September 4, 2014
Blinn College has selected five distinguished alumni and community leaders for induction in the College’s 2014 Hall of Honor Class Oct. 25 at the Blinn – Brenham campus Student Center.
Former Brenham Banner-Press publisher Charles Moser was recognized as person of the year, while Henry Boehm, Sr.; Mike Hopkins, Sr.; Sudie Stark and Walter Thielemann were also inducted. Since the Hall was founded by the Blinn Alumni and Friends Association in 2003, 61 civic leaders have been named to the Hall of Honor.
The Hall recognizes Blinn’s most distinguished alumni, local business leaders and those who have made a significant impact in their communities or professions. Inductees are recognized at a luncheon during Blinn’s homecoming festivities each year.
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 18,413 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.
The editor and publisher of the Brenham Banner-Press from 1970-2010, Moser has been a dedicated supporter of Blinn College for more than 40 years.
A graduate of La Porte High School (1961) and Sam Houston State University (1965), Moser began working for his hometown Bayshore Sun in high school and continued working there through college. After graduation, his first job was as sports editor for the Alvin Sun before moving to Brenham as managing editor of the Banner-Press in 1966.
Moser has served as director and president of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association (TDNA), director of the Texas Press Association, and has been a recipient of the Frank Mayborn Award for Community Leadership from TDNA and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Print Journalism award from Sam Houston State’s School of Mass Communication. He was named Man of the Year by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce in 1988.
Active in the community, Moser is current board chair of the Brenham Community Development Corp., past director and chair of the Brazos River Authority, past director of the Lower Colorado River Authority, past director and president of the Economic Development Foundation of Brenham, past president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association, past board member and chairman of Trinity Medical Center, board member of Scott & White Hospital-Brenham and past president of Brenham Rotary Club.
A member of First United Methodist Church, Moser and his wife Peggy have three grown children (Jennifer, Jim and Allison) and five grandchildren (Jeremy, Emerson, Zachary, Sarah and Charlie).
HENRY J. BOEHM, SR.
Boehm was born in Riesel, Texas to Ida Kluck and William Boehm on August 31, 1909. He attended Trinity Lutheran School for eight years, where he studied both German and English, then attended Riesel High School for two years. He graduated from Marlin High School as salutatorian in 1927. He participated in track, baseball and basketball.
He went to the University of Texas and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1931. He worked in Waco as a bookkeeper for a short time, then got his teaching certificate.
On June 27, 1934, he married Ethel Muchow in Otto, Texas. He was hired as teacher/principal of Perry School in Falls County for $75 per month, and continued attending school at the University of Texas at Austin in the summers, earning his Master of Business Administration.
In 1935, Blinn hired Boehm as a teacher and bookkeeper for $100 per month. Coaching was soon added to his duties. The Boehms rented a house from Blinn, near the boys’ dorm, on land that became the football field. The Boehm’s first son, Henry Jr., was born during this time. In 1939, the Boehms bought a lot and built a home on 3rd Street half a block from Boehm’s office. Kathryn and Robert were added to their family. The Boehms lived in this home for more than 35 years. Living next to the Blinn campus, the Boehms welcomed many students and faculty members to their home.
During the summer months, Boehm continued advanced education at various universities in Colorado, California and Texas. In 1946, Boehm met the requirements of the Public Accountancy Act of 1945 and was certified as a public accountant from the Texas State Board of Public Accounting. Boehm completed 18 advanced hours of education administration and methods and was awarded his superintendents and principals certification in 1948.
Boehm worked hard to give veterans the opportunity to attend night classes at the College when they returned home from military service. In the summers, he visited courthouses to get lists of graduating seniors, then sent those students letters encouraging them to attend Blinn. He also made home visits to Washington County graduating seniors.
