Posts Tagged ‘In Memoriam’

Barney L. Hammond (M.A. ’77)

Barney L. Hammond, born Sept. 30, 1943 in Corpus Christi, TX passed away peacefully in Winston Salem, NC at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home on April 10, 2024 from complications due to pneumonia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Lloyd D. Hammond and Jean Ashley Hammond, and beloved wife Utah (Jutta) Ground Hammond.

Barney was an internationally recognized voice, speech, acting and Shakespeare text coach with the Canadian Stratford Shakespeare Festival (over 50 productions); Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, CA; Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, DC; San Diago’s Old Globe; John Houseman Acting Company; Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, and many other notable theatre companies. He is Emeritus Faculty in the School of Drama at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (1988- 2001) and founding director of voice at the MFA Acting Program, University of Texas, Austin (2001 – 2016). He received his undergraduate training at Carnegie Mellon University, Masters in Directing at University of Houston, and post graduate studies in Voice at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

Per Barney’s wishes, there will be no funeral. His remains will be sent to Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY where he will join his wife Utah.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to celebrate Barney Hammond’s life and career please consider donating in his name to The School of Drama, UNCSA in care of the UNCSA Office of Advancement (336-770-3330). Condolences may be sent online through

Johnney Isaac Prestwood (’67)

Johnney Prestwood Obituary
Published by Legacy Remembers on Mar. 11, 2024.
Proudest alum and supporter of the University of Houston Cougars, Mr. Johnney Isaac Prestwood, or “BooBoo” as his grandchildren called him, passed away peacefully with his family after a year of health issues on February 26, 2024.

Johnney was born on April 4, 1941, to Wilma Lee Beard Prestwood and Horace Lee Prestwood in Splendora, Texas. As a child, he loved helping around the house, tending to the animals (especially his cow named Shasta), making railroad ties with his father, and cooking hot water cornbread with his mother. His favorite toy was an old tire that he would roll around pretending It was his very own Ford car. He completed his high school career at Splendora High School as Valedictorian of his class and FFA President.

The importance of education was instilled in him by his mother at a very young age. After high school, he moved to Houston to pursue his college education. While in Houston, he developed a love for the oil business while working in the oil fields. While working during the day, he eventually was able to attend the University of Houston, his beloved alma mater, at night. He taught Calculus there while getting his degree and working-graduating in 1967 with a Bachelors in Mathematics.

Johnney never forgot where he came from and always supported his Splendora educational roots. In 1962 he travelled to Brenham to watch his old high school basketball team play in a tournament. It was there where a beautiful women told him hello and he noticed her kindness as he was a very very shy young man. Later that evening he ventured over to the concession stand where that same woman was working. He tried to order a hot dog but she would not sell it to him because the chili was not ready. He tried to persuade her to sell him the hot dog but she would not budge because she was only to sell the hot dog with the chili. He was instantly drawn to her work ethic, her smile, and her friendly disposition. That woman, Mary Ann Arndt, would later become his wife of just shy of 60 years. Johnney and Mary Ann started their family in 1976 with the birth of their daughter Leah and completed their family with the addition of their son, Kane in 1978.

During his early years in Houston, his fond love of the oil business led him over to Standard Oil Company of California (it was later named Chevron) where he landed a job in the mailroom. It was here that he impressed people with his intellect and knowledge of mathematics and geophysics. While at Chevron he, with his family alongside him, was given the opportunity to work an assignment in Saudi Arabia and did so for 8 years. While there they were able to travel the world, something that he dreamt of as a boy. After his stint in Saudi, his next career stop with Chevron was in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for 4 years. He ended his career back in Houston with Chevron where he retired in 2000.

Johnney’s three main passions in life were family, the University of Houston, and classic cars. The time he spent with his family was very important to him. He spent countless holidays and time with his immediate family and many sisters and brothers-in-law. His favorite holidays were Thanksgiving and 4th of July. Thanksgiving was full of family and close friends, laughing over great food and even better company-he was an extremely grateful man and cherished the time. 4th of July took him and his closest family to Round Top for their annual parade. When his three granddaughters were born he found so much joy in sharing that experience with them. His retired years were spent spending time with them. He loved taking them to UH sporting events, being a fan at their sporting events/lessons, driving them in his classic cars, and working around the house showing them how to write checks and take care of finances! “No” wasn’t in his vocabulary with them and he loved them with every ounce of himself.

