Author Archive

Charles Edward Orand (’59)

Charles Edward Orand

The Dallas Morning News
February 17, 2023, 11:14 am EST

Charles Edward Charles Edward Orand passed peacefully on February 6, 2023, after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. We are comforted knowing he is fully alive in the Kingdom of Heaven with his Lord Jesus Christ. Born November 11, 1936, Charles grew up on the family farm in Fairfield, Texas before moving his senior year to Texas City where he graduated high school in 1955. Charles worked his way through college at The University of Houston, earning his bachelors of science degree. Soon after, he moved to Dallas where he began his lifelong career at Texas Instruments as a senior member, technical staff, of avionics within the defense systems and electronics group. In 1967, while at a dance with friends, he met the love of his life, Betty Kelly Bailey, whom he married in June, 1969. And while Charles loved his work at T.I., he always left it at the office each evening so he could be fully present with his family, which was his absolute greatest joy. Laughter around the dinner table was a nightly event. Charles loved the mountains and he and Betty traveled often together to their favorite places including Estes Park, Colorado, and Ruidoso, New Mexico; as well as tropical getaways to Acapulco, Hawaii and later Corpus Christi. Charles was a do-it-yourself kind of man and could take apart and fix anything. Weekends were often spent under the hood of the family cars where he taught his sons a love for automobiles and how they operated. Charles taught his family the value of hard work, but most of all, he modeled the meaning of true love, especially for his “everything” Betty, who was the focus of his adoration until the day he died. Charles is preceded in death by his father Ellis Orand and his mother Inez Thacker Beniretto, and his special stepfather Pete, along with his brother Bill Orand. He is survived by his wife Betty and his children Patrick Orand and Terry Mascolo, Jeff Bailey and wife Anne Marie, Craig Bailey and wife Shelly. Charles was greatly loved by his grandchildren Francesca Movchan (Kent), Stephen Bailey (Holly), Lauren Bailey Prioleau (Mack), Cole Bailey (Allison), and Olivia Bailey; along with great grandchildren Niko, Isabella, and Giuliana Movchan, and recently born Hudson Cole Bailey. Charles’ family would like to express their love and gratitude to his caregivers at C.C. Young and especially Mary Pat Smith, his hospice nurse, who was a source of love, wisdom, strength, and stability to Charles and his family over the past year and a half. We bless you all! A private family graveside service will be held on Friday, February 10th at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Nathan Conrad (’05)

Hunter is pleased to announce Nathan Conrad as the blast-resistant building firm’s new vice president of operations. In his new role, the Texas native will provide support and conduct long-range planning for the organization’s operations.

Conrad maintains more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, with prior work placing him in leadership positions ranging from materials management to operations.

He joined Hunter in 2011, originally as warehouse manager, and played a critical role in developing company procurement processes. After a promotion to director of operations, Conrad successfully managed multiple departments while improving efficiency and clarity across the organization.

That first-hand experience provided Conrad a clear understanding of each role required to execute a Hunter building, and he said he plans to put the knowledge to good use in his new position.

“I’ve been deeply involved with the operational side of our company for a while now, but this new role gives me the opportunity to take that work to the next level,” explained Conrad, who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Houston.

Company Chief Operating Officer Michael Draper congratulated his colleague for taking this next step with Hunter, noting his wealth of experience and dedication to a job done well will benefit both the company and its clients.

 “Nathan is a dedicated leader who’s always looking to learn more and grow his skill set,” Draper explained. “He’s been a tremendous asset to our team for many years already, and I’m confident he’s the right man for this new role.”

Conrad said he is excited to take on new responsibilities to guide an already successful company forward.

“Hunter has an impressive history of growth and success, and that’s no accident,” he said. “Our company has worked hard to become the industry leader it is today. I look forward to further building upon Hunter’s reputation and providing long-term value for our clients and employees.”

James Donald Wells III (J.D. ’77)

James (Jim) Donald Wells III
May 4, 1952 – March 7, 2023
James (Jim) Donald Wells III, age 70, passed away on March 7th, 2023. in San Antonio, Texas. An avid golfer and dog lover, Jim enjoyed traveling, golf cart rides with his dog Nala, and spending time with his granddaughters.

He was a graduate of The University of Texas with a degree in business and a member of FIJI. After graduating from UT, Jim obtained a J.D. from The University of Houston Law School. He went onto pursue a career in finance as a broker for Lincoln Financial Group for over 20 years where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Betty and James Donald Wells Jr.; grandparents, Alba & James Donald Wells Sr. and Grace & Herbert Fields. He is reunited again with his dogs Rocky, Tenley, and Nala.