Boehm participated in many civic organizations. He was president, treasurer and secretary of the Brenham Evening Lions Club and an active member for 55 years. He was president of the Washington County unit of the Texas State Teachers Association. For 25 years, Boehm served as parade chairman for the Brenham Maifest Association. He was secretary-treasurer of the Texas Junior College Athletic Conference for 25 years and secretary-treasurer of the United Fund of Washington County for 16 years. Boehm was president of the Retired Teachers Association of Brenham and chairman and member of the Regional Advisory Committee of Aging for the Brazos Valley Development Council.
In 1981, Boehm was named “Man of the Year” at the annual Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Foundation Banquet. He was elected to the Maifest Hall of Fame in 1982 and served as a Boy Scout committee chairman.
Boehm was a director and served as chairman of the audit committee of Washington County State Bank. He was a director and served as vice president of the board of Blue Bell Creameries, was president of the Washington County American Association of Retired Persons and was appointed director of the Brazos River Athority Board, where he served on four committees, by the governor of Texas.
An active member of Grace Lutheran Church, he served as chairman for 20 years, treasurer for 12, elder for three and was also financial secretary. He was a Sunday school teacher and member of the Men’s Club and Senior Citizens. Boehm served on the stewardship, evangelism and building committees and was president of the Brazos Valley Zone Walther League.
Boehm served six years on the Texas District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod board of directors. He was treasurer of the Texas District for eight years, stewardship secretary for eight years and served on the Rural Life Committee for three years. Boehm served 15 years on the Texas District Church Extension Fund Conference.
At Blinn, Boehm served as sponsor of Phi Rho Pi (National Honor Society for Junior College students) and helped organize Gamma Delta (the Lutheran Students Association).
Boehm became registrar, dean-registrar and academic dean of Blinn. He enjoyed working with President C.F. Schmidt, Dr. James H. Atkinson, Charles Schwartz, Dr. Don Voelter and many other administrators and faculty members. He retired after more than 43 years as an educator, including 41 years at Blinn.
Henry and Ethel were very proud that their three children and spouses were Blinn graduates, and more than half of their nine grandchildren also graduated from Blinn before they went on to attend senior colleges. Boehm passed away May 6, 1998 at the age of 88. There are now 18 Boehm great-grandchildren, and the oldest is a Blinn graduate.
MIKE HOPKINS, SR.
Hopkins was born to Elizabeth Marie and David Flinnoye Hopkins just outside of Texas on Sept. 16, 1944. His early days were spent in Galveston before earning a degree from Texas A&M University and serving in the U.S. Marines.
Ambitious and blessed with a vision for the future, Hopkins used early experiences such as being the personal driver for Gen. O.R. Simpson and being one of the first bar operators on Northgate to achieve future goals. In the mid-1970s, he and his wife Nina moved to Austin, where Hopkins became executive director of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, a position that allowed them both to flourish professionally and politically. Together, they built the legacy that is now known as the Texas Three-Tier System.
In 1989 Hopkins moved to Brenham to begin the Mike Hopkins Distributing Company, Inc., which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year. Through Hopkins’ generosity, the company donated the property where Washington County’s Emergency Medical Services facility is now located.
A founding member of the Texas Lyceum and the Center for Coastal Conservation, Hopkins was named the Washington County Man of the Year in 2008. His love of deep sea fishing led him to serve on the board of directors for the Coastal Conservation Association and the Houston Big Game Fishing Club. Following his philosophy of Pass-It-On, Hopkins served on the executive committees for the Texas A&M Chancellor’s Council, Volunteer Services Council at the Brenham State-Supported Living Center and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Hopkins is survived by his wife Nina, his brother David, his daughter Holly Hopkins Richardson, his son-in-law Mark Richardson, his son Mike Hopkins Jr., his daughter-in-law Elizabeth Hopkins, his grandchild Tyler Henry Hopkins and nephew Nick Stratos. He is also survived by special friend of the family Michael Dudich.
A Washington County native, Sudie Schaer Stark was born in Brenham and raised in Chappell Hill. She attended Chappell Hill schools before graduating from Brenham High School.
Stark was married to the late Dr. Delbert H. Stark, and together they had four sons – Dr. Robert S. Stark, Delbert (Bubba) H. Stark, the late James John Stark and the late Duke David stark.
