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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Dixie Chicken owner Don Ganter dies

 
 

Local businessman Don Ganter died Monday night at the age of 65 after being hospitalized for heart and back problems in Abilene.
Ganter was the founder and owner of several Northgate establishments, including the Dixie Chicken, Dry Bean Saloon and Shadow Canyon.
Dayton Thompson, a four-year employee of Shadow Canyon, said Ganter ran a tight ship when it came to business, but that he was always fair.
“(Ganter) ran his business his way, and it was tough at times. But I have to say that the way he ran it was right. He believed that hard work paid off, and it’s true,” Thompson said.
Ganter was involved with several organizations related to Texas A&M.
“He helped us out by letting us hold a benefit domino tournament to help sponsor the Student Bonfire, which was a huge lifesaver for us. Everyone in Student Bonfire was grateful for his help,” said Ramiro Lopez, a senior rangeland ecology and management major.
Thompson said many who knew Ganter on a personal level spoke of him as a caring man who was kind and tough at the same time.
“I think of him as a loving father and a straightforward man who never hesitated speaking his mind,” Thompson said. “He loved his family very much.”
Ganter is survived by his wife Angela and three daughters; Jennifer, Katy and Jackie.
Thompson said Ganter’s contribution to the local economy and to A&M were part of an unspoken philanthropy practiced by the old-fashioned businessman.
“He’d been giving students jobs for well over 20 years in addition to all of the local organizations that he went out of his way to help,” Thompson said.
The Dixie Chicken, Ganter’s most famous establishment, celebrated its 30th anniversary Friday.
“There is no place anywhere like Northgate, and without (Ganter), Northgate wouldn’t be as unique as it is today,” Thompson said.

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