He is survived by his sons; Colin (Jennifer) and Taylor (Allie); grandchildren; Madison and London; sisters, Dona Leeman (Mike), Martha Wells, and Christi Lea (Bruce); nieces and nephews, Lindsey and Mason Leeman, Brittany Lollis (Brandon), and Brylyn Lea; great niece, Lottie Lollis; and grand dogs Reagor and Lemmy.

Jeffrey Garner Planck (’96)

Beloved father, husband, and son Jeffrey “Jeff” Planck passed away on March 13, 2023. He was 50. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Mayson Planck, their children Amanda and Brett, his mother Sharron Brieger Planck, and numerous family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Bob Planck.

A native Houstonian, Jeff graduated from Lee High School in 1991. He attended the University of Houston and earned his BA in Economics and Spanish with membership in the Honors College in 1996. Upon graduation, he taught Spanish and coached basketball at Lamar High School. He went on to earn his MBA in Finance from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in 2001. He began a career in the energy industry, rising in the trading and brokerage sector to a partner with Echo Energy, a wholesale brokerage firm based in Houston.

His greatest loves were his family, travel and sports. An only child, he and his parents were a tight family unit and traveled everywhere together. His love of travel and sports were seeds planted in a loving childhood.

He and his wife Mayson were best friends and partners in life. They met at a wedding in Las Vegas, which became “their town”. They joked that Mayson came home with the best man, and Jeff hit the jackpot. They were inseparable ever since. They celebrated their wedding in Vegas and travelled there often. It was there that Jeff nurtured his love and passion for poker. An avid reader and student of people, Jeff loved the strategy and insight the game afforded. He was working toward becoming a professional poker player in his retirement.

A naturally gifted athlete, Jeff excelled at every sport he tried. He played Division I football for the University of Houston Cougars his freshman year. He enjoyed attending sporting events with his family and looked forward to the time it allowed him with his father, mother, wife, and children. He loved the UH Cougars above all other teams, except his children’s teams. Amanda and Brett inherited his love of sport, and he was their biggest fan. He coached Brett at Memorial Ashford Little League, where he himself played as a child. He was a fixture on the sidelines of Amanda’s volleyball games and could be found in the stands behind home plate at Brett’s baseball games.

He was an avid and lifelong traveler. In college, he traveled abroad to Spain and Mexico City, and his experiences had a profound impact on his life. Jeff had a knack for languages and was fluent in Spanish. In high school, he won a national award for best non-native Spanish speaker. He loved planning awesome trips and family adventures including vacations to Europe, Argentina, Hawaii, Lake Tahoe and many more but his favorite vacation spot was Las Vegas, Nevada. One if his greatest joys was taking his children to new places; he believed that travel and learning about other people and cultures was an important part of his own growth in life and wanted to show his children the world.

Jacquie Baly (’90)

On March 2nd , Jacquie Baly was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, presented by the
Greater Houston Women Chamber of Commerce (GHWCC). Inductees are recognized for them
significant contributions to women’s advancement and quality of life for future generations of
Texas Women.
Jacquie Baly graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the UH-Central
campus in 1990 and is President of Baly Projects, a local consulting firm specializing in planning.
and public affairs. Additionally, she serves as an adviser to Governor Greg Abbott on Higher
Education initiatives; serves as the Harris County Commissioners Court appointee on the newly-
created board dealing with economic development and business opportunities for women; and
teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Downtown, where she has taught.
public policy for over 15 years. Baly has won numerous awards for her industry and philanthropic.
work, including Top Ten Entrepreneurs in the Country by the National Association of Women
Business Owners, Crohn’s and Colitis Woman of Distinction, and St. Jude’s Children Hospital
Philanthropist of the Year. Baly is currently pursuing her Doctorate at the University of Southern
The Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce is the preeminent voice for advancing.
and empowering businesswomen across Houston, our nation, and beyond. GHWCC is a
nonprofit business organization of highly influential and diverse women and men dedicated to
the advancement and empowerment of women through avenues of leadership, education,
advocacy, and mentoring. GHWCC provides a platform for women to make their voices heard.
while building valuable relationships and enhancing leadership skills.

