Billy Burrow, the chairman of the board of the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce, also spoke highly of Houseman.
“He was certainly good for Orange,” Burrow said. “He would tell anyone that Orange was his home.”
Houseman served as a past board member of the Orange and Bridge City chambers of commerce; he was also a member of the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the Bridge City Unified Development Code and the Bridge City Economic Development Corporation.
Houseman’s work also benefited abused children; he was a founder of the Desperado’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, whose proceeds go to abused children, and the House With A Heart Expo, which has raised more than $350,000 for programs for abused and neglected Southeast Texas children.
Houseman was an avid outdoorsman as well, taking 17 African safaris.
“I asked him about going to Africa, and he said it was a lot of fun,” Burrow said. “So I went, and he asked me, ‘When are you going back?’
“I asked him what he meant, and he said, ‘Once you go, you’ll go again,’” he said. “And sure enough, a couple of years later, I went again.”
Houseman was also heavily involved with the local Ducks Unlimited chapter.
“We called on him to give us help,” Burrow, who is also a Ducks Unlimited member, said of Houseman. “We asked for his thoughts on what we could do to make Ducks Unlimited stand out, and he gave us several ideas.
“We recently received several awards,” Burrow said. “We were recognized as one of the top five Ducks Unlimited chapters in the state of Texas, and one of the top 100 in the nation. Even after he got sick, he would come to our meetings, asking how were doing and if all was well.”
In keeping with his love for the outdoors, Houseman worked on behalf of more than a dozen wildlife conservation organizations and served as an advisory board member for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Expo and Operation Game Thief, as well as an executive committee member of Future of Hunting in Texas. He was also a member of the Texas Wildlife Foundation and the Dallas and Houston Safari Clubs; at one time he served as president and convention chairman of both clubs.