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Golla, Christopher A.

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December 15, 1965 - December 30, 2019

Golla, Christopher A.

Christopher Allen Golla, age 54, of Kingwood, Texas, died suddenly of a heart attack on December 30, 2019, after spending his final hours peacefully with the family he cherished. Chris is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Janet Golla, his five devoted children, Christopher (24), Emily (22), Allison (19), Katherine (16), and Michael (8), his parents Jude and Gail Golla, his siblings Robert and Anne Golla, and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews who will remember him fondly. 

Chris was first and foremost a man of faith and family. He was a member of St. Martha Catholic Church for 25 years and served in several ministries. He co-directed the Fall 2018 men’s ACTS retreat, participated in St. Martha’s charismatic prayer group, and helped lead the Unbound Ministry. Most importantly, Chris strove to personally pass on his strong belief in God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness to his family and others. 

In addition, Chris was committed to his prayer life. He spent untold hours in prayer, in and out of church, with family and friends. Chris possessed a strong moral compass and deep compassion for those less fortunate. There are countless examples of his charity. For example, when he was in Switzerland earlier this year for business, he shocked co-workers by leaving a company dinner to treat the homeless to a warm meal. Chris’ strong Christian values and selflessness made him an exemplary husband and father. He was present and engaged in the lives of his family, and provided wise and insightful spiritual guidance that will be remembered forever. 

Chris also passed on his intellectual curiosity and problem-solving ability to his children, two of whom are engineers and one of whom is pursuing a career in nursing. His two youngest children, though not yet in college, are exceptional students and will doubtless continue Chris’ legacy of curiosity and success. His love for school and thinking was evident and he could often be found energetically expounding on complex mathematical or other theoretical concepts after dinner. 

Above all, Chris treasured his family and especially his wife Janet. She was his best friend and loving companion, and on the morning of his passing, he told her “when I married you, I found my pot of gold.”

Chris was born in Kingsville, Texas, on December 15, 1965.  He graduated from Kingsville High School in 1984 as class salutatorian. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Houston, and graduated with honors in 1988. Chris then led an illustrious career in the oil and gas industry. He worked for Halliburton for 29 years, leading design, development, and innovation across 25 drilling systems. He worked as both a manager and technical leader, taking advantage of his uncommon problem-solving ability and knack for designing elegant, effective solutions. Chris’ expertise was instrumental in the development of the drill bit used for the relief well that stopped leakage during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, for which he received Halliburton’s 2011 Award of Distinction. He holds 15 engineering patents and contributed to the development of the world’s leading deep-reading resistivity tool, EarthStar. Chris was a respected teacher and mentor who guided the career development of a generation of engineers.

In his free time, Chris was an avid golfer, jumping at the chance to golf with family or friends, most often with his son Christopher. He also loved to spend time with his family outdoors by fishing, boating, hiking, and skiing. In addition, he enjoyed several other sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer, and baseball. He coached soccer for all of his children and spent numerous hours at track and swim meets and at soccer games. Chris traveled extensively, recently to his favorite vacation spot, the Norwegian fjords, with his daughter Emily after her college graduation. He enjoyed a family trip to Yellowstone National Park this past fall, and this year celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with Janet in Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia. 

Chris’ professional community, church, neighborhood, and especially his family respected and loved him immeasurably and they will all miss him deeply. The profound impact of his life will live on in them and many others. Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 6, at 10:00 A.M. at St. Martha Catholic Church, Kingwood, Texas. Burial will be at 12:00 noon in Rosewood Cemetery, Humble, Texas, and a reception at St. Martha Catholic Church will follow the burial. Visitation and Rosary will be held at Darst Funeral Home, Kingwood, Texas on Sunday, January 5 from 4:00-6:00 p.m., with Rosary to start at 4:00 P.M. 

In honor of Chris’ love for helping those in need, charitable donations may be made to Martha’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen for the homeless. Contact St. Martha Catholic Church 281-358-6637, or Sr. Carmen Sanchez 713-224-2522 for details.