Johnney’s second major passion was the University of Houston. The ability to go to school in the evening gave him many opportunities and he felt indebted to the university. His love for his alma mater was evident in his support of UH athletes and athletics. He had basketball and football season tickets continuously beginning in 1964 and watched the teams with passion and an immense amount of pride. He didn’t miss UH events. He also was the cofounder of All-In-One Little Coogs-an organization that has brought over 200,000 at-risk youth to the games to experience “college life”. The day he left this earth, UH men’s basketball was ranked #1 in the country-he was thrilled he got to see that happen!

Classic cars were always something that Johnney loved. He had a small collection of his favorite cars, jukeboxes and neon signs. He loved the “good ole days”! He made numerous friends in all facets of the car business and enjoyed sharing his passion with others.

If you knew Johnney, you knew he was a giver and a fixer. He had a heart of gold and would go out of his way to lend someone a hand. Always being open to solve problems with logic and discernment, but full of love and care, brought many people to him for advice. His mother and father taught him the importance of caring for people and he did so until his last day.

Johnney is survived by his wife Mary Ann Edith Arndt Prestwood of Sugar Land; daughter Leah Stevens (Andrew), son Kane Prestwood (Irina Slitsan); granddaughters Lauren and Emily Stevens and Katie Prestwood; Sisters in law Maxine Arndt and Jeanne Prestwood; Over 40 nieces and nephews from both sides; over 35 great-great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers, 2 sisters, 7 brothers in law,7 sisters in law, 1 niece, his best childhood friend Corn Cob and numerous friends from across the globe.

A memorial to celebrate Johnney will take place at Morton Cemetery on March 23rd at 10am. He requested that everyone wear red and white or a Cougar shirt for his service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Cougar athletics by emailing or to All-in-One: Little Coogs (

Johnney wanted everyone to remember: “Organization is the key”; “Always stick to the task at hand”; “Life is short. Live it the right way; “Don’t take any wooden nickels” and of course, “GO COOGS”!

Lara “Larissa” Sterzing (M.B.A. ’99)

Lara Sterzing
February 25, 1971 ~ June 10, 2023
52 Years Old
Tribute & ServicesTribute Wall
Lara was called home to the Lord on June 10, 2023, after the sudden onset, and intense short 104-day struggle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Lara “Larissa” Sterzing was born to H.K. “Keith” Sterzing and Virginia Field Sterzing in Taipei, Taiwan February 25, 1971. In 1988 she graduated from the Science Academy at LBJ High School in Austin, TX. Then, in 1992 she graduated from Texas A&M University, and in 1999 she graduated from her masters’ studies at the University of Houston.

After graduating from Texas A&M, Lara embarked on a journey of business excellence, continuing education, adventure, and service. She travelled for work. She travelled with family. She travelled with friends. And she travelled by herself. She touched six of the seven continents, dozens of countries, and hundreds of cities. She gave selflessly through volunteering and donations to organizations and causes near to her heart.

When not travelling the world, Lara was also active in the Orthodox Church and regularly worshiped at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Houston, Texas.

Lara was preceded in death by her father Keith, Aunt Bettye and Uncle Bruce, and Aunt Sandra.

She is survived by her mother, Virginia, her brother and sister-in-law (Peter and Kerstin), her nieces and nephews (Dominique, Alex, Ariana, and Taylor), as well as her uncle (Ross), many cousins, and all of the “adopted” family with her close friends who all knew her as “Auntie Lara.”

Lara’s funeral will take place at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Friday June 16, at 9am, located at 3511 Yoakum Boulevard, Houston, TX, with visitation from 8 to 9 am immediately preceding the service.

