NEWS ABOUT BHS GRADUATES
List of deceased 1957/1958 BHS graduates
John Gay Unbehagen
GALVESTON — John
Gay Unbehagen, 67, of Galveston, passed away
Monday, November 14, 2005, at UTMB Hospital.
From Suzanne Pauls McClure
Our classmate John Unbehagen was honored on Thursday for all his earlier accomplishments and service in Galveston as you will read below. John and his family are going through a difficult time right now with his ill health. Please keep them in your prayers for the renewed strength needed during the days ahead. I know John and Joy would appreciate hearing from you at 409-744-5852 or cards can be sent to 3308 Dominique, Galveston, TX 77551.
Suzanne Pauls McClure
Council to honor former mayor today
GALVESTON — The Galveston City Council today will honor one of
John G. Unbehagen served as mayor, councilman, wharves trustee, planning commission member and in other posts. Friends say he is in failing health.
During his service, Unbehagen participated in some of the most important chapters in city history — annexation of most of the West End, for example. But it is the way he did what he did that others remember about his service.
“John led the council by seeking consensus from his council members,” Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said Wednesday. “I, too, seek consensus from my colleagues on the council.”
As with Thomas, Galveston developer John Sullivan has known Unbehagen for decades. Sullivan also lauded Unbehagen’s style.
“He had patience beyond mine,” Sullivan said. “He was not one of those who would yell and fuss and scream at people.
“He approached government in all cases with a great, quiet dignity.”
Reached at his home Wednesday, Unbehagen, 67, said that when he returned from the University of Texas in the late 1950s, “Galveston was a totally controlled city.”
By that he meant that a few powerful players dominated civic and commercial life.
But he and some other young islanders determined to change that. One was Harris L. “Shrub” Kempner.
“I don’t know that we ever agreed on anything, but we both wanted Galveston to grow and progress,” Unbehagen said.
To earn a living, Unbehagen was a math teacher at O’Connell Junior High School and he was president and general manager of Flood and Calvert, a wholesale marine and industrial supply house.
And he served on myriad city boards and commissions.
He was elected to the city council in 1975 and to the mayor’s office in 1977. He stepped down after a single term.
Sullivan said that Unbehagen worked hard to attract business to Galveston, especially to the port.
With the breakneck growth of the city’s economy today — tax revenues are expected to grow by more than $1.4 million this year without rate increases — Unbehagen said things have gotten a lot better since he came home from college.
“The future of the city is the brightest I’ve seen in the last 40 years,” he said.
What: Galveston City Council.
When: Workshop — 10 a.m., Regular meeting — 5:30 p.m.
Where: City hall, 823 25th St.
Beverly Blume ComeauxPORT BOLIVAR — On Thursday, June 30, 2005, Beverly went home to her loving husband, parents, siblings and The Lord. She was born October 3, 1937, to George and Esther Blume of Port Bolivar. She married Leroy Comeaux in 1956 and became the mother of 8 wonderful children. As time passed, her 19 grandchildren became the lights of her life and she was very excited knowing she would be a great grandmother to a twin boy and girl later this year.
From Anne Blocker (Class of '57) and Bo (Class of '56)
Sent: Friday, June 10, 2005 3:58 PM
Subject: Virginia Irvine Blocker, MD 1913-2005
died yesterday morning peacefully and without pain. The memorial service
will be held in Galveston at 2:00 on Wednesday with a reception following at
The University of Texas Medical Branch. In lieu of flowers, contributions
are being made to the Virginia Blocker memorial fund which will publish her
works and distribute them. She was 92. She and our father loved The
University of Texas.
The Blocker Family
Truman III (Bo), Anne, Sterling and Gordon
Fourteen grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren.
Location -- memorial service, 23rd and L, Carnes Chapel
Reception, 13th and D, Rosenberg House
Fund, c/o Armin Cantini, Bank of America
Please post and circulate.
Both events are open to the public.
Dr. Virginia Irvine Blocker - Mother of Bo and Anne
GALVESTON — Dr. Virginia Irvine Blocker, 92, passed away Thursday, June 9, 2005, at her residence in Galveston. Services are pending with Carnes Brothers Funeral Home of Galveston.