To view and submit images or to sign the guestbook, visit www.mem.com/8982911


Service Information

A Visitation will be held Sunday from 4-6 P.M. January 5, 2020 at Darst Funeral Home (796 Russell Palmer Rd., Kingwood TX 77339, 281-312-5656).

A Funeral Mass will be held Monday 10 A.M. January 6, 2020 at St. Martha Catholic Church (4301 Woodridge Parkway, Porter, TX 77365)

Interment will be held Monday 12 P.M. January 6, 2020 at Rosewood Cemetery (2602 S. Houston Ave, Humble, TX 77396, 281 441 2171)


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Rick Bradshaw

February 06, 2020 6:51PM

It is with a very heavy heart I heard about Chris' passing only yesterday.

Last year when I started working again on the northside of Houston near Halliburton NBC, I called Chris and told him I wanted to play golf with him. I told him of all the people I worked with when I worked there, he was the person who inspired me to be a better person and a better engineer more than anyone else.

We were able to get together and play and I am very thankful and blessed for that.

When I was working at Sperry I would sometimes spend time in his office discussing our mutual projects and family and kids would sometimes come up. It was recent that we had our youngest, Jack. Jack was maybe 3 or so years old when Chris mentioned his wife was expecting Michael. I remember telling Chris that I was going to be a geriatric parent too! :)

When he explained that they were in the process of adopting when she got pregnant, I remember asking him, "Are you a glutton for punishment? You actually want another kid at your age??"

Chris' reply, "I love kids and I love my family. And we were going to adopt because we can."

I told him when I called him last year to see if we could golf again that those sentences really stayed with me. Those words convinced me that he was one of the good guys. One of the guys I would be blessed to be able to play with when I am not working any more.

What else can I say?


Ramona Michael

February 04, 2020 12:25AM

Chris was an amazing friend and so fun to debate. His obituary states it perfectly. He was definitely concerned for underprivileged kids. He was always interested in other points of view and was open-minded and curious about how other people think. I am sad that he won't be here to keep people thinking and talking. We've lost a warm, caring, funny and smart man. My love to Janet and his family. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.


Mohammed Ali

January 22, 2020 12:12AM

May god rest Chris's soul in peace.

- Mohammed.


Satish Rajagopalan

January 08, 2020 2:33AM

Chris was a great mentor, guide, and above all a great friend. I very fondly remember of my trips with him and visits to his house. He will be truly missed. My heartfelt condolences to the Golla family.


Cheri James

January 07, 2020 9:09PM

My deepest condolences to the entire Golla and Sperry Technology Families… I had the pleasure of supporting Chris Golla as one of my managers, during our decade of working together, there was never a dull moment with Chris. He was so full of energy, creative ideas, positive, motivating, and an absolute amazing boss! He encouraged me and the entire Electrical team daily to excel and be trendsetters! My heart goes out to all of you, we will miss you Chris! Such an incredible and brilliant soul!


Ed Guyton

January 07, 2020 12:22PM

Chris was one of the best engineers I know. I had fabulous discussions. Sometimes heated on where we at sperry needed to go . When a problem occurred he had a cool head and the best knowledge to resolve it. A terrible loss to Sperry and everyone who knew him. A truly great engineer and man . My sincere condolences to his family.


Burjis Cooper

January 07, 2020 2:04AM

As an engineer who worked under Chris Golla's leadership for nine years, I will always remember his ability to motivate and drive people to do their best work. Chris was incredible at working along side us as both a mentor and a leader and molded me into the Engineer I am today. Though he may not be present with us in the physical world, his influence and impact he has left behind will continue to be felt by us all. I will continue to embrace all that I have learned from him during our time together.
My deepest condolences to the Golla family.