Following the funeral, the family will transport Lara for a private, graveside service and burial at her family’s section of the Oakwood Cemetery Annex in Austin, Texas.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family suggests making donations in her memory, to honor her selfless dedication to others, to one of the following:

Texas A&M Foundation:, and select “Give now” and then “General Memorial Fund.” Alternatively, you may write a check payable to the “Texas A&M Foundation” and mail to 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77845. Please designate Lara Sterzing (on the bottom of the donation page “This gift is in honor of someone special” or in the memo section of a paper check). These donations will then create the perpetual Lara Sterzing ’92 Memorial Scholarship, (with specific scholarship designation toward female undergraduates).

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN):

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral:, and select “Stewardship/Donations Online.”

Donations toward funeral and burial expenses and final medical bills:

Welcome Wilson, Sr. (’49, Hon. ’13)

Welcome W. Wilson, Sr.
MARCH 17, 1928 – FEBRUARY 16, 2024
Obituary of Welcome W. Wilson, Sr.

“My four passions in life are my God, my family, my country and the University of Houston.”
Welcome Wade Wilson, Sr., died on Friday, the 16th of February 2024, in Houston. He was 95 years of age. He had five children, 19 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Along with their spouses, his immediate family totaled 59 people.

He was born on the 17th of March 1928, in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas. At age 10, in Corpus Christi, Texas, he gave his life to Christ. During World War II, he attended high school in Brownsville, where he milked two cows before going to school each morning and again in the evening before going out on dates. During his senior year of high school and first two years of junior college, he served as a newscaster on the local radio station.

On the day he graduated from the University of Houston, he married the love of his life, Joanne Guest Wilson. They were married for 74 years. Joanne continues to devote her life to her family and the fine arts community of Houston. Her passions include exercise (marathon runner), cooking (gourmet chef), gardening (flower garden at home and ranch vineyard), and painting (exhibited artist and largest gallery at the Blaffer Museum of Fine Arts at UH is named after her).

For a number of years, Welcome Sr. was Chairman of the Board of Regents at the University of Houston. He received his degree from the College of Business 75 years ago. On campus, in the College of Liberal Arts, there resides the Welcome Wilson Houston History Collaborative.

He was a Texas real estate developer for over 67 years (starting in 1957). His early development projects included Jamaica Beach and Tiki Island, in Galveston. Other Galveston projects included Spanish Grant, Sea Isle, Bermuda Beach, Terramar Beach and Treasure Island. He also developed apartment projects in Houston and Galveston, retail centers, office buildings (including three in downtown Houston) and hotels, including the 6th Marriott ever built in the world.

In the last 26 years of his career, he developed and acquired with his two sons, single tenant industrial buildings in Texas and the Southeast United States. Welcome Group, LLC. was formed with Welcome Jr. as CEO, Craig as COO and Welcome Sr. served as Chairman of the Board. He also served as a principal in the regional construction firm Kingham Dalton Wilson, having been involved in the construction business off and on over a period of almost 60 years.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, he was Chairman of the Board of two banks, Chairman of the Board of an American stock exchange company and ten percent owner of the Houston Astros Baseball Team.

His first 12 years after graduation from UH were spent in government service. He began as a staff member at the University of Houston. During the Korean War, he served for two years in Japan as a Naval Officer, having graduated first in his class at Naval Officer’s School in Monterey, California.

He became Director of Civil Defense at City Hall and Assistant to the Mayor, Judge Roy Hofheinz. He then went on to hold a position in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Administration as Five State Director of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization during the Cold War. His responsibilities included those of the agency now called FEMA. When he was 30 his federal agency became part of the Executive Office of the President, where he served under both Eisenhower and Kennedy.

While in government service, he was a witness to the atom bomb test in Nevada in 1954 and the hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in 1956. At age 29, he received the Arthur Fleming Award as one of Ten Outstanding Young Men in Federal Service for his work during Hurricane Audrey which hit Cameron, Louisiana in 1957. In 1966 he served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as Special Ambassador to Nicaragua when Anastasio Somoza was President.

