Donald Ray Burkhalter was born on September 18, 1935 to J.C. and Bertha Burkhalter in Palestine, Texas. Donald was the second youngest of their eight children. Donald had two brothers and five sisters and had fun aggravating each one of them. Donald moved to Houston in 1951 with his dad and attended John H. Reagan High School. Shortly after moving to Houston, Donald began working at Kroger where he eventually met the love of his life, Mary Lucille Conway. The two were married six weeks later on December 20,1954. While working at Kroger, Donald started as a bag boy and worked all the way up to store inventory auditor which led the family to move to Corpus Christi, Texas. Mary and Donald had three kids who were the apples of their eye: their oldest son, Steve, who passed away at the tender age of eleven: Keith and Debbie, who always was a daddy’s girl and took care of him until he took his last breath. Eventually, Mary and Donald moved back to Houston and then to Huntsville where they retired from Valero. One of Donald’s proudest moments was when he became an ordained minister from Houston Baptist University in 1963. Donald preached at numerous churches in his lifetime and even had the honor of conducting several grandchildren’s weddings along with other family member’s weddings.
Donald was always a family man and loved his family deeply. Donald was caring and compassionate towards everyone he came in touch with and never met a stranger. Additionally, Donald had a great sense of humor. One of his most well-known jokes was would be when you asked him his name he would reply, “Puddin’ Tane and if you ask me again, I’ll tell you the same.” In his spare time, Donald could be found cheering on the Houston Astros, Dallas Cowboys and in years past, the Houston Oilers. Donald also enjoyed watching westerns and war movies but his favorites were John Wayne movies.
Donald was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Burkhalter; his son, Steve Burkhalter; his grandson, Richard Engel II; his great-great-grandson, Ren De La Riva; his parents, siblings and many other relatives.
Donald leaves behind his daughter, Debbie Burkhalter of Texas City, TX; his son, Keith Burkhalter of Conroe, TX; his grandchildren, John Engel III (wife, Mitzy of Bentonville, AR), Megan Barbee (husband, Kevin) of Huntsville, TX, Matthew Engel (wife, Ashleigh) of Texas City; his great-grandchildren, Danielle Carson, Miranda De La Riva (fiancé, Zackery Martinez), Lucy Morgan and Madelyn Barbee; great-great-granddaughter, Lyra Martinez and many extended family members and friends.
Funeral services for Donald will be held Monday, November 18, 2019 at the chapel of Bay Area Funeral Directors, 5410 FM 1765 (facing Highway 3) Texas City, TX 77591. 409-933-4300. A public visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by the service to celebrate Donald’s life at noon. All memorials may be sent to the funeral home.