Friends and Admirers of Don,
Our beloved friend, colleague, teacher, mentor, unbelievable talent and gentle soul
Don Ivan Punchatz
passed away Thursday October 22, at about 6 PM. He will be missed.
I donâ€™t have information at this time about services but his wife, Sandra, had indicated that there would be a small, private ceremony at their church.
However, we are working with Donâ€™s family to organize a memorial celebration of Donâ€™s life to be held on the TCU campus in the near future. I will make everyone aware of the time and location as we flesh out the details.
Don wouldnâ€™t want a sad, morbid service, so we are hoping to have his friends and acolytes show up ready to tell stories so we can all dust off our warm memories of the time we spent with him, and how he influenced our lives. AV facilities will be available if anyone wants to bring pictures, video or whatever.
Mr. Anthony Spangler, of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is writing an obituary story for Don. If anyone would care to share information with Mr. Spangler, his email address is:
Iâ€™d also like to remind everyone that we are collecting donations for Donâ€™s family. He did not have health insurance, and this ordeal has taken a difficult financial toll on Sandra in a very short time. I would like to present our collection to her at the time of our memorial service. If you wish to contribute, please send a check in any amount, made out to â€śSandra Punchatzâ€ť, to the address below.
c/o Lewis Glaser
TCU School of Art
TCU Box 298000
Fort Worth, Texas 76129
A brief bio of Donâ€™s history and accomplishments follows.
Don began his illustration career at the age of 14, as a childrenâ€™s book illustrator. He received his first freelance commission for a national advertising promotion when he was 17.
In the mid 1950s, he started as a production artist at Warwick & Legler Advertising, where within a year he was promoted to Assistant TV Art Director. A bit later, he joined Animatic, Inc. in New York as an Art Director. He designed filmstrips and limited animation storyboards for national clients.
His professional career was briefly interrupted by a stint in the US Army. From 1959 to 61. When they found out he could draw, he was tasked with creating instructional aids for the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
After mustering out with an honorable discharge, he went right back to work as an Art Director at Ketchum, Mcleod & Grove Advertising, in Pittsburgh. His major clients there included Alcoa, Stoufferâ€™s Foods, Pittsburgh Corning, Calgon and Westinghouse.
In 1965, Don began freelancing full-time as an illustrator. In 1970 he expanded his business to a full service graphic design/illustration studioÂ in Arlington, Texas. Sketchpad Studio produced work for a broad variety of clients, including virtually every major national and international advertising agency, magazine, book publisher and record company. A few of his major clients included Time Magazine, Playboy Magazine, Exxon, Esquire Magazine, Anheuser Busch/Budweiser, Boyâ€™s Life Magazine, Time/Life Books, Pepsi, Rolling Stone Magazine, National Lampoon Magazine, and Berkley Booksâ€”to name a few. Donâ€™s familiar published work includes a poster for the original Star Wars movie, the Doom video game logo and package art and the illustrations for the Wishbone series of childrenâ€™s books.
Sketchpad Studio has been the focus of feature articles in several graphic design trade publications.
In the meantime, Don began his teaching career at TCU in 1970. With a couple of short-term interruptions, he has remained as the Illustration instructor since then, and up until two short weeks ago. He has also served on the graduate faculty at Syracuse University for the past decade.
Between his employees at Sketchpad and his students at TCU and elsewhere, Don has provided education, training and professional guidance to over 1,000 aspiring illustrators. Many of them have gone on to become notable and successful illustrators in their own right. Donâ€™s long-time friend and fellow Rock Star of Illustration Murray Tinkelman refers to him as â€śThe Godfather of Dallas Illustration.â€ť I canâ€™t imagine a more appropriate title, because He was da Man!
Please forward this message to anyone you can think of who knew, or knew of Don.
Coordinator of Graphic Design
Texas Christian University