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Dan Gibson Walton dead at 62 after long Houston law career

Erica Quiro, Houston Chronicle
Updated 11:22 pm, Sunday, February 10, 2013
  • People in business   July 6, 2002 - bkBodyTextHouston lawyer, D. Gibson "Gib" Walton, a partner in Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P., has been named the recipient of the Crowley Award presented by the State Bar of Texas. / email
    People in business July 6, 2002 - bkBodyTextHouston lawyer, D. Gibson "Gib" Walton, a partner in Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P., has been named the recipient of the Crowley Award presented by the State Bar of Texas. Photo: email

 

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Dan Gibson "Gib" Walton, former president of the State Bar of Texas, mentor and civic servant, died Thursday. He was 62.

"People who I haven't spoken to in 10 years are telling me about the impact he made on their lives," his son, Cole Walton, 30, said. "He would always say the right thing and no matter what situation he was in, could put anyone at ease."

Walton was born on March 26, 1950, in Houston and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School.

He received a football scholarship to the University of Virginia, where he met his wife, Martha, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in 1972.

The son of former Texas State Judge Dan Edward Walton, he studied law at the University of Texas School of Law and graduated with honors.

"My dad was taught a deep respect for law, authority and rules," Walton said. "He worked hard and passed away doing what he loved."

Throughout his 38-year legal career, Walton was honored with the Anti-Defamation League Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, the Phi Beta Kappa Outstanding Alumnus Award, the President's Award, the Judge Sam Williams Leadership Award and the Michael J. Crowley Award, all from the State Bar of Texas.

On hospital board

In the Houston community, Walton was passionate about helping the Methodist Hospital, serving on its board of directors for 15 years. He was also was a director of Brookwood Community and the Briarwood School and a trustee for the Cullen Trust for Healthcare.

"My dad cared about the people around him and working at Methodist was a good way for him to make a big impact on a lot of people," Cole Walton said.

Walton said his dad was a spiritual man and an active member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church.

"He did so many things for so many people, but you wouldn't know it because he wouldn't talk about it," Cole Walton said.

'Wonderful father'

D. Ferguson McNiel, an attorney at the law firm Vinson & Elkins said Walton was a special person.

"He was a wonderful father to Cole and Emily and had a remarkable marriage to Martha," McNiel said. "He cared for everyone he worked with and was always available to help others."

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Martha Sandlin Walton; son Cole Gibson Walton; daughter-in-law Crystal Boeker Walton; granddaughter Cambrey Cole Walton and daughter Emily Wyatt Walton.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Geo. H. Lewis and Sons, 1010 Bering Dr. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer with a reception immediately after.