In 1970 he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Houston where 42 years later he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree. In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

Other honors include; Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Business Journal, Trailblazers Award from the American Advertising Federation of Houston, Crusaders Award from Houston Neighborhood Centers, Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Houston Technology Center, Distinguished Service Award from CoreNet Global, Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee, Community Service Award from the UH College of Technology and with his wife Joanne, the Houston Treasures Award from the Houston Social Book.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Houston Partnership and served as Chairman of its Higher Education Committee.

For many years he enjoyed taking annual trips with the entire family to such places as Australia, Belize, Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, The Bahamas, Jamaica and Panama.

He worked with and mentored many family members, including John Wilson, nephew, Jason Wasaff, great-nephew, Ryan Wasaff, great-nephew and great-great nephew Josh Wilson.

Some years ago, his daughter, Cynthia Wilson Proler, developed a list titled “Things you may not know about Welcome Wilson, Sr.” The list is below.

1850 – Mother’s family entered Texas before the Civil War.

1869 – Is a fourth-generation Houstonian – great-grandchildren are seventh.

1928 – Went nameless for 22 days when parents could not agree on name; his birth announcement had pink ribbon because doctor said he would be a girl; weighed twelve pounds when born in San Angelo, Texas.

1933 – At age five, scared witless by Boris Karloff in “Bride of Frankenstein.”

1935 – Took a $3 airplane ride in Ford tri-motor plane.

1939 – Had 40 aunts and uncles and 67 first cousins.

1941 – Worked on a hog farm at age 13, picked up slop from Houston hotels.

1943 – Milked two cows each morning before going to high school.

1945 – Longshoreman on Brownsville, Texas Docks for banana boats; President of the Student Body, Brownsville Jr. College; trap drummer for 17-piece college dance band; drafted in World War II, orders cancelled when Atom Bomb ended the war; played bass fiddle in 14-piece band in college.

1946 – Hitchhiked 720 miles round trip first 30 weekends in college to see a girl; lived in Army surplus house trailer on UH campus…bathroom a block away.

1947 – Ate nothing but bananas for 13 days in college.

1948 – In college, performed as comedy act singer in night clubs; with a tank of gas and $40, spent three weeks in Mexico with brother.

1949 – Hired to regularly perform live singing commercials on TV; selected one of ten outstanding students at UH.

1951 – Naval Officer in the Occupation Forces of Japan after WWII; experienced earthquake tremors in Yokohama, Japan; attended Catholic Mass at noon seven days a week in Japan for 20 months; spent a night in a Tokyo geisha house, paid extra to sleep alone; hitchhiked in Bombardier Seat of Air Force B-26s all across America; Defense Battalion Commander in Yokosuka, Japan.

1952 – Played Ping-Pong daily in Japan with World Champion Chess Master Oswald Jacoby; lived in Japan for two years with wife and son.

1953 – Executive Assistant to Texas Oilman/Philanthropist R.E. (Bob) Smith.

1954 – Shot craps with Judge Roy Hofheinz in Las Vegas; knew Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan, Bush & Bush; Houston Chairman of March of Dimes Campaign.

1955 – Led drive to raise money to install first weather radar in Texas; installed Houston air raid sirens heard every Friday noon for 30 years; was Executive Director of the United Citizens Association of Houston, and led a Slate of Mayor and City Council Candidates to Abject Defeat.

1957 – Partner of Jack Valenti, President of the Motion Picture Association of America.

1958 – Age 30, named by President Eisenhower to the Civilian Rank of 3-Star General; watched Eisenhower hit golf balls daily from WWW Sr’s DC office; conducted hearing which changed hurricane reporting by the Weather Bureau; hunted duck in Arkansas with Gov. Orville Faubus.

1959 – Invited & Spoke to a Joint Session of New Mexico Legislature; legendary US House Speaker Sam Rayburn Came to WWSR’s Texas Office; quoted in Time Magazine about the Cold War and National Defense.

1960 – JFK came to his hotel suite at Washington Hotel for small gathering; designed and built a two-story office building 50 ft. underground.

1961 – Snowstorm flight to DC with Oklahoma Gov. for JFK Inauguration; at the Presidential Inaugurations of JFK, LBJ, GHWB & GWB.

1962 – Visited with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in his Pentagon Office.

