Donald Winn

Don was born September 18, 1951 in Coral Gables, Florida to Jack and Irene (Reed) Winn. As an infant their family moved to Houston, Texas. He attended Annunciation Catholic School in downtown Houston at the early age of 4. His adventures started early in life beginning with dropping out of high school at 16 years old. After attending the infamous Woodstock concert where he got to see “all the cool bands”, he began playing bass guitar with several friends and played in a band for many years. In between he sailed with his best friend Larry Nixon to Mumbi, India as an assistant cook. The Nixons were always a second family to him and still are today. The experience opened his eyes to the real world. Unfortunately, due to illness, he had to return home early. After recovering, he returned to school and graduated from Lamar High School in 1969. By driving a Yellow Cab, he afforded himself the opportunity to attend the University of Houston. He was accepted to medical school after graduating in 1976, but decided not to take that path and instead went to work as a laboratory research assistant with the Baylor College of Medicine. He later went to work for Shell Research and Development. It was there that he met the love of his life, Barbara. After a year of courtship, they were married September 6, 1986. Together they raised his stepdaughter, Julie.

Don had a love of running and would often run 5 or 6 miles a day. He loved his dogs and a special family of squirrels and enjoyed life to the fullest. He had a unique spark of genius that amazed all who knew him. He was known as the “Mad Scientist” to many of his friends. After early retirement from Shell in 1992, he and Barbara moved to the Lyons community where he raised many dogs, enjoyed the peaceful nature of country living and collected many antique relics. Don was blessed with a life-saving liver transplant on November 16, 1998 and lived another 17 amazing years. He was the oldest and longest living liver transplant recipient known. He was called home to our Heavenly Father on January 16, 2016 after a short battle with cancer.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 29 years, stepdaughter, Julie and son-in-law John Mullen. His two grandsons, Quint and Zane, knew him as “Grandude” and “the squirrel whisperer”, and always brought that special sparkle to his eyes. He was very proud of them both. He is also, survived by his brother, William R. Winn of Houston and sister-in-law Judy and husband Tom Ingram of California, his special dog “Captain Dawson” and many friends.

Thank you to Hospice of Brazos Valley, all the angelic nurses and doctors, especially Dr. Richard Morgan, Dr. Scott Chenault, Dr. John Stonecipher, Dr. Tim and all who assisted him throughout his life.

A special celebration of life will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to Hospice Brazos Valley. 502 W. 26th Street, Bryan, TX 77803. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory.

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  1. God bless you and comfort you at this time. He is the source of all our comfort. We are praying for you.
    Bro. Rudy & Lena

  2. Barbara – As you know it was a pleasure to assist Don as Guardian of William. He will be missed. God Bless you and your family.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about Donnie. The good ones go too soon. Love to you all.
    Becky Lewis Siller

  4. Barb so sorry to hear about Don. If there is anything I can help you with please let me know.
    You know we are Post Office family.

  5. Barbara and family,

    Lisa and I were very sad to hear that Don had passed our prayers are with you Barbara and all of your family. Don lived his life as many may dream of and more of what you might almost read in a Life or National Geographic magazine. I can still see and hear him laughing when we would talk and joke about anything and everything. The first time Lisa and I came to the house up by Lake Somerville we got out of our truck and only walked about 10 feet and suddenly there were several shots from a semi-automatic rifle. I wanted to run Lisa was scared not knowing for sure if we were in fact at Don and Barbs new house. Suddenly the front door opened with Barb yelling at Don to stop shooting and that Lisa and I were in the front yard. It just turned out that Don was relaxing on his back porch and was shooting his rifle at some targets in the backyard from a recliner chair. It was really hard to get Don on a serious side even fighting fires at Texas A&M years back on the Shell Fire Rescue team. When we worked together here at Shell I had a nickname for him “Don on Keyboards” because he looked like a ROCKER and he was always beating on computer key boards out here. He had a knack for fixing computers or most anything he engaged. The only time I saw him stumped was repairing and installing a side garage door on the house in Mission Bend. He had ripped out the entire frame to the studs and called me at home one day to come over and help him install a new one. Well if you ever worked with Don what was most likely a 2 hour project turned into a full 8-10 hour job…. Road trip to Home Depot getting tools and really not working that hard it was just all the side tracking, talking, and breaks required to accomplish such a task working with Don as you may know. Lisa and I pray that Don is now in peace and he is no longer in any pain. He is sitting on a beach in heaven with toes in the sand, hair in the wind and a cool one next to his chair petting a dog.
    Be cool and peace on always Don Winn
    Gary & Lisa Souther

  6. Barb, sorry to hear about Don, just read about him in the Caldwell newspaper. He was a great guy and we will miss him. We have you in our prayers.

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