|Birth: ||Mar. 1, 1932|
|Death: ||Nov. 10, 2006|
Published: November 15, 2006
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat
Donald Lee Acree, 74, died on November 10, 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Don was born March 1, 1932 in Pauls Valley, Garvin County, Okla., to the late James L. and Gladys J. Fleming Acree.
As a child he attended the one room Beaty School in the Garvin County Public Schools and later excelled in high school and was distinguished as an Oklahoma High School Honor Society student. He graduated with honors from Pauls Valley High School in 1950.
He served in the United States Air Force for three years before beginning his business career in earnest.
Traveling to California in the mid-1950s, Don explored a number of jobs but ended up back in the southwest in Ft. Worth where he worked for a unit of Fruehauf Trailer Corp.
Early on, Don's communications talents were recognized by his employers, and he moved swiftly through the company into administration. Eventually he accompanied his boss William Grace to Fruehauf's corporate headquarters in Detroit when Grace was promoted to vice president for National Sales.
Don decided to expand his opportunities for advancement and Mr. Grace encouraged him in his pursuit. While working long days and attending college at night and on weekends, Don managed to complete his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in record time.
In 1972 he graduated with honors from the Detroit Institute of Technology, College of Business Administration. He was on the Dean's List during each year of his term and was recognized by the Wall Street Journal with a Student Achievement Award. In addition he was elected to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for three consecutive years.
Don remained closely associated with Mr. Grace through Grace's ascension to the post of chairman of the board at Fruehauf which was then the world's largest manufacturer of truck trailers and shipping containers.
While working for Mr. Grace, Don routinely hosted business leaders from around the world. He accompanied the chairman on dozens of trips to other countries and learned their customs. He was especially fond of Germany and Soctland.
Don continued as Mr. Grace's personal assistant until Grace's retirement. Don then managed the company's research development operations until his own retirement.
After retiring from Fruehauf, Don spent his free time traveling and enjoying the company of a wide circle of friends in the Detroit area. Don was an avid golfer and considered the game to be a metaphor for life. Over the years he played some of the most famous golf courses in the world including the oldest and most revered courses in Scotland where the game began.
When Don's parents could no longer care for the family home, he returned to Pauls Valley. For the next few years he maintained his Detroit home spending summers in Michigan and winters in Oklahoma, but soon moved to Pauls Valley full time. In 1995 he put away his suitcases and settled down to a quieter life on the family's 20 acres in Garvin County.
All who knew Don were impressed by his business acumen and thoughtful discussions about local, state and national politics. He was known to be a charming gentleman whose world travel and insight made for interesting and spirited discussions that could continue for hours. He was rarely at a loss for words.
Don was a daily visitor to the Nora Sparks Warren Library in Pauls Valley where he was well known and admired for his knowledge of the business world. He read the Wall Street Journal, Daily Oklahoman and Daily Democrat, cover-to-cover without fail. Even after his illness prevented his trips to the library, friends delivered his newspapers daily until he was no longer able to read them.
Don's nephew, Danny Acree of Sherman, Texas will direct part of the estate's money to the Pauls Valley library to endow an expanded business section in Don's memory.
He is survived by his bother Robert B. Acree of Downey, California, and sister Wilma Acree-King, Annandale,Virginia, as well as many other relatives in Oklahoma, Texas and across the nation. He was preceded in death by his brother Paul G. Acree.
Near the end, Don formed close friendships with those who cared for him and he will be dearly missed by all. A private graveside service will be held for friends and relatives at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be made to the Nora Sparks Warren Library in Pauls Valley.
The Acree family would like to thank all of the caregivers, nurses and hospice professionals who worked as a team to provide comfort and support for Don during the final months of his life. The caregivers in particular were a source of compaionship and comfort for Don. His neighbors John and Georgia Qualls are also thanked for their many kindnesses.
James Lowell Acree (1902 - 1984)
Gladys J. Fleming Acree (1904 - 1997)
Herbert L. Acree (1929 - 1930)**
Donald Lee Acree (1932 - 2006)
Donald Lee Acree (1932 - 2006)*
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Created by: Phil & Donna (Stricklan)...
Record added: Nov 27, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16807989