Donald Deane Koons, long-time Dallas resident, passed away on Jan. 15, 2015, at the age of 80.
Judge Koons was born Oct. 15, 1934, in Bloomfield, Iowa to Donald Merle Koons and Madge Winifred Margerum Koons. Growing up, Judge Koons helped his parents in their variety store, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and attended the World Scout Jamboree in France in 1947, played in the high school band and edited his school paper.
In 1953, Judge Koons enrolled at the University of Iowa where he played in the band and orchestra, was president of Alpha Tau Omega and earned a bachelor of business degree. After a career in insurance, Judge Koons graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) Law School in 1962, having worked his way through law school. He was employed as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas County. Judge Koons went into private practice handling civil and criminal matters, as well as involving himself in politics as a precinct chair and working in various campaigns.
In 1977, Judge Koons was appointed to Dallas family district court by Governor Dolph Briscoe, a bench on which he served for twenty years. Thereafter he was periodically appointed to assist Texas courts. While on the bench, Judge Koons worked to improve the Dallas family court system. He initiated a program of court masters, now called associate judges, which significantly increased case resolution speed and lowered costs. This program has been adopted in many courts systems around Texas. Judge Koons instituted computerization of child support records. He employed the first Dallas family law court coordinator to streamline court management and implement court file computerization, both systems now commonly used around the state.
In 1965, he married Margaret Randel of Panhandle, a wonderful marriage in which they worked in church, school and charitable projects until her death in 1995.
He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Mary Ann Koons Paul; his wife, Margaret; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ralph and Jo Ella Randel.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Foxhall Clement Carter; two children, Susan Elizabeth Koons Finnis of Hokkaido, Japan and Jeremy Randel Koons of Doha Qatar; and granddaughter, Margaret Abigail Koons.
Judge Koons was a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, the Federal Court for the Northern District of Texas, the Federal Court of Appeals (Fifth Circuit), the United States Supreme Court, The State Gar of Texas Family Law Section and the College of the State Bar of Texas. He authored the Handbook of Texas Family Law, an essential desk reference for attorneys and paralegals.
A memorial service was held on Jan. 31, 2015, at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. Interment was in Panhandle Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.