1963 – Monday – Friday workout at health clubs for over 50 years; talked with JFK and Jackie in Houston the night before he was assassinated; friend of original seven astronauts, Alan Shepherd was his neighbor; business partner with Charlie Wilson of Charlie Wilson’s War; Chairman for Astronaut Gordon Cooper’s Houston Parade; had kids or grandkids at Kinkaid School every semester for over 50 years.

1964 – Attended Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey where LBJ was nominated; business partner of Johnny Goyen, Mayor Pro-tern of Houston 22 years.

1965 – In front page Houston Post picture with LBJ at opening of Astrodome; Investigated by the Los Angeles Times as being LBJ’s silent partner; was the subject of an Oval Office conversation between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover; bank partner Bill Sherrill was later Member of US Federal Reserve Board.

1966 – Lived and raised five kids on River Oaks Boulevard for 30 years. Early board member, Houston Convention Bureau; developed Three Villa Marina apartment complexes in Galveston.

1967 – Rode the Salt Grass Trail Ride for over 57 years.

1968 – Developer, Foxhall Apartments on 1-10 at Chimney Rock in Houston.

1970 – Member of Harris County Grand Jury Commission; Chairman of Desperado Horseback Riding Group for years; ran three miles daily with best friend, Jimmy Lyon, for 20 years.

1971 – Billy Gibbons & Dusty Hill played at daughter’s party before becoming ZZ Top.

1972 – Testified twice before a Federal Criminal Grand Jury (Sharpstown).

1975 – To win a bet, ate 17 pecan balls at River Oaks Country Club; discovered high-rise fire, ran up 16 floors to evacuate residents.

1978 – Trapped for eight days in Boston hotel with 12 feet of snow at the door.

1980 – Shot pheasant in Scotland with Chairman/CEO of Sotheby’s; rafted through rapids for five days on River of No Return in Idaho.

1982 – Shot pheasant for 15 years in England, Scotland and Ireland, escorted movie star Gina Lollobrigida to awards dinner.

1984 – President of Mortgage Broker, River Oaks Financial Group, Inc.

1985 – Canoed regularly fifteen miles down Buffalo Bayou.

1988 – Saved best friend’s life using CPR; Founding Chairman University of Houston Heritage Society.

1989 – Almost lost at sea while swimming 100 miles off Texas coast.

1990 – Had “Lonesome Dove” author Larry McMurtry as house guest; witness to Spacecraft Endeavor liftoff from Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1997 – Board Member of AA White Dispute Resolution Institute.

2000 – Hip replaced 30 years after horseback accident.

2004 – Performed five wedding ceremonies under Texas Law.

2005 – Named Distinguished Alumnus for Texas Southmost College in Brownsville.

2007 – His signature is on 35,000 diplomas from University of Houston System; Beat prostate cancer.

2009 – Testified before five Texas Legislative Committees.

2010 – Founding Chairman of UH Graduate Real Estate Program Executive Committee.

2011 – Ate over 100 red and green frozen grapes each day.