Stark earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in education from Baylor University, and her commitment to education was evident as she actively supported her sons’ involvement in public education through the years. An active member of St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sudie was instrumental in the organization and growth of the Christian Day School and served on its board for many years. After her husband’s death, Stark established the Delbert H. Stark Memorial Scholarship at Blinn College in 1986. She also established an endowed chair in her late husband’s memory at the University of Texas at Austin.
Appointed to the Blinn Board of Trustees in 1991 to fill an unexpired term, Sudie was elected in 1992 and reelected in 1998. She was the first woman to serve on Blinn’s Board of Trustees, and served as secretary from 1992-96. She worked for the advancement of educational excellence at Blinn College until her retirement from the board in 2004 and continues to support the College as she is able.
Stark has also served her community through active involvement in the Brenham Elks Lodge Auxiliary, as a member of the St. Jude Hospital Board of Trustees from 1984-86, as a Board member of the Brenham State School Opportunity Center, as a Board member of the Farmer’s State Bank of Chappell Hill and as chairperson of the Church council at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where she also trained and served as a Stephen Minister As a tireless supporter of the Brenham Maifest, she served as Maifest co-chairman for 10 years alongside her late husband, making her the first female member of the Maifest board and its first female chairperson. Sudie was elected to the Maifest Hall of Fame in 1981 and continues to serve as director emeritus.
In retirement, Sudie has been committed to her six grandchildren and their educational endeavors. Her sons Dr. Robert S. Stark and Delbert (Bubba) H. Stark are both graduates of Blinn College. Three grandchildren enrolled in Blinn’s dual credit program with Brenham High School and earned college credit from Blinn before enrolling at four-year universities.
Born and raised in the Welcome community of Austin County, Thielemann attended public schools at Welcome and Wesley through the 10th grade, when he began working on the family farm. At the age of 18 he entered the U.S. Army and served 18 months in the Pacific during the latter part of World War II. He was honorably discharged on September 27, 1947. Shortly thereafter, he met and married his wife of 64 years, Evelyn Riechers. Together they have three children, nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Upon returning from the service, Thielemann ventured into the construction business. At that time, he was employed by Erwin “Boots” Broecker as a framer and attended Blinn College night school. During this time, he continued to learn through hands-on experience and fine-tuned his skills as a carpenter craftsman. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Blinn on June 1, 1953. After working for Broecker for several years, Thielemann ventured into a partnership with Odell Lueckemeyer as they began contracting together. This created the foundation for Thielemann to eventually branch out on his own and focus primarily on custom residential construction.
In 1956 Thielemann and his wife Evelyn founded Walter Thielemann Construction, which continues today under the leadership of their three children. The company now employs approximately 25 people and continues to provide the quality product that the Thielemann name has become known for. In 1972, Thielemann received the First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Homes for Better Living. He personally contributed to the construction of many of Brenham’s homes over the years along with various churches, apartments, motels and rest homes. Additionally, he has been instrumental in developing numerous subdivisions in Washington County, including Highland Meadows, Highland Gardens, Country Place West, Country Place Northwest, Gun & Rod Subdivision, Country Meadows and Stoneybrook Townhomes. Having recently celebrated his 86th birthday, Thielemann finally decided to retire from the family business after working for 58+ years.
Thielemann spent many of his early years coaching Little League softball as well as umpiring for Little League baseball games. His love for cattle and being on the farm drew him toward the Washington County Fair Association, where he not only presided as president in 1981 but faithfully served on the Board of Directors from the mid-1970s until 2013. He also served as Director for the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
Thielemann has been a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Prairie Hill since 1950. He has served in various capacities there, including president, councilman and with the Men in Mission. He is also a member of V.F.W. Post #7104, American Legion Post #48, Elks Club, and the Prairie Hill-Rocky Hill Fire Department, among others. Thielemann and his wife Evelyn have spent a great amount of time supporting the various endeavors of their many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Even now they attend as many basketball, volleyball, football, baseball, dance recitals, art shows and music recitals as they can.