Service at Carnes Brothers Funeral Home at 1201 Tremont (23rd) on Wednesday, June 15th at 2PM. Reception to follow at the restored Henry Rosenberg Home at 13th/Market from 4-6PM. Anne Blocker's residence address is 1422 Harbor View Circle, Galveston, TX 77550.
More sad classmate news…
Marcia Winchester Wilcox
GALVESTON - Marcia Winchester Wilcox, 67,
passed away Wednesday, May 25, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston,
Texas. A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2005, at
Sacred Heart Church, with Father Frank Fabj as celebrant. Burial will follow
at Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery in Hitchcock, Texas. The family will
receive visitors at Carnes Brothers Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00
p.m., Monday May 30, 2005, with a rosary being recited at 6:30 p.m., by
Father Frank Fabj.
Marcia was born April 7, 1938, in Galveston, Texas to John and Ann Winchester. She was a life long resident of Galveston, except for 20 years of her life that she traveled throughout the United States and a number of foreign countries with her husband as he served in the U. S. Army. Marcia was a 1957 graduate of Ball High School and attended the University of Texas, in Austin. Marcia was a very active member of the Galveston and Sandpiper Republican Women Clubs. She was also a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Galveston Pachyderm Club. She received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Galveston Island Rotary Club for her dedication and effort as Executive Director of the Clubs Senior Citizen outlet store “The Grand Place To Shoppe” which was located in Galveston for many years on the strand.
She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Arthur M. Wilcox; two daughters, Marie Wilcox of London, England and Sunny Bryant and her husband, Gene of Plano, Texas and their three children, Ashley, Annalin and Nathaniel. She is also survived by her sister, Karen (Kay) Winchester Davis and her husband, Benjamin and their son, Lt. Brad Davis, USN. She is also survived by her cousin, Capt. Morton S “Windy” Winchester, USN (Ret) and wife, Peggy and their daughters, Meg and Beckie and her husband, Tod Habib.
Pallbearers will be Bill Brown, Jim Earthman, Tod Habib, Dr. Reza Jahadi, Capt. William Kern and Col. James Sigler, USA, (Ret). Honorary Pallbearers are Tom Buckley, Jimmy Fundling, Mel Rourke, Dr. John Thiel and Capt. Morton Winchester, USN (Ret).
Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church,1302 Broadway, Galveston, Texas 77550 or to Trinity Episcopal School, 720 Tremont, Galveston, Texas 77550 in care of Benjamin Duke Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Sadly, I am forwarding the email below I just received from Tom Stafford. Bobby Newton was such a fine person and good friend. If you wish, you can send your note of sympathy to his wife Paulette and family at 328 Linden Lane, Lake Jackson, TX 77566/Phone: 878-297-4140. I am going to miss him.
Suzanne P. McClure
We received a call from Toby Newton on Tuesday night (9/28/04) informing us that Bobby Newton had passed away on Tues. morning. They believe it was a heart attack. He said there will be a service in Lake Jackson on Friday at the Chapelwood United Methodist Church at 2 pm. We don’t know of any further information. This was a shock to both of us since Bobby always seemed to be in good health…but I think heart disease fools a lot of us. Hope you are doing ok. Barbara and Tom Stafford
Please visit the Notice for Marjorie Foster Collins.
Suzanne Pauls McClure
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Clear Lake/Bay Area News
Oct. 22, 2003, 12:39PM
'Little Miss Oppe' cast a giant shadow
Ball teacher remembered for dedication to students By DAVE SCHAFER Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
Following is one in a series examining the story behind the names at prominent venues and facilities in the community.
She called herself "Little Miss Oppe." Others referred to her as "The Mighty Mite."