Additionally, he was Chairman of the Drive to Tier One at the University of Houston and lived more than 34,000 days since his birth in 1928.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dora Irene Charpiot Wilson and E.E. Jack Wilson; adored daughter and photographer, Pamela Francis Wilson; sister, Beverly Wilson Bennett Smith; brother, Jack E. Wilson and sister-in-law, Mary Lou Moffit Wilson.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne Guest Wilson; children and their spouses, Welcome Wilson, Jr. and his wife Anita Ford Wilson, Cynthia Wilson Proler, Craig Wilson and his wife Lisa Lee Wilson, Joanne Wilson Shofner and her husband David; grandchildren and their spouses, Christina Altenau and her husband Matt, Courtney McGregor and her husband Hamish, Kelly Wilson, AnnaCatherine Wilson and Welcome Wilson III, David Proler, Ryan Proler and his wife Misty Wilson Proler, Preston Proler and his wife Taryn Hunt Proler, Lauren Berry Garrow and her husband Adam, Demi McCormack and her husband Johnny, MaryClaire Wilson and fiancé Angus McCarthy, Ava Wilson, Elizabeth Patton and her husband Chase, Wilson Castleberry, Jackson Castleberry, Christian Castleberry; great-grandchildren, Anna Altenau, Blake Altenau, Jack Altenau, Lachlan McGregor, William McGregor, Michael Proler, Stella Proler, Marcus Proler, Baird Proler, Lindley Proler, Poppy Proler, Addison Garrow, Finn Garrow, Lennon Garrow, Maximilian Sander, Rhodes McCormack, “Baby” McCormack and “Baby” Patton; step-grandchildren and their spouses, Lee Shofner and his wife Kathryn Shofner, Kate Marks and her husband Brendan, Sam Shofner; step-great-grandchildren, Everlee Shofner, Kyle Shofner, Bennett Marks, Ellie Marks, Cooper Marks, Leighton Shofner; Gary Smith, brother-in-law; the children of his sister Beverly Wilson Bennett Smith, Archie Bennett III, Monty Bennett, Matt Bennett, Rene Bennett, Audra Maxwell, Alayna Bennett, Scott Smith and Douglas Smith, as well as their spouses and children; and the children of his brother Jack, Charlene Hankey, Kathi Wilson, John Wilson and Jennifer Wilson Pittman, as well as their spouses and children.

We also thank his amazing caregivers, Antonio, Mike, Tim and Tobi for their deep love and care.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 27th of February, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

A memorial service is to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, the 28th of February, at The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where The Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill, Rector, and The Rev. Dr. Doug Richnow, Priest Associate, will officiate.

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception at a venue to be announced during the service.

At a later date, the family will gather for a private interment.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in his name be directed to the University of Houston (type “Welcome Wilson” in the search bar and select any of the options provided). Checks should be made payable to the University of Houston and mailed to The University of Houston, Gift Processing and Records, P.O. Box 867, Houston, Texas 77001-0867. If you have any questions about making a donation, please contact Hannah Barker at (317) 416-9723 or email hmbarker@Central.UH.EDU.

We also invite you to take a few moments to share fond memories and words of comfort and condolence with his family by selecting the “Add a Memory” icon.

Walter F. Marshall (’76, M.ME. ’79)

Walter Marshall Obituary
Walter Fairman Marshall

September 25, 1951 – February 3, 2024

Beloved father and grandfather, Walter Fairman Marshall, passed away on February 3, 2024 in Wimberley, Texas. Walter was born September 25, 1951 in Houston, Texas to William (Fairman) Marshall and Reba Dail Marshall. He was the youngest of three children. He attended West University Elementary (which both of his children later attended), Pershing Middle School, and Lamar High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston and later earned a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Walter and his family moved to Austin, Texas in 1997 and he lived the remainder of his life in Austin and the surrounding Hill Country.

Walter was known for his humor, interest in science fiction, reading fantasy novels, and love for his pets. Walter had a natural, instinctive connection to animals, especially dogs. His love for animals continued in his early retirement years when he volunteered as a dog walker for a local animal shelter. Walter was incredibly smart and always spoke what was on his mind. He had a very kind heart, loved being a dad, and was dedicated to his family. His grandchildren called him “Paw Paw” and loved his jokes and gifts.

Walter is preceded in death by his parents, Fairman and Reba; his older brother, Bill Marshall; and Bill’s wife, Jeannine Marshall. He is survived by his sister, Becky Chatham; brother-in-law, Cliff Chatham; children, Meredith LaRocque (and her husband, Nick) and Taylor Marshall (and his wife, Stephanie); previous wife, Pamela Marshall; and grandchildren, Hudson & Tucker LaRocque and Ryder & Amelia Marshall.

A gathering to honor Walter’s life will be held at noon on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at the Lodge at Cypress Falls Events Center in Wimberley, Texas. 1 Woodcreek Cir, Wimberley, TX 78676. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in Walter’s memory to Wimberley Adoption Group & Rescue.

