Albert W. "Al" Dugan, Jr., oil man and financier, passed away on the 15th of October 2011, at his home in Houston. He was President and C.E.O. of Nortex Corporation, a private oil company that he founded in 1957.
He became a recognized name in the Houston oil and gas business, and while drilling wildcat wells, assembling lease blocks, and buying production he also became involved in many other types of businesses and investments including those in real estate, mining and other areas.
Al Dugan, born on the 6th of August 1928, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, began his long career as a consummate entrepreneur at North Carolina State College where he studied engineering, wrote a column for the student newspaper and published short stories. In the late 1940's he promoted concerts and dances featuring the big bands of the era, including Spike Jones and Gene Krupa. He had the good fortune to meet his future wife, Lydia, on Carolina Beach, North Carolina, and they eloped in 1949. This past March was their 62nd wedding anniversary. Prior to coming to Houston in the 1950's, Al was co-owner of a successful real estate development and construction company in Augusta, Georgia. In recent years he was one of West Galveston Island's largest land owners including the Pointe San Luis subdivisions and acreage that became the Pointe West development. Al had extensive ties with the country of Belize for many years and served as its Honorary Consul. He co-owned Paradise Resort Hotel on Ambergris Caye, Belize with his friend, Jerry McDermott. He also developed his own eco-tourist lodge in Belize known as Blackbird Caye Resort which enabled visitors to participate in a dolphin observation and research program. As a member of the Explorers Club, which was founded in New York City in 1904, Al was given the honor of carrying the club flag to Blackbird in recognition of the achievement of establishing the dolphin program on that remote island.
Al was a co-founder of several public companies including Duquesne Natural Gas (1965), Oxoco (1975), Texon Energy (1976), Crown Resources (1986), and Standard Gypsum (1990). He was also instrumental over many years in the progress of United States Antimony Corporation, a publically traded mining company. In addition to his many business ventures, Al was a long-time Board member of Cenikor Foundation in Houston, and received recognition for his participation with the organization. Cenikor is a treatment community dedicated to those who are struggling with addiction. He was also a passionate supporter of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, which for 40 years has been a leading center for the exploration of human potential, psychology and spirituality. He formed the Dugan Foundation to support various charitable interests.
Al was preceded in death by his parents and by his loving son, the late James Edward Dugan. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Lydia; his son, Patrick W. Dugan; his grandson, Alex Dugan; his step-grandson, Harrison Willett and family; his brother, Joel Dugan and wife, Ellen; and his sisters, Mary Alice Gallagher and Patsy Woller. Arrangements in Houston are with Geo. H. Lewis(s)and(s)Sons, The Funeral Directors Since 1936, (713) 789 - 3005, www.geohlewis.com
The memorial service is to be conducted at two o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 21st of October, in the Main Sanctuary of Unity Church of Christianity, 2929 Unity Drive in Houston, where Rev. Howard Caesar, Senior Minister, is to officiate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception at a venue to be announced during the service. Prior to the service, the family will have gathered for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that donations in Al's memory be directed to Cenikor Foundation, 11111 Katy Frwy, Ste. 500, Houston, TX, 77079 (cenikor.org,); or the Esalen Institute, Donations Coordinator, 55000 Hwy 1, Big Sur, CA, 93920 (esalen.org).