Dan Flores

January 07, 2020 2:04AM

I extend my deepest condolences to the Chris Golla Family. I worked with Chris from 1991 to 2009 while I was at Sperry. We shared many laughs and intense discussions while problem solving. Chris was always trying to help anyone that needed help, technically or otherwise. Chris took his family and faith seriously. Chris will be greatly missed by all those that surrounded him.  I am still in shock in hearing of his passing. Rest in peace Chris. 


Kjetil

January 06, 2020 9:12PM

Chris, Your positivity and attitude for never give up will mark your history for many of us in Norway. Conversations with you about Family, Technology, Hobbies and wide aspect of topic with an incredible understanding and passion will be deeply missed. Even It was always easy to talk to you on phone on the other side of the Atlantic ocean. The trip last year to Lysfjorden - Flørli "Norway" will be a warm memory of you and your daughter Emily. God bless and my sincerest condolences to the family.


CRAIG M OSBORNE

January 06, 2020 4:58PM

I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Golla family. Chris was a true friend and an unbelievable person. I was lucky enough to get to know him over the years both professionally and socially and he will be missed.


Russell Croley

January 06, 2020 4:46PM

As many others have stated, it was always an honor to be around Chris and he left an everlasting impression on everyone he came in contact with. I had some of the most interesting conversations with Chris where I always learned something about life, his family, solutions to issues or sometimes it just went over my head. The staff at the Radisson in Norway ask about him and Janet every time I am there. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


Clint Lozinsky

January 06, 2020 1:25PM

My deepest condolences go to the Golla family. Chris was a teacher, role model and inspiration both professionally and personally. He had a tremendous impact on my life that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace my friend.


Lucas Samuel

January 06, 2020 7:37AM

On behalf of Singapore Sperry Technology team, I would like to send our deepest condolences and prayers to the family. Chris was an example to all of us, excellent co-worker, friend, mentor and leader.
Had the honor and pleasure to work with Chris during the past 7 years, personally in US and also over the phone where he would stay until late night to work together with Singapore team. Always learning something new from him and amazed by how clever and diligent he was.
It was very shocking and hard to believe when the news of his death was received. Chris will be greatly missed by the team in Singapore.
May God bless and provide comfort to the family during this tough time.


David Tang

January 06, 2020 6:42AM

When I first met Chris as a junior engineer 13 years ago, I could not help but feel a little intimidated by his ability to make swift yet profound decisions and his razor sharp wit. But as soon as I realized that the driving force behind Chris's actions was always the need to do what's right... the intimidation I felt towards Chris withered away and turned to that of deep respect and admiration. He was a gifted problem solver, a strong leader, and had a great sense of humor to boot. But most importantly, he was a loving family man. I will not soon forget the one on one conversations we shared about family, philosophy and politics. I am blessed to have worked with and to have learned from Chris. It has shaped who I am as not just an engineer, but as a person as well. He will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences go out to the entire Golla family.


Ben Willis

January 06, 2020 6:05AM

Our family is deeply saddened. Words don’t come easy and there’s so much we want to say.
Chris was a wonderful person. He had every quality that my wife and I would want our kids to possess. He was incredibly personable, immensely intelligent and had a sense of humor to match. His positivity was infectious and he was so easy to be around. There was no pretense with Chris. What you saw and heard was what you got - and this is why I loved spending time with him on the golf course, on the tennis court, or at the soccer fields. He was passionate, competitive, dedicated to his faith and devoted to his family. Chris was so proud of his children and thought the world of Janet.
I want to share one story. Less than 3 months ago Chris was coaching Under 8s soccer when the newest and smallest kid on the team scored an unexpected goal. Chris was so elated and so emotional at this event that he subbed the kid off just so he could give him a hug and throw him in the air. This typified Chris’ giving nature and its something I’ll never forget.
Chris - I am forever grateful of the time we spent together and saddened that it was far to short. We will miss you dearly.
Ben, Bee, Mackenzie and Malin Willis


Jim Lewis

January 06, 2020 2:29AM

Chris was a great friend, classmate and roommate at UH. It was a privilege to witness his exceptional talent up close as we struggled with homework sets (or more often, as I struggled and Chris was "just curious" about some aspect of it). He was never competitive academically, only helpful. Outside of class, he was slightly less charitable during our one-sided forays into tennis and golf, but still a great instructor. He was a role model for the Catholic students back then as well, encouraging us to get together for mass and movie nights on Saturdays. I’m so sorry for your loss.