Norman Henry Ehrentraut (’72)

Norman Henry Ehrentraut, 81, went to meet his Heavenly Father on December 29, 2023, after battling a lengthy illness.
He was born on December 8, 1942, in Schenectady, New York to Henry Herman and Norina Irma Ricci Ehrentraut. Norman was preceded by his parents.
After graduating from Litton High School in Schenectady, Norman attended the University of Houston on a pole-vaulting scholarship. A member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, he graduated from U of H with an architecture degree. He spent his career designing and building commercial buildings. He also owned Ehrentraut Builders, Grafix, and Wraps of Houston. He was a past president of the H Association and a past president of the Bellaire Optimist Club. He was involved with the U of H in many of their building projects over the years. His favorite activities were attending U of H football and basketball games, coaching baseball games for the Bellaire Optimist Club, and attending his grandson Trip’s gymnastic competitions.
Norman is survived by his children Norman Jr. (Cindy), Chris, and Jeannine Brosh (Matt); grandchildren Catherine and Trip Ehrentraut; and a special friend, Marilyn Moore.

Michael J. “Mike” Cemo (’68, Hon ’14)

Michael Cemo Obituary
Michael John Cemo
03/19/1945 – 12/25/2023
Michael J. “Mike” Cemo, 78, of Houston Texas, passed away on December 25, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca and children, Stephanie and Jason.

Mike was a graduate of St. Thomas High School and earned his degree in economics from the University of Houston in 1968. During his professional career, he spent 18 years as Senior Vice President of Marketing at American Capital Management, followed by 15 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM Distributors, Inc., the retail-marketing arm of AIM Management Group Inc., as well as a director of AMVESCAP PLC. In 1996, Mike received the distinguished national honor in the mutual fund industry of being named Marketer of the Year by the Financial Times.

Outside of his career, Mike had an extreme passion for his alma mater, the University of Houston. He felt it was important that the city of Houston have a top-tier business school to offer its students. With that said, he was instrumental in laying the groundwork that would become the C. T. Bauer College of Business. For those efforts, in 2001 he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the UH System Board of Regents where he served from 2002 – 2008 and was Vice Chairman of the Board for two years. In 2002, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Bauer College of Business.

During Mike’s life, he made significant contributions to his community. Those contributions include board memberships in the C. T. Bauer College of Business, Founder of the Cougar Fund, University of Houston Foundation, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Society of the Performing Arts, the Association for Community Television, Houston House Foundation, MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Houston Center for Photography, and the Ronald McDonald House-Houston. In 2000, he and his wife Rebecca founded the Michael and Rebecca Cemo Foundation donating to causes promoting higher education and aid to veterans affairs, local food insecurities and animal welfare.

In his early years, Mike was a member of two bands, The Jim Askins Combo, started at St. Thomas High School and the Sixpentz, which produced six records, one reaching the Billboard 100. Mike’s probably the only University of Houston regent to ever crack the Billboard Top 100. He always said, “I did it to get girls.”

Mike was a proud man, but never boastful, an incredible storyteller and visionary. He was also a fisherman and outstanding photographer. He was charismatic, with a generous and infectious energy that would command and light up any room. The contributions he leaves behind will be his legacy. He was loved by many and will be missed immensely.

A memorial service will be held at the University of Houston – AD Bruce Chapel on Thursday, January 11th at 1:00PM. There will be a reception to follow at the Cougar Club inside TDECU Stadium. Kindly, park at the TDECU stadium at 3700 Cullen Blvd. in lot 12A and walk over to the chapel. In lieu of flowers, please donate to either the University of Houston Athletics or the C.T. Bauer College of Business. University of Houston System, Gift Processing and Records, PO Box 867, Houston, Texas 77001.

Published by Houston Chronicle on Jan. 9, 2024.

Vincent Lo (’98)

Vincent Lo, a favorite son of Hong Kong, died on Wednesday, November 29. He suffered a heart attack while making a dinner of chicken and rice at his home. The EMS unit that attended to him was unable to revive him. He was 50 years old.

Vincent was a devoted and generous husband, stepfather, son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, nephew and grandchild. He loved every one of these singular and sensational roles, and he played them all to the hilt. He wanted nothing more than to be with his family.

