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Donald R. Philbin

Obituary for Donald R. Philbin

July 11, 1937 - October 6, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 80

... was dedicated to the charitable work that Rotary does throughout the world ...


Donald R. Philbin, loving husband, father, grandfather, and son passed away on October 6, 2017.

Don was born on July 11, 1937, to Floyd and Challie Philbin in Lubbock, Texas. As a boy / young man, Don traveled from Texas to Canada cutting wheat in the summer and playing basketball in the fall.

Don graduated from Granite High School in Granite, Oklahoma in 1956; Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1960 and a Master of Science Degree in Engineering in 1963; and Oklahoma City University in 1966 with a Juris Doctorate degree. He celebrated being a 50-year lawyer with the Oklahoma Bar Association last year.

Don met Sharon, the love of his life, at the University of Oklahoma on a blind date hay ride. They attended multiple sorority (Gamma Phi Beta) and fraternity (Sigma Chi) events at OU. Don was an active member of Sigma Chi, including serving as its president. Don and Sharon married on September 24, 1960 in Oklahoma City and were happily married for 54 years until Sharon's death in 2014. They have three children - Donald Ray Philbin, Jr., Phillip Brett Philbin and Jennifer Philbin Vicente.

Don had an outstanding career as a lawyer. He was an estate planning specialist focusing on wills and trusts as well as some innovative insurance products of his own. He was admitted to the Oklahoma bar in 1966, followed by the United States Supreme Court in 1969, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in 1972, the United States Tax Court and the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 1973, the United States Claims Court in 1976. In 1996, Governor Frank Keating appointed Don to the Oklahoma Economic Development Committee and Don served on that committee for several years. Don will be remembered for his creativity and intelligence as a lawyer – solving problems in new ways.

Don's church home was Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City where he was an active member for over 30 years, served as a deacon and as an elder. Don and Sharon made sure the church was an integral part of their family life.

With great pride, Don was a devoted member of Rotary Club #29 for years and was dedicated to the charitable work that Rotary does throughout the world. Don often took his children to Rotary Club to introduce them to the importance of giving back to your community.

Don focused a seemingly unending amount of energy on his family. He stressed the importance of education which has allowed him to go from cutting wheat in a combine to a distinguished lawyer. He taught the strategy and anticipatory thinking of the game of chess to his children and grandchildren. He spent countless hours driving a boat watching Sharon teach kids to waterski.

Don is survived his son Don Jr. and his wife Micki Philbin and their daughter Mary Katherine Philbin; son Phillip and his wife Holly Philbin and their sons Charles Phillip Philbin, Luke Holland Philbin, and Mark Donald Philbin; daughter Jennifer and her husband Sean Vicente and their children Michael Tristan Vicente and Sydney Grace Vicente.

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon, his mother Challie Calhoun, his father Floyd Austin Philbin, and his grandson Donald Ray Philbin III.

On Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM, a memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 404 North Alamo in the Guthrie Bryant Chapel.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, any donations be made to Rotary Club #29 in Oklahoma City or Trinity University in San Antonio.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • The family asks that in lieu of flowers, any donations be made to Rotary Club #29 in Oklahoma City or Trinity University in San Antonio.

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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