Donald Gary Holloway

Donald Gary Holloway: 1929-2023

Holloway, Donald Gary, age 93, Denison, Texas, was born on May 29, 1929, in Kiefer, Oklahoma, at home. Don passed away peacefully on March 2, 2023. Don grew up in Kiefer, Oklahoma, where his father, Jack Washington Holloway, served on the school board, and worked for Sinclair Oil Company. Don attended Kiefer Schools his entire school career, until his Sr. year when he and 5 of his best friends decided to transfer to Sapulpa to play football. They transferred to Sapulpa because they thought a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP was a possibility. While attending school in Kiefer, Don, a skilled athlete, played basketball as a forward, softball as a 2nd baseman, and was the quarterback for his football team. As quarterback for Kiefer, Don vividly recalled the State Championship Game of 1945. In school, Don also served as Jr. Class President and boxed with the Golden Gloves Boxing Association his Senior year at 147 lbs. Upon graduation from Sapulpa High School, Don was recruited by the University of Arkansas and Southeastern University. He decided to enlist in the Navy instead.

His naval career took him to Honolulu, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. Don was stationed in Hawaii for 1 year in the personnel and accounting division – which launched his career within the data processing industry. His Mom’s only request was while in the Navy, “Don’t get a tattoo.” He complied. While in the Navy, Don’s athletic prowess landed him on the Navy football team. Like Top Gun, his friends would see him cruising on his Harley 45 motorcycle and getting a tan while playing beach volleyball. After serving our country, Don attended the Tulsa Business College on his GI Bill, where he received a call from Texaco with an offer to work for them in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Don was instrumental in starting Texaco’s data processing department. While not necessarily his passion, it was a good paycheck! In 1950 Don fell on the dance floor and not literally, but for Patricia Sue Massey, they married that same year, on November 3rd. Being a man of adventurous spirit, Don earned his wings. He, and, his only brother, and best friend, Kenneth Holloway, loved flying airplanes. Don’s first airplane was a Piper J5. They later purchased a Cessna 172. The Holloway brothers, along with their Holloway cousins, Elmer and Otis also raced Willis runabout boats. The Holloway group won several first-place trophies but left the sport in 1956 to focus on raising their families. Don’s love for riding motorcycles, boating, and flying never waned. Don, and his wife, Patricia Sue Massey Holloway, would enjoy going to Don’s parents’ lake place at Fort Gibson Lake. There, the family of 5, which now included, the oldest daughter, Stephanie, son, Donald “Buz” Gary Holloway, Jr., and youngest daughter, Kelley, would fish, enjoy water sports, and the great outdoors. Don and his wife, Patricia raised their family in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, where Don served as Deacon at the historic First Christian Church. Each Sunday after church, the family, including Don’s brother, sister, and father would meet at their favorite Sapulpa and Tulsa restaurants with their spouses and children to talk about the week’s events and share their latest escapades. Don often quoted the Book of Psalms, “Show me the path of LIFE. In your presence, there is fullness of joy, in your right-hand pleasures forevermore.” Don was a wonderful father to his children. He trained,

and helped his 8-year-old son, Buz, win the Punt, Pass, and Kick Regional Competition in Tulsa. He provided his oldest daughter, Stephanie, with her piano and voice lessons. He made sure that his youngest daughter, Kelley, finally got that horse of her dreams. A delightful story that reflects Don’s unselfishness was when he wanted to take his family on the quintessential Route 66 summer vacation to California. Don saved his lunch money, and “rat holed” as much cash as he could under the boards in his closet for over a year to treat his children to this life experience. It was a fabulous vacation forever recorded in a homemade book with Polaroid photos by Don’s children.

In 1964, Texaco transferred Don and his family to Houston for 5 months, but they quickly returned to Sapulpa, Oklahoma – a place where their family thrived. Soon after, Don was hired by Fadler Corporation, Tulsa, Oklahoma, a vegetable, and production company, to run its data processing division. L.F. Fadler wrote about Don in his book, Challenge was my Master. Fadler wrote, “We called the IBM people from Oklahoma City, put a machine in, and got two excellent men to operate it. Don Adams was one. The other man was Don Holloway, a young fellow, who was smooth-talking and never got mad at anyone who got mad at him. I thought at first that he was working for IBM, not us. He had worked for us for six months when somebody said to me, ‘Don Holloway sure is a good employee.’

I said, ‘Whose employee?’ And was told that he was ours. Don was just an EXCELLENT man.” Fadler was purchased by Hale-Halsell Foods Distributor in 1976. In 1978, Don was challenged with the decision of whom to choose for his next career move. Mr. Johnny Morris, who got his start selling fishing tackle out of the back of his father’s store, flew Don, and his wife, Patricia, to Springfield, Missouri, for an interview. Mr. Morris was preparing to open Bass Pro Shops and other business enterprises. Mr. Morris wanted Don to set up a computer system and data processing to track sales for Johnny’s father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri. After a good night’s rest, Don and his wife decided to decline the offer because it involved alcohol. In 1978, Don was also offered a position with Amax Petroleum Corporation, one of his classmates, Lloyd Parks was the president. This position felt right to Don, but meant a move to Houston, Texas in 1978. Don’s first marriage ended. He remarried Sue Vanbuskirk Cares. Don’s successful career with Amax Petroleum Corporation spanned 15 years, ending in July 1993 with retirement. Don, and his wife, Sue, moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where they enjoyed boating on Lake Ouachita, and the lifestyle provided them by the beautiful Hot Springs area. Later, in 2012, Don and Sue returned to Houston to be near Sue’s only daughter, Danyel Cares. They settled in Tomball, Texas, and enjoyed playing tennis and taking road trips. A great life continued for Don until the loss of his wife, Sue, to ALS, on December 22, 2015. In 2018, Don moved to Lake Texoma near Denison, Texas, to be close to his three children, 7 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. There is one thing that Don shared his entire LIFE, and that was always wanting JOY for his family and friends. He would put others first at all costs. Don embodied unwavering altruism always and ends his earthly life embracing the simple joys that each day offered him. It is our hope that Donald Gary Holloway’s legacy will live on through his family. Don truly made a positive difference in this world, and, in the lives of others. Put simply, he was a LIGHT.

Don was preceded in death by his father, Jack Washington Holloway, mother, Mary Elizabeth Holloway, brother, Kenneth Ephram Holloway, sister, Frances Louise Holloway Porter, and wife, Suella Vanbuskirk Cares Holloway.

Don is survived by his first wife of 35 years, Patricia Holloway Dixon, and his 3 children, and their spouses, Stephanie and Chuck Henson, Christy, and Donald “Buz” Holloway, Kelley, and Bob Tucker. Stepdaughter, Danyel Cares. Grandchildren, Lindsey and Brandon Hart, Megan and Benny Christensen, Hayley Henson, Stacy and Michael Reese, Brett Holloway, Natalie and Colton Tucker, Brittany and Blake Hamilton. Great Grandchildren, Mia and Harrison Hart, Emilia and Evan Christensen, Cache, Crew, Cort, and Covington Reese, and Abigail and Judd Hamilton, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews, Jack Holloway, Sherrel and Greg Porter, Cheryl and Dick Holloway, Joy and Dan Holloway, as well as many other loved extended family members. As per Don’s request, his ashes will be buried with military honors, alongside his wife, Sue, at the Houston Military Cemetery, and at South Heights Cemetery in Sapulpa, Oklahoma alongside his mother, father, brother, and sister. Memorial service to be announced.