Rick Crady (’75)

RICK CRADY Rick Crady, 71, of Waxahachie entered into God’s kingdom on February 26, 2023, surrounded by friends and family. He was born on January 14, 1952, at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas. Rick, a loving father and grandfather, is survived by his sons, James and Jeremy; their wives, Kristen and Brynn; grandchildren, Roland, Morgan, Presley, Ayla and Merle; significant other, Jennifer; former wife and mother of children, Debbie. At the age of 12, Rick accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. This was one of two life altering relationships he would have in a matter of years that would forever change, influence and shape the trajectory of his life. In middle school he would meet his first band director, Darrell Chambers. Mr. Chambers would inspire Rick to become a band director and teacher. His relationship with Jesus would inspire him to live with a deep personal commitment to his faith and as an example of Christ’s love to others. Upon graduation from W. W. Samuel High School, Rick attended Eastfield College and then quickly thereafter the University of Houston in pursuit of becoming a band director. Ultimately, Rick would go on to get his master’s degree in education at the University of North Texas. His teaching career started at Seagoville High School in 1975 and ended 30 years later in 2005 at Dan D. Rodgers Elementary. Between those two jobs, Rick spent the vast majority of his career as a middle school band director at Robert T. Hill Middle School inspiring other middle school kids to grow up and have a career in music the very same way that he was inspired. Rick always said that he loved teaching middle school kids because it felt like the last age that you could really make an impact before they went to high school, where kids were harder to reach. He lived this out in practice and left a meaningful impression on an unknown number of his students. Even after he retired, Rick returned to teaching for a few years as the band director for St. Joseph Catholic School in Waxahachie and Ovilla Christian School in Red Oak, Texas. During his time in college and on into his professional career, Rick would tend to his spiritual side by serving on staff at multiple churches as a youth minister in college and later as a music director. This was a very special time in Rick’s life where many special friendships were made and maintained for the rest of his life. Most recently, Rick attended Waxahachie Bible Church as a faithful member. Rick was a friend to almost everyone he met and would work hard and fast to find common ground to connect with them. He would always remember names and work to pronounce them correctly so that he could make someone feel special the next time they met. His smile was always warm and genuine. His hugs were always heartfelt and will be missed by many. There are many things that Rick was called during his time on earth; son, father, grandad, friend, confidant, hero, etc. Some of those were probably his favorite things to be while he was here, but there is one name that was actually who he was and showed up in all those other roles without him ever trying: teacher. Rick was a teacher to students of course, but he was a teacher to his family and friends by displaying the selfless love and acceptance that he received all those years ago when he was 12, when he was unconditionally accepted and forgiven. Rick has left this earth and a hole in our lives, but he has also left a piece of knowledge and/or kindness forever engrained in all who knew him. The family wants to say thank you to Pathway Hospice and Angel Wings Funeral Home for the incredible service and care received. Thank you to everyone who visited, prayed and cared during these past few months.

Quentin Brogdon (M.B.A. ’89, J.D. ’89)

I am a 1989 graduate of the Law Center.  I also obtained my M.B.A. degree from UH in 1989.  I just learned the Texas Bar Foundation awarded the 2023 Dan Rugeley Award to me.  The Award will be bestowed at a black-tie dinner in Austin on June 23rd during the State Bar Annual Meeting.  As part of the recognition for the award, the Texas Bar Foundation will make a $1,000 donation to the Texas law school of my choice.  I chose the University of Houston as my law school to receive the $1,000 donation.

Emil Charles Kocurek, Jr. (’57)

Emil Charles Kocurek, Jr. ORBITUARY


February 17, 2023, 11:22 am EST

Emil Charles Kocurek, Jr., better known as Randy Reets, peacefully passed away on February 7, 2023, at the age of 88 with his loving family by his side. Randy was born on June 13, 1934, near Wharton, Texas, to Emil Kocurek, Sr., and Mary (Matocha) Kocurek. In 1961, he married Dolores Dycus, and they had four children.

In his early years, his family often moved around and eventually settled in Sealy, where he graduated from high school in 1953. In 1957, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Communication from the University of Houston. During his time at the U of H, he adopted the name “Randy Reets”, which became the stage name that the public knew him by. Following college, he served in the U.S. Army, initially as a Public Information Specialist, and later attained the rank of captain. He also served in the Reserves.

In 1958, Reets moved to Brenham and joined the staff at radio station KWHI. His radio career would span more than 60 years, most of which were at KWHI/KTTX and KLTR. He wore many hats in radio, including disc jockey, news director, sports director, operations manager, salesman, and sales manager.