Messaoud and Bronwyn Djefel

January 05, 2020 10:50PM

As someone else mentioned, when I think of Chris I smile. His smile was infectious and his eyes always sparkled with a mix of intelligence, happiness, mischievousness and good humour. Although he is no longer with us in person, he continues to influence us.


Sven Holmquist

January 05, 2020 10:11PM

Chris was a very good and trusted friend.
I first met Chris at UH and we have stayed friends since and have
occasionally worked together over the years.
Chris was very smart, articulate, interesting, and enjoyable to be around.
Chris will be missed by all who knew him.
My deepest condolences to the family.


Victor Ocampo

January 05, 2020 9:34PM

Met Chris at the golf course thru a mutual friend. I had the opportunity to get to meet him and actually met his older son and daughter. He was a very nice guy with a special charm. Ironically got to play golf with him about two weeks ago after his trip with his daughter. He taught me how to accelerate my swing on wedges when trying a bunker shot. He has a bright mind, but must importantly a warm heart. He’ll be missed!


Mark Hayenga

January 05, 2020 7:35PM

I first met Chris when I interviewed with Halliburton seven years ago. He was forever a champion of excellence, open-mindedness, intellectual rigor, and teamwork. His leadership touched the lives of all who worked with him, and his loss will be felt greatly. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his family.


Allan Rennie

January 05, 2020 3:29PM

Chris is and was one of those rare individuals that made everyone around him a better person while in his company. He is sorely missed. Condolences to his family.


Roland Chemali

January 05, 2020 1:09PM

Chris, you wre a inspiration for so may. Your respect of others, your genious mind, your patient way of listening and mentoring. It was a pleasure and an honor to work with you.


Karen Haver

January 04, 2020 11:23PM

Condolences to the family. May your faith sustain you in the times ahead.


Gary Althoff

January 04, 2020 10:32PM

My sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers to Chris’s family. I had the privilege to have known and worked with Chris for many years. He is unique in that he was gifted with top end engineering proficiency and the ability to teach / mentor other to get the best out of every situation. Godspeed Chris as your journey and God bless those he leaves behind.


Madeline Mills

January 04, 2020 8:43PM

I just found out about Chris' passing. I am deeply saddened. I thought Chris was an upstanding good guy and I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace Chris...


Nigel Hamilton

January 04, 2020 3:29PM

I first started working with Chris at Sperry 30 years ago. It was so great working with him. He was such a clever man, but always humble and helpful. I then watch his deserved rise through the ranks. Throughout he remained fun, generous and extremely helpful and a great visionary and mentor. Obviously he will be sorely missed by Sperry as a company and as a colleague to many.
My deep condolences to his family. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this terribly sad time.


Percy Williams

January 04, 2020 2:42PM

My contact with Chris over many years was sporadic: on my visits to Houston, his visits to Tewkesbury UK, conference calls and phone calls. Nevertheless, I soon picked up what a great gentleman he was. He was one of the most intelligent smartest people I ever met. He was one of those people you could stand in awe of and yet there was nothing to fear from him, as he was such a gentle, considerate kind man, who was dedicated to excellence in the field of engineering at Halliburton. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues, but especially by his family. Our prayers will be for them at this difficult time. Percy Williams-retired from Halliburton Tewkesbury UK


Colin Gittins

January 04, 2020 11:28AM

Dear Janet and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Hearing the news yesterday was such a shock.

Chris was a very good friend who I admired greatly both in and out of work, so very clever, always willing to help and advise, and a very good manager.

