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Eugene Daniel Leightman November 21, 1940 - December 30, 2019

Eugene Daniel “Dan” Leightman passed away peacefully with his family on December 30, 2019 after a valiant battle against multiple myeloma.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Evelyn, son Michael and daughter-in-law Alissa and daughter Rebecca Leightman and son-in-law Mason Dykstra, and four grandsons, Matthew and Adam Leightman, and twins Seth and Zach Dykstra, and his sister, Judy and brother-in-law Ted Sosin, sister-in-law Linda Shakno and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He is preceded in death by his brother-in-law Bob Shakno.

He was born in Memphis, Tennessee on November 21, 1940 to Bertha and Herman Leightman. Dan and Judy lost their father to cancer in 1951 when Dan was 11 years old.  His mother remarried in 1954 and the family moved to Indianapolis and then on to Bloomington, Indiana, where Dan went to high school, winning a National Merit Scholarship and other academic awards.  He then attended Indiana University, with an interest at the time in physics. Following a summer of working in a physics lab, he then decided to change his career to become a lawyer.

Dan enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin Law School, excelling as the top student in his class, graduating in 1966 with an LLB, Law-Taxation Bachelor of Laws with honors, as well as receiving the top score for the Texas State Bar Exam that year.  He met Evelyn during his last semester of law school, and following their graduation, they were married in the summer of 1966.  Dan was in the Navy reserves while attending law school, and following graduation, served his military commitment in Newport, Rhode Island.  While serving in the Navy, he attended Boston University and received his Masters in Law Taxation with honors in 1968.

Following graduation, Dan and Evelyn moved to Washington, D.C. where Dan began his legal career with a law firm before joining the Internal Revenue Service.  During his time with the IRS, Dan developed a deep professional network within the tax community while further enhancing his tax strategy and planning skills. In 1979, with Michael and Rebecca now part of the family, Dan and Evelyn relocated to Pasadena, California where became Manager of Tax for Ralph M. Parsons Corporation.

After six years, he took a position as Director of Tax for Intel Corporation before moving to Houston in 1987 and joining Cooper Industries, where he ultimately became the Vice President of Tax.  In 1996, Dan earned a degree in Advanced Business Management   from Harvard University, Graduate School of Business Administration through a program for aspiring executive leaders. Upon retiring in 2006 from Cooper at the age of 65, he then joined Gardere Wynne Sewell to continue practicing tax law.

In 2014, he decided to open a private tax practice to focus only on exceptionally challenging cases and real estate investments.  Dan also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston, teaching taxation law.

When not officially thinking about work, Dan focused his time and efforts in being involved with non-profit organizations along with Evelyn, including the Houston Ballet as a Board Member and supporting the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as actively participating in many other non-profit organizations.

Dan also played bridge in high school and college, and later in life resumed playing with his mother, sister and others, ultimately becoming a Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League and playing extensively in the Houston and regional bridge community and served as a board member.

Dan discovered sailing once settled in California and the family often sailed on the weekends with family and friends in Newport Beach and later San Francisco Bay. He also became an avid wine connoisseur and collector, which became a lifelong hobby for him. Dan loved to travel and would visit many art and photography galleries, where he always seemed to purchase a piece or two to bring back to their home.  Much of this time was spent in Sedona, Arizona, where he was able to spend his last vacation, even while battling his fight against cancer.

Dan was loved and admired by many friends, colleagues and students.

In lieu of flowers, the family please asks for donations to be made directly to the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (5433 Westheimer Road, Suite 300, Houston, Texas 77056).

A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 3, 2020 at 12:30pm at Congregation Beth Israel.

In lieu of flowers, the family please asks for donations to be made directly to the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (5433 Westheimer Road, Suite 300, Houston, Texas 77056).


  1. Sharon and Rich Maloney says

    Dearest Evelyn and Family,
    We are beyond saddened to hear of Dan’s passing!
    What an incredible life he lived! He filled the entire universe with love and joy!
    Rich and I will miss him greatly
    We extend our deepest sympathy and love to the family!

  2. Stewart Feldman says

    Dear Evelyn,

    Marla and I are very saddened by the turn of events. Aside from being incredibly smart, Dan was always so full of life. It cannot be said that he didn’t enjoy every day. We share in your sadness.

    Unfortunately, we are out of town until next week. We will be continuing to think of you and your family in the coming days.

    Marla & Stewart

  3. Suzanne & Bret Wells says


    You are in our prayers as you grieve. We were shocked and saddened by this news, but grateful Christine called Bret so that we could be there Friday to honor Dan’s extraordinary life. Bret will always remember Dan as a professional mentor and personal friend. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Kathlyn Curtis says

    Dan, you were my teacher, mentor, boss, and friend. I have missed seeing you everyday since I left Gardere, and I cannot believe I will not see you again in this life. I loved you like a father and always will, and I will treasure your legacy and memory always. May the road rise up to meet you… and may the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Evelyn, our sincerest sympathy. You had a good one, and I know you will miss him dearly until you meet again. Sending much love and prayers your way.

  5. Jose R. Lopez says

    Karla, and I, were saddened of this news. During our visits, Dan was always rich with his time and advice. We will truly miss him, yet his memory will reside forever in our hearts.

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