting memories.May God hold Mary close to Him.
Bernie Lambert
February 11, 2018
I first met Decker in 1978 in Midland to sign a contract with Conoco for a Dawson crew to acquire seismic data. Many fond memories prevail over the years knowing Decker and Dawson Geophysical. We served together on the SEG Executive Committee during the 1988-1989 term. I came to realize at that time that Decker was truly an outstanding leader in our circle of influence within the geophysical industry.

Bob Wyckoff
February 10, 2018
Decker was the kindest man, that you could ever meet. He treated everyone with respect and was always happy to see you. The time that I worked at Dawson were some of the best years. He leaves behind a legacy that is unmatched.
Wendell Steward
February 9, 2018
I lived in Midland for a brief year or so in the mid 90s. During this time my neighbor was a good friend of Decker and we all had lunch at the Petroleum Club there in Midland. I remember that lunch with great fondness. He was a gracious, kind man who will be missed by all.
Stephen King.
Stephen King
February 9, 2018
I met Decker for the first time in 1994 working on a public offering for Dawson Geo. He and I struck up a relationship at that time. I asked him so many questions, that he gave me my own personal magnifying glass at a closing dinner. I still use it in my office today. Great man. Great legacy. I will miss him greatly. Condolences to daughter Mary and the extended Dawson Geo family.
Neel Lemon
February 8, 2018
a loved one
February 8, 2018
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