I will always remember my time with him and the many times at your house; He was such a great family man.

Please accept my deepest condolences for your family's loss. He was someone very special who will never be forgotten.

Colin Gittins (ex-Halliburton Tewkesbury)


Joe Zuiker

January 04, 2020 3:38AM

My deepest condolences and prayers to the Golla family in this time of sorrow. Chris was a dedicated leader, a patient teacher, and a friend. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to work with and befriend him. I can only imagine the loss to his family, his friends, and his coworkers. Godspeed, Chris, in the next chapter.


Ronald Dirksen

January 04, 2020 2:34AM

I am deeply saddened. My condolences to Chris’ family and my prayers are with them all for strength and patience and for god’s forgiveness and mercy upon Chris.


Reginald Mayo

January 03, 2020 10:18PM

My condolences and prayers go out to Chris' family with his untimely passing. I knew Chris many years at Halliburton and worked on many complex problems, in which Chris never failed in providing guidance and engineering expertise. Chris frequently spoke and shared memories of his children and his love of sports. He even volunteered to sub on Sperry's legacy basketball team and was a very good, tough nosed player. Chris will truly be missed as an engineering talent, but more importantly as a friend too many, father, and husband. May he rest in peace and God Bless the family.


Chris Berry

January 03, 2020 9:26PM

Chris was very well respected around Halliburton, he was a great leader to have around and on your side. My thoughts and prayers are with the Golla family during these tough times. Chris will be missed.


Dave Lewis

January 03, 2020 8:56PM

I was shocked to hear of Chris’s sudden and untimely passing, my condolences extend to his family and friends.

I spent many hours talking with Chris over the phone or in conference calls, when we did sit across the table it was always a pleasure to discuss more than just work with him. From our conversations it was clear Chris was a dedicated family man and we talked openly about the importance of family especially when one of his young children was taking very poorly.
For Halliburton Chris always had a clear vision of what he expected from his teams, he was one of the most talented engineering managers I have had the pleasure working with. I found Chris compassionate with a great sense of humour, the Industry has lost another great man too soon.

Dave Lewis Ex Halliburton Tewkesbury UK


Ian Mitchell

January 03, 2020 8:53PM

My deepest condolences and prayers to Chris’s family. Chris was incredibly generous with his time and immense knowledge. His engineering gravitas was unrivaled but he was also great fun to be around. He will be greatly missed.


Debbie Sewell

January 03, 2020 8:37PM

Janet and family,
I am so very sorry for your loss. May God bless you and your family.
Love and hugs, Debbie


John Snyder

January 03, 2020 8:07PM

My sincere condolences to your family. I am fortunate to have known and worked with Chris over these many years at Sperry. He generously shared his time, intellect and inner light with all who knew him.


Shashi Talya

January 03, 2020 7:43PM

My deepest condolences to Chris Golla's family. Chris's enthusiasm and passion was very infectious and pushed everybody to excel. He will greatly be missed. My prayers to his family.


Wael Ismail

January 03, 2020 7:22PM

My condolences, may he Rest In Peace. He will truly will be missed.


Lei Wang

January 03, 2020 6:35PM

Chris was a great mentor and friend. I am so proud to have worked for him. His great mind and passion will forever inspire me.


Mohamed Hany

January 03, 2020 5:23PM

My deepest condolences for the loss of Chris, I have known Chris since 2013 and he has always been such an inspiration to me. He was humble, honest and the sharpest in the room. We truly lost Chris as a role model and a mentor not only as a coworker or a leader in our company. Sending my prayers to the family.


Wenhao Chen

January 03, 2020 5:14PM

It was my great honor to work with Chris. He was truly gifted man with great personality. He inspired everyone in the team and he will be remembered by everyone.


Mohamed Hany

January 03, 2020 5:11PM

My deep condolences in the loss of Chris, I have known Chris since 2013 and he has always been such an inspiration to me. He was humble, honest and the sharpest in the room. We truly lost Chris as a person and a mentor not only as a coworker or a leader in our company. I ask for god’s forgiveness and to grant the family the patience in these tough times!


