Frans Gillebaard

December 31, 1939July 26, 2013

Frans Gillebaard passed away July 26, 2013, in Bay Area Houston. He was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on Dec. 31, 1939. He was preceded in death by his parents Maria and Auke Gillebaard, his sister Mimi Endstra and his brother Gus Gillebaard. He is survived by his wife of 50 years Diane Jacqueline Steele Gillebaard, his brothers Hank Gillebaard and Bob Gillebaard, numerous nieces and nephews in the United States and The Netherlands, and his loving dog Lily. After living under Nazi domination during World War II, Gillebaard emigrated to the United States with his family in 1952 and became a U.S. citizen in 1957. He was always proud of his Dutch heritage. Until 1980, he was involved in his family’s international trade business, Holland Southwest, Inc. In 1980, he started the development and operation of restaurants on the Kemah, TX, waterfront. His first Kemah venture was the Flying Dutchman Restaurant and Oyster Bar, followed by the Brass Parrot Restaurant and Kemah Cantina. His real estate and investment businesses were Amstel Holdings Inc., Fradigil Inc. and Kemah Commissary Inc. He retired in 1997 after selling his Kemah restaurant properties to Landry’s. He was an early and long-time supporter of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership and served on its Executive Committee. He worked with the partnership to encourage all types of business in the Clear Lake area. He traveled to Washington, DC, for many years in support of manned space exploration, especially Johnson Space Center. In 2000, he was awarded the NASA Public Service Medal and in 2001 the Partnership’s Chairman’s Award. He served on the Executive Committee of the Development Board of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Previously he served on the Board of Visitors of Texas A&M University at Galveston and D&A Council of University of Houston Clear Lake. Previous community participation include boards and advisory councils of Maxim Bank, Galveston County Economic Development Alliance, North Galveston County Chamber of Commerce, Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Bridgeport Communities In Schools-Bay Area Program, the Bay Area Turning Point shelter for abused women and children. He and his wife Diane were named to the shelter’s Men and Women of Heart Hall of Fame. He was a member of Lakewood Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be sent to the Frans and Diane Gillebaard Scholarship at UTMB Development Office, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, Texas 77555-0148. A Remembrance gathering will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 at Lakewood Yacht Club, 2425 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook, TX 77586.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, August 1, 2013

Frans Gillebaard

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August 3, 2013

Diane, we are so sorry to hear of Frans passing. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Claire & I moved back to Houston about a year ago.

Dick Brooks

Mike & Lety Maddix

August 2, 2013

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

August 1, 2013

Frans and Diane were a great part of making the Bay Area Turning Point a reality in our Community Twenty Two years ago. Many lives have been touched and transformed by this family. I will miss you Frans.

Maria L. Longnecker

John Martinec

August 1, 2013

Diane, Carolyn and I always loved to be with your and Frans. Carolyn and Frans are now whopping it up together in Heaven. I know you miss Frans dearly, as I do Carolyn. God Bless You! John

July 31, 2013

My condolences to the bereaved family of Mr. Gillebaard. May you be comforted by looking forward to a time when those asleep in death will have the wonderful prospect of resuming life again free from all causes of death and the heartaches it brings.

Todd & Lori Whistler

July 31, 2013

Such a wonderful character that we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with! He will truly be missed and if we can do anything for you Diane just call us please!!

Sallie Humphries

July 31, 2013

An outstanding teacher and mentor to many. He left an indelible mark on the community and the lives of those who interacted with him throughout the years. RIP

Al ex Safieh

July 31, 2013

Our. Deepest sympathy for the Loss of great and respectful person. He was a good friend of the family. He will always be remembered in our prayers .

Alex and Mary Safieh- the Safieh's family

Anna-Lise McManus

July 30, 2013

Frans was a highly respected member of our Development Board at UTMB. His energy, enthusiasm and expertise will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family.

Mike Du Bois

July 30, 2013

Having known Frans for over 30 years I can say .... The Clear Lake area will certainly miss this man. He was a legend in his own time.