Dan Gibson "Gib" Walton, age 62, died suddenly on Thursday, the 7th of February 2013, in his law office in Houston, Texas. He was widely recognized as a devoted family man, extraordinary trial lawyer, dedicated civic servant, and enthusiastic friend to many around the world.
Born in Houston, Texas in 1950, Gib attended Robert E. Lee High School. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Virginia and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors. Gib was a student leader at The University, living on The Lawn and serving on the Honor Committee. He was a member of Zeta Psi social fraternity, and the Raven Society, the oldest honorary society at the University of Virginia. Most importantly, he met his wife, Martha, while attending Virginia. Following his graduation, Gib and Martha were married on the 24th of June 1972. They moved to Austin, Texas for Gib to attend The University of Texas School of Law. Gib received a J.D. with honors and was a member of the Texas Law Review, Order of the Coif, Phi Delta Phi, and the Legal Eagles flag football team.
Gib began his legal career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He subsequently joined the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins where he was elected into the partnership and served as head of the General Litigation section. Gib was also a member of the Vinson & Elkins Management Committee. He joined Hogan Lovells in 2009, serving as co-leader of its Global Projects, Engineering, and Construction practice.
Throughout his 38 year legal career, Gib first-chaired over 40 jury trials and was the lead trial lawyer in hundreds of other lawsuits, arbitrations, and appeals. He argued 13 appeals before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Texas Court of Appeals, and one appeal before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He was inducted into membership as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the International Association of Defense Counsel. He was also on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Appellate and Civil Trial Specialists. Gib received the Anti-Defamation League Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award, the Phi Beta Kappa Outstanding Alumnus Award, the President's Award from the State Bar of Texas, the Judge Sam Williams Leadership Award from the State Bar of Texas, and the Michael J. Crowley Award from the State Bar of Texas. He was recognized in Chambers USA, General Commercial Litigation; Texas Super Lawyers; Super Lawyers, Business Litigation; and Legal 500, Energy Litigation.
Always known for his dedicated and selfless service to the legal community, he served as President of the State Bar of Texas and President of the Houston Bar Association. Gib was Chair of the Texas Bar Foundation, Chair of the Houston Bar Foundation, Master of the Garland Walker American Inns of Court, a member of the Committee on Admissions for the U.S. District Courts - Southern District of Texas, and on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Appellate and Civil Trial Specialists.
In the Houston community, Gib served on the Board of many civic organizations. He was passionate about The Methodist Hospital, serving on its Board of Directors for 15 years and as its Vice Chair. He also was a director of Brookwood Community, Briarwood School, and a trustee for the Cullen Trust for Healthcare.
A deeply spiritual man, Gib was a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church. At the time of his death, he was serving his third term as Chancellor of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Gib also served St. Luke's as Chair of its Board of Stewards and its Board of Trustees.
Gib's greatest legacy is his family. He loved his wife, Martha, with all his heart; he was extremely proud of his children, Cole and Emily, both of whom graduated from his alma mater, the University of Virginia; he adored his daughter-in-law, Crystal; and he cherished his only grandchild, Cambrey.
Gib was preceded in death by his parents, State District Judge Dan Edward Walton and Lucy Frances Walton. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Martha Sandlin Walton; mother-in-law, Marthanel "Mimi" Miller Sandlin; son, Cole Gibson Walton; daughter-in-law, Crystal Boeker Walton; granddaughter, Cambrey Cole Walton; daughter, Emily Wyatt Walton; sister, Georgia "Gigi" Walton Tylander and her husband, William Hamilton Tylander, Jr.; brother, Dan Thomas Walton and his wife, Katie Kinderman Walton. Surviving nieces and nephews are William Hamilton Tylander III and his wife, Jane Elgard Tylander and their daughter, Frida Elgard Tylander; Elizabeth Chase Tylander; Rachel Frances Walton; and Andrew Hill Walton.
Gib was a humble servant of the Lord, a loved family member, and a great friend to all. His strong, kind spirit will be greatly missed.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 12th of February, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The memorial service is to be conducted at three o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, the 13th of February, in the Sanctuary of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road in Houston, where Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor, and Bishop Janice Huey, are to officiate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Gib's memory may be directed to St. Luke's United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 22013, Houston, TX, 77227-2013; The Methodist Hospital, P. O. Box 4384, Houston, TX, 77210-4384; or to the Brookwood Community, 1752 F. M. 1489, Brookshire, TX, 77423.