Swati Padakanti

January 03, 2020 4:36PM

I feel honored to have had the chance to work with Chris Golla. He leaves a legacy behind at Halliburton. I can only recall Chris' face with a smile. My heartfelt condolences to the family.


Paul Golla

January 03, 2020 4:33PM

Chris was one of my favorite cousins (with his brother Robert). These were the best of times for me (when our families got together). When he graduated from UofH, Chris stayed in the Houston area and ALL of my family really enjoyed when he and his family attened one of our family gatherings. I always enjoyed his company through the years and I am very saddened that he was taken to God so early. He was very smart, yet care-free in social gatherings and but he always maintained a higher degree of composure with his interactions. One of the best overall people I knew.
Our prayers go out to his family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


Jez Greenwood

January 03, 2020 4:32PM

Chris was a proud family man who was highly respected, generous, intelligent, always inquisitive and interested in others, and always able to provide valuable advice. A privilege to know and work with him. My deepest condolences.


Susan Gunn

January 03, 2020 4:29PM

My thoughts & prayers go out to Chris's family & friends. I've known Chris for many years while working at Sperry. He will truly be missed. God bless & Rest in Peace Chris.


John Kopec

January 03, 2020 4:26PM

A truly great man who will be missed by all. I am so fortunate to have known and worked with Chris for many years. A true mentor in every sense of the word. He cared deeply about Sperry and always found the time to help out wherever he could. One of the most effective communicators with customers I’ve had the privilege to be around and an extremely intelligent, generous and kind individual. I will miss all our light hearted conversations – Politics, religion, work, golf and life in general. God bless and my sincerest condolences to the family.


Thomas De Vries

January 03, 2020 4:22PM

The loss of Chris is surely felt by many. May the memories of his wonderful personality and abundance of contributions to the Halliburton family be celebrated by all.


David Eaton

January 03, 2020 3:30PM

A great man and valued colleague. You will be missed by all who knew you.


Richard Lines

January 03, 2020 3:07PM

It was an honour to work with Chris both as the engineer and the man. His legendary expertise and generosity of spirit will be much missed.


Blaine Comeaux

January 03, 2020 2:50PM

I knew Chris for many years through working at Sperry. He was such an honorable man and so gifted. I am so sorry for this shocking loss for your family. We will be lifting you up in our prayers.


James McGovern

January 03, 2020 1:54PM

I was very fortunate to have had the years we worked together. Very, very sharp guy. He will be missed


Robert and Valerie Pennison

January 03, 2020 12:20PM

Valerie and I wish to send our sincerest condolences to the Golla Family. I was fortunate enough to work with Chris for many years and was always amazed at his intelligence, poise and thoughtfulness. He was a mentor, coworker and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


John Reed

January 03, 2020 11:48AM

I've worked with Chris for almost all of his time here at Sperry. He will be missed both as a co-worker and on a personal level. Our prayers go out to his family both at home and work.


Homi Cooper

January 03, 2020 5:12AM

My deepest heartfelt condolences to Chris Gola entire family. Chris and I worked in Hallliburton technology for 12 plus years. Chris was one of the finest person I ever met and worked with. He was very intelligent and very systematic in his work. He was well recognized for his extraordinary technical skills and bringing reliable solutions to the problems. He hired so many good candidates and mentored them to be a successful engineers. God bless his soul and Rest in Heaven. He will be in our memories forever. He leaves a huge gap in Sperry technology.


Brian White

January 03, 2020 1:50AM

Chris was a true gentleman and dearly loved his family. He was an incredible human being and everyone that met him will miss him dearly.


Michael Bittar

January 03, 2020 1:09AM

My honor and privilege to have you on my team. Your enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to the Halliburton family and your family will be missed. You inspired a generation of engineers and all missing you.