The highlight of his professional career was the day when Ali Nguyen, his co-worker and future wife, visited his office for the first time. Their bond was his greatest joy and his deepest commitment. They were as inseparable as Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. Whether traveling the world or popping over to Chick-Fil-A, they were able to capture the magic of the day, their hearts at ease, their hopes blooming.

Vincent was extraordinarily kind and attentive to his mother Rose, who died in March 2022. Over the decades that she lived in Hong Kong (returning there after Vincent finished high school), they spoke many times a week despite a time difference of 12 or 13 hours. Both of them were NFL fans. Vincent was a loyal Jets fan, and they often watched games together—despite being over 8,000 miles apart.

Vincent and his brother Rich were best friends. Growing up, they roomed together. When cell phones and then texting came about, they talked multiple times per week, and shared their experiences all day long, every day through texts and photos. Food, especially Cantonese food, was always one of the leading topics. Recently, Wordle has had a lot of prominence. No one appreciated Rich’s love for Olivia Newton-John more than Vincent. Much to Rich’s gratification, Vincent would often be the first to identity to his older brother articles, ephemera, never before seen photos, and new and used merch(andise) for ONJ.

Vincent adored Hong Kong, where he was born on February 5, 1973. At that time, he was a subject of Queen Elizabeth II, as a British National Overseas (BNO). After the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, Vincent was a proud permanent resident of Hong Kong, SAR (Special Administrative Region), and he was a frequent visitor. On his last visit, in February, Vincent and his wife Ali traveled to Hong Kong to take his mother’s ashes to be buried in his family’s plot near Wuxi, China (a two-hour drive from Shanghai).

After graduating from the University of Houston, Vincent worked almost his entire career, nearly 25 years, at Verizon where he was an engineer in the company’s landline division. As a testament to his professional skills, no one survived more layoffs than Vincent. As the cellular network clobbered the landline business, he stayed ahead of a long and growing wave of pink slips for decades—until the pandemic. Subsequently, he was a consultant to Verizon regarding its legacy landline holdings.

Vincent is survived by his wife Ali Nguyen; stepdaughter, Sydney; dog, Cutie; brother, Rich and husband, Joe; sisters, Cynthia and husband, Frank, Maggie and Amy; nephew, Ethan; niece, Ava and many other extended family members whom he lavished with his time and treasure, but most of all, his love.

A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2, 2023, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home 2525 Central Expressway North, Allen, Texas 75013.
Memorial donations may be made to Stand Up to Cancer or SPCA of Texas.

Leonard J. Nowak (’70)

Leonard J. Nowak, 75, died November 10, 2023, at home in Houston, Texas surrounded by family and friends.
Leonard was born on October 2, 1948, in Houston, Texas. He is preceded in death by his parents Stephen and Edna Nowak and brother Michael Nowak. He is survived by his wife Sandra Nowak, brother Theodore Nowak (Cora) and sister-in-law Marjorie Nowak and many nieces and nephews.

Leonard graduated from St. Thomas High School and the University of Houston and worked as a Geophysicist in oil and gas exploration. Leonard served in Vietnam as a soldier of the United States Army. Leonard loved playing golf, listening to music, traveling, going to UH football, basketball, and baseball games. He was an active and faithful member of St. Theresa Catholic Church.

Leonard will be fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, family, and many friends. The family would like to extend their gratitude to all of his relatives, friends and caretakers for their love and support.

Visitation with the family will be from 12:00 – 12:30 PM at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 6622 Haskell St. Houston, Texas 77007 on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. The Rosary and Funeral Mass will follow beginning at 12:30 PM. Graveside to follow at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale St. Houston, Texas 77023 beginning at 3:00 PM.

Remembrances may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, in memory of Leonard J. Nowak.

Kelly Anne Berretta (M.S.W. ’98)

Kelly Anne Berretta, 51, born on September 28, 1971 in Houston, Texas, recently passed away on October 28, 2023.

Funeral service will be held on October 30, 2023 at 2:30 PM in Kagan-Rudy Chapel at Emanu El Memorial Park, located at 8341 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77074.

Kelly Anne Berretta attended Trinity University and the University of Houston.