H. Donald (Don) Lofton passed away at home on March 23, 2023 at the age of 84.
Don was born in his family home in Port Arthur, Texas on October 27, 1938. He was the last of six children born to Herbert and Mary Lofton, who provided a loving Christian home. Don and Mattie were among the Founding Members of the Fulshear Church of Christ. This work was so important to them and brought them both so much joy, unfortunately Don was not able to attend services in the newly completed building.
Don graduated from Port Neches Groves High School in 1957, where he lettered in football and track. Mattie & Don married in 1958, while Mattie was still in high school. In 1959, with the birth of Rhonda, Mattie and Don together wholeheartedly committed to raising this child in a loving Christian home. While working part-time, Don started college while Mattie began working full time. Money was tight and had to be well budgeted, which were much appreciated well learned lifetime lessons.
Don graduated from Lamar University with a B.S. in Education in 1967 and began his Coaching/Teaching career at Woodrow Wilson Jr High in Port Arthur, Texas. During this time, he also received his Masters at McNeese University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. After ten years at Woodrow Wilson he left to coach football at Forest Park High School in Beaumont, Texas. In 1978, Don began coaching at Central Junior High in Nederland, Texas. During this time, he received his Counseling Certificate from Lamar University. Don retired from Nederland I.S.D in 1998. The wonderful lifelong friends that we made through coaching continue to be part of our family, our hearts and our prayers. To keep himself busy, Don bought and worked on a 1930 Model A and a 1957 Classic Chevy – he got both cars back to showroom beauty.
Woodworking was Don’s favorite hobby and he built so many nice pieces which all “his girls” so highly treasured. Don was a very good handyman, and he could fix just about anything, a skill he learned from his very handy brother-in-laws. While in college, his parents moved to the lake and offered the family home to Mattie and Don as a way of helping with their schooling. With the help of a more talented friend, they totally remodeled the home which Don was raised in and continued to live in it for the next twenty-five years, when they built the beautiful home to be their forever home in LaBelle. Unfortunately, Hurricane Ike destroyed the entire subdivision resulting in Don and Mattie moving to Fulshear and building their current home.
Don, Mattie, and Rhonda enjoyed many vacations, camping trips,and lots of laughs with their adventures. After Rhonda and Don married, Mattie and Don really started traveling including spring break ski trips, Alaskan Cruise & land tour with their dear friends the Lindsey’s, and lots of travels in the U.S. and Canada with dear friends the Kellner’s. They enjoyed the beaches in Mexico and many west coast destinations. Don especially enjoyed the trip they took the year he retired – the first time he was able to take a fall vacation and they were gone a whole month (in a pop-up camper!) from LaBelle to Bar Harbor Maine watching the leaves change their colors. They still loved the relaxing camping trips with just the two of them.
Don wasn’t quite sure how becoming a grandparent was going to change his life. But Lindsay and Lacey were his pride and joy. Being their PaPa was something he treasured in life. While Mattie was busy sewing nursery bedding or clothes for Lindsay and Lacey, Don was just as busy building doll strollers and highchairs. Shared by the Clayton family: the most treasured is the baby cradle that he built in 1985. It has now held six babies and it will be his legacy in our family for years to come.Most of his traveling was spent on I-10 from LaBelle to Katy. They were always supporting the girls in their dance recitals, piano recitals, and sporting events. When the girls became Cougar Stars, they came to EVERY Cinco Ranch game to watch them dance and continued to support Don and the Cougars after the girls graduated.
Grant, Cailynn, Clayton, and Charlotte were blessed by the same devotion he gave to their moms. He loved seeing them all together playing or swimming. Celebrating holidays and birthdays was very special to him…he just sat back and enjoyed the craziness…but we really believe he did turn his hearing aid down!! He loved them racing to be the first to get to PaPa. He recently purchased a new battery for his John Deere tractor because Grant and Clayton would be wanting to ride when they came over. He loved going to support them in all their activities – PaPa just loved everything about these babies.
Survivors include his devoted wife of 65 years, Mattie, daughter Rhonda Clayton and husband Don of Fulshear. Granddaughters Lindsay Lane and husband Ryan and Lacey Berlau and husband Logan. Great grandchildren Cailynn and Clayton Lane, Grant and Charlotte Berlau.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 15 at the Fulshear Church of Christ at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Don’s name may be given to “Charlotte’s Coupe Club” at Texas Children’s Hospital, Heart Center. PaPa loved cars, especially classics, and Charlotte was known for cruising the halls of TCH in her coupe car. Through these funds, the TCH Heart Center will be able to refresh and grow their fleet and it will be known as “Charlotte’s Coupe Club”.