Michael Dean Preston

March 9, 1953June 17, 2020

Michael Dean Preston was born on March 9, 1953, in Corpus Christi, TX, and died peacefully with his wife by his side on June 17, 2020, at the age of 67 in Dallas, TX after an eight month long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Michael was born to Carol Dean and Patricia Preston, the fourth of six children. He was raised mostly in Webster Groves, MO, but spent two of his elementary school years in Arkansas. Summers were spent traveling around the country, working with his siblings in their family lead salvaging business. After graduating from Webster Groves High School in 1971, Michael chose to attend Utah State University in Logan, UT, to earn a degree in Landscape Architecture. After graduating in 1975, he was hired by HOK, an architectural firm in St. Louis, MO, before transferring to their Dallas office in 1978. While at HOK, he met a young Belgian interior architect, Brigitte Van Echelpoel, who would later become his wife. They were wed on September 25, 1982. Together, they had three children and lived in Denver and London, traveling the country and the world for work and leisure, before settling down in Dallas, TX, in 1993. Over the years, Mike worked as a landscape architect for HOK, HNTB, Talley & Associates, and ran his own architectural metalwork business. He spent two years living and working in the Middle East, managing the landscape design for the Qatar Airport, before retiring in 2017.

Michael was an artist and designer who loved graphics and drawing, a traveler with a keen sense of direction and love for the open road, an amateur meteorologist, and a grill master. He was obsessed with anything on wheels - an avid car, airplane, motorcycle and bicycle enthusiast. He was a good, hardworking Midwestern guy, but acquired European sensibilities thanks to his travels and his wife’s family. He was down to earth with a dry sense of humor, a creature of habit who was fiercely loyal, and an individualist with a rebellious streak.

Michael is survived by his wife of 38 years, Brigitte, his two daughters, Laura and Emily, his son, Ryan, and son-in-law, John. He is also survived by his sisters, Kathy Lanson and Chris Brennan, and his brothers, Tim Preston and Peter Preston, along with their spouses, children and grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his mother Patricia Hansel Preston, his father Carol Dean Preston, and his brother Steve Preston.

There will be a socially distant wake at the outdoor pavilion at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home on Monday, June 22nd, 2020, between 4pm and 7pm. Please dress for the warm weather and wear a mask. The address is 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX. You can find more information on their website:

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network ( or the Anticancer Fund ( in honor of Michael.


  • Wake

    Monday, June 22, 2020


Michael Dean Preston

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jerry Lanson

June 26, 2020

I met Mike 52 years ago in his family home in Webster Groves, Mo. I was 19. He was 15. Only he had a rifle, which was pointed at me as I woke up from a nap in an upstairs bedroom. I'd showed up at the house with his older sister Kathy after flying in from Colorado and, when she found the house locked, she broke in, with me in tow. Only no one in her family knew that when they got home a few hours later. No worries. The gun wasn't loaded and I soon discovered my brother-in-law-to-be was a really good guy. I think what most stayed with me about Mike over the years is how good he was with kids, his own, our two daughters, my grandkids. He could always bring a smile to their faces.

debora kolb

June 23, 2020

This is such sad news. I was fortunate to work with both Mike and Brigitte in Dallas. And to know them as friends. I remember Mike as such steady, level-headed guy who you could always count on to work hard and make you laugh with his wry sense of humor. He was a great guy, someone you wanted to work with.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Joe Pobiner

June 22, 2020

So sad to hear of Mike's passing. I had the good fortune of sitting next to him at HOK's Lovers Lane office and learned so much just by listening to him. The Dallas design industry has lost another talented and exceptional professional.

Tom Deighton

June 22, 2020

Mike will be missed by all. He was a great father and husband. He will always be in the memories of the Pampas Indian Princess dad's and daughters. Always a great contributor to our events.

He earned the right to wear the Pampas scepter and sash forever.

From the hearts of the Pampas dad's and daughters

Gordon Gilmore

June 22, 2020

Mike was a good friend and neighbor, a great co-worker, and a faithful husband and father.
Always missed. Never forgotten.


Doug Harden

June 22, 2020

Mike, you will be missed. Your time with all of us turned out way to short. My expectation is for you and Charles to throw a party for the rest of us upon our arrival.

Brigitte, you and Mike made a great pair. Let us know how we might help you in the coming months.

Doug Harden.