Flags at all University Park city buildings and parks will fly at half-staff Friday in memory of Don M. Houseman, who served as mayor from 1986 to 1988. He died Monday at 94.
“Don was a true pillar of our community,” UP Mayor Olin Lane Jr. said. “As mayor he instituted many beneficial changes.
“Along with improving the city’s insurance coverage, he set the stage for rebuilding our aging infrastructure,” Lane said. “Always a source of information and solutions, Don was an invaluable resource for all succeeding mayors. A shining example of the greatest generation, he will truly be missed.”
A 1940 graduate of Highland Park High School, Houseman earned a business administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1946. In 1943, Houseman was called to active duty and was a first lieutenant in the Army during World War II. Serving in the 106th Infantry Division, he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. A recipient of a Bronze Star Medal, wounded twice, he was also awarded a Purple Heart Medal with clusters and a Combat Infantryman Badge.
After graduating college, Houseman became a partner in Houseman & Company Insurance Agency. During his 35 years in the insurance industry he was a board member for the Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas, serving as president for two years. In 1971, following the merger of his agency with Marsh & McLennan Companies, he was a senior vice president for that firm. In 1981, Houseman resigned that position and formed Houseman Properties to manage personal real estate and investments.
From 1982 to 1986, Houseman served two terms as a city commissioner. He was elected Mayor in 1986 and served in that capacity until 1988. Following elected office, Houseman remained involved with city government as a longtime member of the Capital Projects Review Committee.
Houseman’s civic involvement also included his work as a trustee for the Texas Teacher Retirement System, as chairman of the Byron Nelson Golf Classic, as president of the Dallas Country Club, and as a board member for the Visiting Nurses Association, General Hospital Service (Presbyterian Hospital affiliate), the Shelton School and the Dallas YMCA. An avid hunter, he was also a national trustee of Ducks Unlimited.
Active in his church, Houseman was a long-time member of the vestry for St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, was president of the St. Michael Foundation and a board member for the Episcopal Foundation – Diocese of Dallas.
Houseman is survived by his wife, Katy, of 72 years, his five children Nancy (Howell) Harralson, Donna (Wayne) Tenney, Frank (Ann) Houseman, Lon (Julie) Houseman, Louise (Tom) Gresham, 13 grandchildren, and 20 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 27, at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 8011 Douglas Ave. in Dallas.