In Memory of Dwight Douthit

Dwight Douthit


Dwight Douthit, age 62, passed away Dec. 2, in Houston, TX a few short months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Dwight was born Dec. 4, 1957 in Colorado Springs, CO to Jacob Walter Douthit (Dado) and Mary Ellen Long Douthit (Momo) and was the youngest of their three children. As an Air Force family, they moved often and Dwight lived in a variety of places including California, South Carolina and Germany. The family eventually settled in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where he graduated from Ocean Springs High School in 1976 and The University of Southern Mississippi in 1981.

After college, Dwight made his way to Houston where he began to make his mark in the advertising industry. After gaining great experience at several of the top ad agencies in town, he opened the highly successful and award-winning Douthit Design Group in 1987, which he operated with long-time friend and business manager Thomas Leavens, until his death.

Dwight was a talented, passionate, creative and generous soul. He belonged to the American Advertising Federation, serving in a variety of positions at the local, district and national level. He was very involved in the American Advertising Awards and was a much sought-after judge all over the country. In 1998 he received AAF-Houston’s Silver Medal Award which is given to those who make outstanding contributions to advertising. In 2019 he was honored with the Chic Davis Memorial Award, a national recognition for those who have championed the American Advertising Awards and elevated the program’s image.

Another of his passions involved animals and animal rescue, having personally helped hundreds of animals over the years. His assistance ranged from taking stray cats to be spayed or neutered to providing dog and cat food to volunteers in underserved areas to adopting numerous “unadoptable” animals himself. Dwight’s heart knew no bounds when it came to animals.

He was recently preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his beloved sisters Deborah Weatherford (Phillip) of D’Iberville, MS and Dara Merkison of Ocean Springs, MS and nieces Dena Smith Gambler (Chris) of Gautier, MS, Dorian Jones (Bubba) of Ocean Springs, MS, and nephew Sean T. Smith (Janice) of Biloxi, MS, plus great nieces and nephew Drew Jones, Dara Hanna Jones and Christy Schmoll (Kris).

A private service will be held for family and friends in Mississippi at a later date.

To honor Dwight’s memory, a scholarship has been set up through the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston, donate online at Or you may consider donating to BARC, the Houston Humane Society or an animal rescue program of your choice.

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