Greta Oppe was 4 feet 9 inches tall and weighed about 100 pounds, but she was a forceful person, commanding the respect of the students in her many science classes through her kindness and understanding. Oppe, who died more than 18 years ago, is still fondly remembered by her students for the impact she had on their lives. A school at 2915 81st St. bears her name. "She was slight of build but great of mind," said Dr. Melvyn H. Schreiber, the Robert N. Cooley Distinguished Professor of Radiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Born in Galveston on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 1893, Oppe knew she wanted to be a teacher even as a child, according to her niece, Ruth Echols. Oppe never married or had children. She taught 51 years before retiring in 1964 and then taught as a substitute for several years. She died in 1985 at age 91. Oppe Elementary was built two years later.
According to articles obtained from Rosenberg Library's Galveston and Texas History Center, Oppe graduated from Ball High School in 1912, then attended Sam Houston Normal School for a year to earn her teaching certificate. Initially, she was an English teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School -- which has since been demolished -- and then, starting in 1916, began teaching at Ball. At some point, she was asked to teach science and in 1922 became head of the science department at Ball high school. At the time, the school only offered one class each in physics, biology and chemistry, according to a 1980 Galveston Daily News article. By the time she retired, Oppe was teaching 10 classes of chemistry in addition to other subjects.
In a 1936 article in the Galveston Tribune, Oppe said World War I turned her ambition toward teaching science because she realized the significance of scientific knowledge. While teaching, she continued her education, attending summer classes for seven summers to earn a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Texas. Then she attended New York University for three summers to earn a master's degree. She also attended Syracuse and Harvard universities and the University of Michigan.
Oppe taught out of a textbook she wrote: Chemistry: A Workbook and Laboratory Manual. She also wrote numerous pamphlets on both religion and science. She won numerous awards and honors. She was presented a plaque from the Texas Academy of Science for her work in revising science-education standards in Texas. But her former students don't remember her for the recognition she received. They remember her for the impact she had.
"She was a great source of inspiration, not just for science but also for all knowledge," said Schreiber, who said he went into a science field because of Oppe. Besides being a physician at UTMB, he's also a member of the faculty. He said what made Oppe such a good teacher was that she thought like a student, understanding that students sometimes need lessons phrased in a different way to help them grasp the concepts. Schreiber graduated from Ball High in 1947 and stayed in touch with Oppe until her death.
Karen Haines and her husband, John, both graduated in 1956 and had Oppe as a teacher. Karen Haines had her for biology and chemistry. Her husband had her for chemistry. Karen Haines remembers that Oppe was a very good person, and, despite her small stature, "she didn't put up with shenanigans." Haines remembers Oppe as being very thorough in her instruction, taking the time to walk the students through every aspect of an assignment and making sure they understood.
Betty Schnake graduated from Ball High in 1950 and had Oppe as a teacher. Schnake is also Oppe's cousin. "She was very independent and she loved her students," Schnake said. Even students who didn't have Oppe as a teacher remember how she was respected.
Tony Garcia of the Class of 1957 said he never heard anyone say a bad word about her like they would other teachers. She was pretty popular, he said. Helena Aucoin, now assistant principal at the Oppe school, had Oppe as a substitute teacher. Oppe always had a smile on her face, Aucoin said.
One Christmas Eve in the mid 1950s, Oppe was involved in an accident that killed her sister, Elsie. Oppe broke both arms and both legs. She was back to the classroom the Tuesday after Easter, said Echols, who lives in Henderson. Oppe's arms were as weak as her legs; so a cane didn't help when it came time for Oppe to learn how to walk again. Oppe devised her own walker. She took a chair that had nylon glides at the bottom and pushed it around in front of her until she could walk again on her own, Echols said. That personifies who Oppe was, she said. "She came back from a real blow," Echols said. "She was a person of tremendous determination."
One of Oppe's dreams, as relayed by her in the Tribune story, was to see a marine museum in Galveston. "Marine life around Galveston should be preserved and classified so that a visitor may be afforded a chance to see all sea animal life in this vicinity at one time," she said in the article.
Perhaps, she wouldn't have dreamed that a school would be named after her, Schnake said. As of Sept. 26, 667 students were enrolled in the school. Schnake was there when the school was dedicated in Oppe's honor. She said she thinks Oppe would have been pleased. "Her students were her life, and that's about the most honorable thing you can say about a teacher," Schnake said.