Don Brandon Frels
Don Brandon Frels of Rockport, (formally of Edna, Texas), passed away, Sunday, February 3, 2019, at the age of 81. He was born in Jackson County, on December 11, 1937, to the late Walter Frels and Mary Laughter Frels. Don, along with his sister Suzanne Brantley of Menard and brother Pierce Frels of Peoria, Illinois, grew up farming near the small community of Lolita along the banks of the Lavaca River. It was there he developed a life-long love appreciation for the outdoors and wildlife. During his days at Industrial High School, he played sports and was an avid hunter and fisherman. At 6’7”, he was a natural athlete and was offered a scholarship to play football for Texas A&M University. He graduated in 1960 with a degree in Wildlife Management and immediately went to work for the Wildlife Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a biologist in East Texas. His leadership skills evident, he promoted quickly to become a Regional Director for Wildlife and eventually moved to Rockport where he worked until his retirement in 1995. Personable, direct but respectful, he made his opinions known. As a regional supervisor, he believed in the talents and abilities of his staff and tirelessly endeavored to provide them the means necessary to succeed. Admired and respected by friend and foe alike, he was a staunch advocate for field staff who commonly referred to him simply as “Big Daddy.” Don is survived by his two children from his first marriage to Betty Jane Minten; daughter, Judy Annette Frels Ward, of Keller; and her sons, Will Ward, Don B. Frels Jr. of Rockport, his wife Suzanne Frels, and their children, Tara Frels and Victoria Frels; step-son, Darrin Gathright of League City, his wife Lisa Gathright; and their sons, Dustin, Dillon, Travis. He is preceded in death by his loving wife of many years Sherry Kay Frels. Per his wishes, an informal graveside service will be held at the family cemetery in Jackson County near Edna, Texas. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First United Methodist Building Fund. FUMC of Edna, PO Box 790, Edna, TX 77957. Arrangements are under the direction of Oaklawn Funeral Home in Edna. 361-782-2221.