But his passion was sports broadcasting. His ability to eloquently describe the game along with the atmosphere became Reets’ trademark and endeared him to the people of Brenham and the surrounding areas. He served as the long-time play-by-play voice for the Brenham Cubs, Bellville Brahmas, Burton Panthers, Blinn Buccaneers, and Washington County Little League. During his career, he called games for nearly every high school in Washington and the surrounding counties, broadcasted games featuring future professional athletes, and called the action from the Little League World Series.

In addition to his love of sports, Reets was also an avid entertainer. Much of his life, he could be found on a stage. From his early college days on, he played in bands and eventually was the leader of Randy and the Rockets and then The Serenaders. His bands played at weddings, festivals, fraternity parties, city and private events, and much more, performing polkas, waltzes, country and western, and even some rock. The musical events he played numbered well into the thousands.

Reets also invested his time in entertainment and retail ventures. Some of the activities he created included The Washington County Opry, JAMBOX Disc Jockey Service, and Randy Reets Moonwalks. After retiring from radio, Reets operated Randy Reets Furniture for many years.
Even more important than his career was his dedication to the Catholic faith. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church for more than 60 years and prayed the Rosary quite frequently. Many times, you could clearly see his servant’s heart at work as he assisted others with errands, doctor’s appointments, and even employment. Reets was a Third-Degree knight and also served as Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus. As a KC member since 1961, he was recognized as an honorary lifetime member as well.

Reets is survived by his children Deidra Mearns, Kellen Kocurek, Chris Kocurek and wife Carolyn, and Amy Bentke and husband Phil; grandchildren Meredith Dunaway and husband Lance, Alex Mearns, Katelyn Kocurek, Kathleen Young and husband Ty, Cameron Kocurek, Reagan Bentke, and Cara Amelang and husband Kurt; great-grandchildren Isaac Dunaway, Tatum Young, and Kade Young; special cousin JoAnn Tatum; Dolores Kocurek; and numerous relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law Prentice Mearns.

Pallbearers will be his grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters and his great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank these special friends for their love and help over the years: Nancy and James Fritz, Jenny Warchesik, Tracy Mikolajchak, Rio Barrera, Leo Barrera, Stoney Lacina, and Dr. William T. Gray.

A visitation will be held on Friday, February 10, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the family present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Brenham Memorial Chapel, located at 2300 Stringer Street, Brenham, Texas. The Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, located at 701 Church Street, Brenham, Texas. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Kay Ellen Brendel Greenwood (’65)

Kay Ellen Brendel Greenwood OBITUARY

February 17, 2023, 10:47 am EST

Bastrop – Kay Ellen Brendel Greenwood, 79, of Bastrop, TX, passed away on February 01, 2023, from pancreatic cancer.

Kay was born on August 28, 1943 to Robert Oliver and Helen Virginia Brendel (Bob and Pat) in Knoxville, TN. After Kay graduated from Bellaire High School in 1961, she went on to study French at the University of Houston.

After graduating 2nd in her class with an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in French, she went to work at the French Consulate in Houston, before embarking on a lifelong career as a middle and high school French teacher, and immersing herself in her biggest passion, anything, and everything French.

Kay met Michael Earl Greenwood in Houston, TX at Bellaire Presbyterian Church in high school, reconnected at the University of Houston and went on to be married in 1966, recently celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. Kay and Michael had three children, Ellen Michele Greenwood, Kristopher Brendel Greenwood, and Katie Elyse Greenwood. 

In 1986 Kay and Michael moved to Harlingen, TX to raise their children in a small town, to be close to South Padre Island, and she taught French at Harlingen High School.

After teaching at Kinkaid School, Harlingen High School, La Porte High School and Ser Ninos Charter School, Kay retired and lived in Galveston, TX spending many happy years there. Kay and Michael then moved to Bastrop, TX to be closer to Ellen and Kristopher, of Austin. In 2019 she welcomed her first grandchild to her life, Frederick Brendel Greenwood, and in 2021 welcomed her granddaughter, Charlie June Greenwood, and they brought her much joy to her life in her final years.

Kay was predeceased by her parents, Bob, and Pat, and is survived by her husband Mike, three children Ellen, Katie and Kristopher, and her grandchildren, Frederick and Charlie.

Services will be held at Hyde Park Presbyterian Church on February 17, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Greenpeace and PETA, organizations Kay felt strongly about.