OBITUARY

Donald J Kouri

July 25, 1938February 9, 2021
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Donald Jack Kouri, age 82, went to be with his Lord and Savior on February 9, 2021 in Sugar Land, Texas. Don was born in Hobart, Oklahoma on July 25, 1938. He grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma and graduated from Lawton High School. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He then attended the University of Wisconsin for his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Theoretical Chemistry. After receiving his Ph.D., he did his post-doctoral study at The Joint Institute for Laboratory Astro Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In 1967 he began his 53-year long career at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas in the Department of Chemistry. As his career progressed, he was awarded the Cullen Distinguished Professor Chair in Physics. He was on the faculty in the Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics departments at U of H. His list of achievements is numerous, and notably include: Sigma Xi Faculty Research Excellence Award; The Special Creativity Award-National Science Foundation; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow; Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Oklahoma Baptist University; and the Humboldt Award of the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation.

Don was well known in the scientific community and his published works number greater than 400 publications. Don taught with enthusiasm and helped his students to excel and reach their full potential. Don received the Undergraduate Research Mentors Award in 2020. He was incredibly proud of his research students as he considered them to be his “scientific legacy.” The hallmark of his life was his Christian faith. He was a member and deacon at Willow Meadows Baptist Church in Houston, Texas for 53 years. During his time attending, he was able to lead others deeper into their faith walk with Jesus. Besides teaching, he was an active member of the music ministry at Willow Meadows. His love of music led him to compose different works and several of them were also published. Don had an ability to relate to children and help them find their voice. The joy he exuded when spending time with children was contagious and children gravitated to him.

Don and Shirley were married April 9th, 1965 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During their almost 56-year marriage they shared so many special memories together while traveling the world and also watching their family grow. Don and Shirley took their marriage vows very seriously and walked hand in hand no matter where they lived or wherever Don’s research led them. His career took them to places such as Germany, Israel, and China. They loved one another and supported each other through the years while leaning on each other and the Lord as a pillar of their marriage. Don was incredibly proud of his children and grandchildren. They were the bright stars of his life.

Don is predeceased by his father and mother, Eddie Kouri, and Theresa LaJuan Williams Kouri and his infant daughter, Shelia Ann Kouri. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann Stewart Kouri of Richmond, Texas; his daughter, Lisa Renee Kouri Longworth and her husband Daryl, of Richmond, Texas; and his son, David Matthew Kouri and his wife Hana, of Kyle, Texas. Also surviving are his seven grandchildren: Sarah Renee Taylor Munday, (Michael); Grayson Kyle Taylor, (Ashlyn); Alexandra Renee Longworth; Logan James Longworth; Alixander Moser; Isabella Moser; and Hunter Ann Kouri; and by two great-grandchildren, Maddox Gray Munday and Sadie Renee Munday. Don is also survived by his older brother, George Kouri.

We are all so grateful that Don used his spiritual gifts to teach others throughout the course of his life. Out of all the things he taught us, some of the most important lessons were: it’s alright to laugh the loudest, never stop learning, love your spouse with all you have, and always point everything back to Jesus.

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Memories

Donald J Kouri

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Conrad and Pam Walch

February 26, 2021

Don and Shirley Kouri have been friends of ours for 55 years. I cannot begin to express how we have loved this couple. Our children were close to the same ages, and we laughed together and cried together through the years. Shirley, we will miss Don's fun sense of humor and his wisdom. And at this difficult time, we want to be there for you in any way we can. God bless you in the years ahead.

Connor Nguyen

February 23, 2021

Professor Kouri is a very good man with his warm heart, especially his intellect. He was a great mentor of mine. I wish him well in heaven.

Melissa Jones

February 22, 2021

Don is an inspiration of the kind of person and Christian we should be. It was an honor to have know him. We will miss him and all his wisdom. He was a great friend and mentor. We pray for his family at this time that God give them strength and peace.

With all our hearts,
Ryan and Melissa Jones

charles poor

February 21, 2021

I first met Don a long time ago, perhaps around 1957, as we both were students at Oklahoma Baptist University. I was a friend of his brother George and we were about three years older than Don. I remember being immediately impressed with Don, particularly his warmth and humor, along with, of course, his intellect. Also immediately apparent was his commitment to his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. These attributes never waned as he grew into adulthood. We both ended up in Houston, and though our paths didn't cross much, my admiration and fond memories of Don, (particularly his infectious laugh), his sweet wife Shirley and his older brother George have remained strong. As a fellow Christian, I look forward to having a "glad reunion" with Don in heaven.

Charlie Poor - OBU Class of 1958

David Hoffman

February 20, 2021

Don and I first met about 60 years ago when we were both graduate students at the University of Wisconsin. Some years after graduating, we began a research collaboration that lasted until my retirement. Don's scientific work was marked by intuition, insight and an adventureous spirit.. Because of his infectuous enthusiasm, he was fun to work with. He was s great collaborator and a wonderful friend.

Wayne Shull

February 17, 2021

Don and Shirley were some of our first friends when Fran and I were first married and in their Sunday school class some 51 years ago. Don was always an inspiration as to how to live a Christian life with joy.
He and Shirley were always willing to open their home for wonderful times of fellowship.

Gary Long

February 17, 2021

The Longs send our prayers and fondest memories of the time we shared with the Kouri’s at WMBC and our sympathies to the family over Don’s death. We celebrate his life and give thanks for his faith in Jesus, his smarts, his laugh, his music, and his love for others.

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