Louis Gus Germer (Louie) died on January 24, 2012, at the age of 96. He was predeceased by his parents, Bertha Hummel Germer and Andreas Germer, Jr., his four sisters Clara, Helen, Lillian, and Viola Mae, and his brother Walter (Sandy). He was born on February 14, 1915, and reared on a farm near Maxwell, Texas. Milking cows, picking cotton, and other routine chores introduced and cemented a pronounced work ethic that was to be one of numerous positive attributes he possessed and demonstrated throughout his long life. He received his B.S. from Texas State University (then, Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College) in 1936. He was an excellent athlete, lettering in football and track. He was an all-conference tackle and, along with his brother Sandy, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980. He still holds a school record for an average of 1½ blocked kicks per game during his college career. In 1935, on “the Hill” at Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College in San Marcos, he met Ruth Garnett from Utopia, Texas. They married on July 28, 1938, and soon settled in Refugio, Texas. Louie taught high school math, coached football, and worked for Quintana Oil Company before moving into the life insurance profession. While in Refugio he served his community in many areas: President of the Rotary Club, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Cub master for the scout program, member of the Board of Stewards of the Refugio Methodist Church, and member of the Board of Trustees for the Refugio School System, to name a few. He believed that selling life insurance was a calling, and he was remarkably successful—especially for a small town—because he combined a sense of certainty that he was providing a genuine service to his clients with an uncanny ability to develop trusting, lasting relationships with them. Those two factors, combined with his tireless study, preparation, and service, contributed to his being honored with myriad company honors--Top Club for 34 years and Presidents Honor Club; state honors--like the Texas Leaders Round Table for 33 plus years; and national honors--such as membership in the Million Dollar Round Table for numerous years as well as a recipient of the National Quality Award. Louie had a stellar reputation as a hard worker, but he always balanced his work with time with his family. He, Ruth, and sons Larry and Bill took their first family vacation in 1949 to Glacier National Park, and he was “hooked” on mountains and the West for life. He described the view from Many Glacier Hotel as one of the most beautiful in the world. Summer vacations were always joyfully anticipated, experienced, and remembered by the entire family and provided his sons with a deep and enduring appreciation for the diversity and beauty of God’s creation. Louie’s other favorite, and sacred, stomping ground was the Sabinal River near Utopia, Texas, which became a hallowed retreat for friends, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other relatives, and remains so today. Wonderful memories of barbecues, canoe trips, fishing, tubing, swimming, hiking, bonfires, wiener roasts and campouts continue to enrich the lives of those who participated. In 1985, Louie lost Ruth, the love of his life and wife and partner for 47 years, to cancer. Demonstrating the strength of character he displayed in so many areas of his life, he grieved profoundly yet found a way to persevere and pursue both his profession and his positive involvement with friends and family for the ensuing years. In 1996, he moved from Refugio to independent living at the Forum at Lincoln Heights in San Antonio. He joined the Alamo Heights Methodist Church and continued to be actively involved with friends and family, participating with regularity in family vacations and trips to Utopia. The last four years of his life his home was the Assisted Living, and then, the Memory Care section, of the Forum, The consistently high quality care provided, compassion demonstrated, and love shown for Louie by the remarkable staff of the Forum will forever be remembered and deeply appreciated by his family. Louie will be remembered for his competitive spirit (on his 90th birthday he shot his age at the Utopia Golf Course), his keen sense of humor and infectious laughter, his friendliness, his whistling, his favorite expletives: “Makes me so mad I could eat nails,” “Jiminy Cricket,” and more recently, “Caramba,” his preparation of chili and hearty breakfasts, his bridge expertise, his love for children (he was affectionately called “Grampy” by not only his grandchildren, but their friends as well,) his appreciation of nature, and his exceptional kindness and generosity. He had no enemies. He was liked by all who knew him and loved by most. He preached being honest and doing the right thing, and he put his own advice into practice. He was a true gentleman. Those how knew him would agree that he was a man of unquestionable integrity. He will continue to be remembered by his friends and family with great love, admiration, and appreciation for the profoundly positive impact he made on their lives and the lives of the countless individuals with whom he crossed paths during his almost 97 years on this earth. He is survived by two sons: Lawrence Louis Germer and wife, Sammie Jean Germer, William Andreas Germer and wife Cathy Leary; four grandchildren: Stephen Germer and wife Dana, Allison Buras and husband Todd, Kevin Germer and wife, Libby, and David Germer and wife Tracy; and eight great-grandchildren: Wyatt and Alexis Germer, Benjamin, Jonathan, and Michael Buras, Isaiah and Judah Germer, and Josiah Germer.
Service is set for Friday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Rd. in San Antonio.
Rev. Michael Crocker officiating. Interment in Waresville Cemetery in Utopia, with Rev. Kevin Germer officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions in “Louie’s” name to be made to the American Cancer Society, 8115 Datapoint Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229, www.cancer.org or the Utopia E.M.S., P. O. Box 393, Utopia, TX 78884, firstname.lastname@example.org
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