It is said the measure of a man is whether he left things better than he found them. Delbert McDougal certainly left Lubbock a better place than he found it.
Delbert was born on January 29, 1937, at his family home in Smyer, Texas, to Chester L. and Alda Raye McDougal.
Delbert learned hard work early, spending his youth chopping weeds in a cotton patch for 45 cents an hour. After graduating from Smyer High School in 1955, working at a few jobs while also taking college business courses, Delbert went to work for General Electric.
Delbert and Carolyn Ratliff married on April 2, 1961, after meeting in 1954 at the College Ave Baptist Church in Levelland.
In 1972 with a $10,000 loan to buy an aging 16-unit apartment complex, Delbert and Carolyn laid the foundation for their multi-million-dollar apartment, property development, construction, and realty company. A company that would indelibly transform the Lubbock landscape.
And while most saw the businessman ready to make a deal, his family revered a man who influenced their lives for the better with his kindness and dedication to his family. Delbert put God first, family second and his business last. Those who knew Delbert well knew “family” was what was at his core.
Family dinners, family trips and long weekends spent together at the lake are the activities that defined Delbert in the hearts of his family. Up early making breakfast, watching baseball with his family, or making homemade ice cream for the kids are what he’ll be remembered for most. Delbert always took the time to put his briefcase to the side and show his family what is most important.
Delbert loved traveling the world and enjoying life with his family. He traveled to each of the seven continents. He was an avid Yankees fan and attended nine World Series games with family including taking four generations of McDougals to a World Series game.
The family, four generations of McDougals, remember Delbert most for his example of kindness, hard work, and the love of family.
Delbert always taught his children and employees that you give back to the industry you work for, to your church, and to your community and his teachings followed his own actions. His commitment and love for the Lubbock community drove his service on dozens of boards including the Electric Utility Board of Lubbock Power & Light, Market Lubbock, University Medical Center, Reese Redevelopment Commission, West Texas Home Builders Association, Wayland Baptist University, Lubbock Apartment Association, Drug Court and more than 30 other organizations.
Delbert was an active member of the First Baptist Church and attended the Neal Sunday School class.
The family sincerely thanks caregivers from Visiting Angels and Interim Hospice for their invaluable and loving aid during Delbert’s final years.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to The Community Foundation of West Texas.
Delbert was preceded in death by his parents and older brother Harvey.
Delbert is survived by his wife Carolyn; sons Marc (Pam) and Mike (Melissa); grandchildren Tara Lashford (Patrick), Tyler McDougal (Audra), Hudson McDougal and Harrison McDougal; great grandchildren Tye, Miles, Clara Kate and Lottie; brother-in-law Mickey Ratliff (Patty) and best friend of over 60 years, Bobby Polk (Joyce); as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Pallbearers are Patrick Lashford, Tyler McDougal, Tye McDougal, Miles McDougal, Keith McNeese, Bryan Shahan, Matt Ratliff & David Gray.
Delbert McDougal, beloved husband, father, “grandad”, and a central figure in Lubbock’s growth and prosperity, passed from this life on November 10, 2023, at age 86.