The world lost a great deal of color on November 1, 2022, but heaven gained.
Jack Don Bullock was born February 7, 1928, in Handley, TX, to Ima and Alex Stephens. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High in Lakewood, Dallas. Don was a gifted art and math student, but reading and writing were formidable challenges for him. No one knew it at the time, but he had dyslexia. Don couldn’t read when he graduated high school and everything he achieved in the following decades of his life he did while struggling to read and write.
At 21 years old, Don started working at The General American Oil Company, where he met Shirley Ann Black. The two were married on August 11, 1954. When he was 35, he took the Dale Carnegie course “How to Win Friends and Influence people.” Fueled by this inspiration, he quit his job of 15 years to build Don’s Port Marina.
Shirley had told him about an ad for property on Cedar Creek, a manmade lake which had yet to be filled with water. Don’s vision of owning a marina on that lake-to-be kept him up at night. His parents thought he was crazy to quit a good paying job with benefits to chase a dream, but his wife Shirley was behind him. And once he bought a piece of land and started spending every weekend fixing it up, his parents got behind him too, building their house at Don’s Port while Cedar Creek was still dry. Once the rain filled the lake, more people followed.
After seven years of running the hottest marina in town with Shirley, Don sold Don’s Port and used the money to invest in land just outside Athens. He built the two lakes that would become Moonshine Creek, stocked the lakes with bass, and developed the land around it. And once again, friends and strangers alike followed his lead, buying up the new lakefront properties he created.
For the next fifty years, Don bought and sold land, developing farm, ranch, and lake real estate throughout East Texas and The Hill Country. He sold his last piece of land in 2020, at 92 years old.
In addition to real estate, Don was a painter, a mosaic artist, a cartoonist, a carpenter, a writer, a mentor, and an avid fisherman. He always had a project going, leaping into action the moment inspiration struck. And he inspired so many with his spirit, his art, his wit, and his wonderful stories. He started writing in his mid 80s, publishing “Recollections, Tall Tales, & Out ’n Out Lies,” “Buzzard Tales and Lakewood Rats,” and “Pulley” in the last 7 years of his life.
Throughout his life, Don was a great friend to countless people, and he took many under his wing, making everyone who got close to him feel like family. He was a visionary, a man of action, and always the life of the party.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, Ima and Alex Bullock, his sister, Nadima Kissire, and his daughter in-law, Cindy Bullock. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Bullock, his daughter, Donna Bullock-Sherman and her husband Howard Sherman, his son, Charlie Bullock, and his granddaughter, Hannah Sherman.
We are eternally grateful to the heroic caregivers who were there with him at the end of his life, our dear Rose, his physical therapist Clay, as well as Keiana, Rusty, Kathy, and especially Brandy from Hospice Plus. In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to donate to the Henderson County Food Pantry or the American Cancer Society.
Services will be held at Saint Matthias Episcopal Church on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at 2:00 p.m, with Father Matthew Frick officiating.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Hannigan Smith Funeral Home family.