Dave Fuqua Profile Photo
1947 David 2024

Dave Fuqua

November 18, 1947 — January 17, 2024


David Russell Fuqua passed away peacefully at his home in Smithville on January 17, 2024, at 76.  

Dave was born on November 18, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas,  to Mary Ester Russell Fuqua and Joseph Ephraim Fuqua. A wily and adventurous youth, he raced hydrofoil speed boats, guided offshore fishing expeditions,  and was an Eagle Scout. After graduating from W.B. Ray High School in 1965, he attended Del Mar Junior College and the Maritime Academy in Galveston. He then joined the United States Coast Guard and served aboard the USCGC Storis in Alaska and at duty stations in Florida and Texas.  

Dave was an avid hunter and fisherman all through life. He and his father hunted together throughout the United States and Canada. On one big game hunt in Alaska, Dave suffered from severe frostbite and narrowly avoided his toes being amputated. Despite the dangers,  it was a lifelong love that he also passed down to his family.  

Professionally, Dave worked in the Construction, Safety, and Training departments for H. B. Zachry. He was instrumental in developing the companies’ Craft Training Department and its involvement in Wheels of Learning, the National Center of Construction Education & Research, and the World Safety Organization. Most important was Dave’s commitment to his people and their successes. He was a great listener, mentor, counselor, and fierce advocate for his team. He created enthusiasm and interest in those around him., and could problem-solve any issue with unlimited ideas and outside-the-box thinking. He cared far more for enabling success in others than any credit for himself. He will always be remembered in this circle for “Tell me that again,” “Help me be smart,” and “Now tell me what I don’t know.”

Some of the other related groups he worked with were the Associated Builders & Contractors, the National Craft Championships, and the Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation, to name a few. He was also a Scout Master for Boy Scouts in Alaska and Florida. 

Dave came from and continued a family ranching legacy, establishing Rainbow 1 Ranch in Lockhart, Texas (and later Stockdale) with his wife Susan, producing and training quality quarter horses. He never slowed down, even after losing his leg in a horse accident. Dave and Susan moved their ranch to Smithville, where he developed a smaller, more cost-efficient cattle breed and cow-calf operation.

Dave had a fondness for family, friends, food & entertaining guests. He was a master of the barbecue pit and a culinary experimenter. If you ever left hungry, it was your own fault.

His famous words to Susan and Nita were: “We’re going on an adventure!”  To quote Dr. Seuss, “Oh the Places We Will Go.”  He took his family on many extraordinary adventures like only Dave could. He always preached, “…take advantage of opportunities, build meaningful and lasting relationships, and do a good job.”

Dave is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his bride of forty-three years, Susan Donnelly;  their daughter, Nita Fuqua Roach (Caleb) of Smithville; and two grandchildren, Vivian and Elijah. He is also survived by his sister JoAnn Wolf of Smithville; her son Randy Wolf (Debbie), their children Madeline & Evan;  and daughter Laura Opela, and her sons Geoff and Zac.

Visitation will be from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Monday, January 22, 2024, at Marrs Jones Funeral Home. 

Services to Celebrate Dave's Life will begin at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at Marrs Jones Funeral Home, with burial following at Oliver Cemetery.

The funeral home is located at 110 American Legion Road in Smithville, Texas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dave Fuqua, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, January 22, 2024

4:30 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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