Author Archives: foundation

Thank You Notes

Dear New Braunfels Vocation and Technical Scholarship Foundation, 
My name is Liliana Eyster and I wanted to express my gratitude for the money you have graciously gifted me! I am extremely thankful for your sympathy, charity, encouragement, and kind service. You strive me to succeed and reach my goals through my education in Cosmetology school at William Edge Institute. This gift will allow me to go through school with ease and comfort. I cannot thank you enough for your consideration and support. Thank you for believing in me. 
With much appreciation, Liliana Eyster 


Dear Members of the Braunfels Foundation Trust,
I want to thank you again for supporting my education. I’m looking forward to when classes resume as I’m keeping up with my studies.  We wish you all the best in this trying time. Please keep safe.
Best regards,



“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIV
Braunfels Foundation Trust,Thank you for awarding me this scholarship fund. I am excited to further my studies in Construction Science Technology and these funds will help make it happen.
Thank you ,

Dawson White

Bruce Boyer

Bruce Boyer

Most followers of Superman know that the huge red “S” on Clark Kent’s chest is the Kryptonian symbol for hope — specifically hope for a better tomorrow.  While Bruce Boyer may not have superpowers, his hope for a better future for his adopted home of New Braunfels is shown in countless volunteer hours in dozens of organizations in and out of public service. The Braunfels Foundation Trust is proud to name Bruce Boyer a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Bruce Boyer was born in Nebraska. His father, an executive with the Ford Motor Company, was transferred to Houston so Bruce spent most of his growing-up years in Bellaire where he played football and baseball. Interestingly, like many Houstonians, the Boyer family spent time visiting New Braunfels and developed a love for our little community. When Bruce was fourteen, Ford Motor Company moved the family to Pittsburgh, a tough move for a high school kid. He graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School as a highly recruited football player and in 1969 enrolled at the University of Nebraska, the fourth generation of his family to do so.

After graduating from Nebraska, Bruce attended law school and graduate school from Southern Methodist University. Bruce did internships in the legal department at the Comptroller’s Office and on the research staff at the Lieutenant Governor’s office during the 1977 Legislative Session where he met then State Representative Bennie Bock. Bock gave Bruce the opportunity to move to New Braunfels –– a decision made easier because Bruce’s parents had retired to New Braunfels.

Bruce later served as the New Braunfels city prosecutor, assistant county attorney, and assistant district attorney. Bruce served as the first president of the City of New Braunfels’ 4B Board as well as a board member and past president of the Comal County Chapter of the American Heart Association; the Comal County Children’s Shelter, the New Braunfels Girls Softball Association, the New Braunfels Rotary Club, and the Comal County Senior Citizens Association. As a member of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, he served as Chair of the Texas Legislative Conference Arrangements Committee and as President and Grosse Opa of the Wurstfest Association.

From 2005 through 2011, Bruce served as mayor of New Braunfels. During these two terms, he spent untold hours in meetings and negotiations that produced significant improvement for the city   and the citizens of New Braunfels.  Some of these accomplishments include the expansion of the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center, the acquisition of Fischer Park, and the development of the Creekside area.  Additionally, the purchase of the Das Rec property, the initiation of the Landa Park restoration project, the expansion of Walnut Avenue, the planning and development of the Mission Hill and Highway 46/HEB project, and the development and implementation of the Downtown Master Plan all occurred during Mayor Boyer’s terms.

The Braunfels Foundation Trust is not the first organization to recognize Bruce Boyer’s super volunteerism. The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce honored Bruce with both the prestigious Honors Hall recognition and the highly coveted Besserung Award.

In 2013, Bruce was elected to his first term as Judge of the 22nd District Court where he serves the citizens of Comal, Hays, and Caldwell counties. Bruce is married to Toya Ohlrich and they are the parents of three daughters, Casey Cox, Shelley Bredewater, and Rachel Meier, and seven grandchildren.

New Braunfels is the home to many super men and women whose volunteerism is the backbone of our community. The Braunfels Foundation Trust is proud to recognize Bruce Boyer as one of these super heroes with his selection as a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Living Legend Recipients

Jay Brewer

Jay Brewer

By Teresa Ohlrich Johnson

Jay Brewer tries his best to fly under the radar by shunning the limelight and deflecting praise to others.  Fortunately, his impressive volunteer resume prevents him from operating without his community’s detection and gives the Braunfels Foundation Trust the opportunity to recognize him as a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

A transplanted Texan, Jay and his mother moved from Mississippi to San Antonio in 1952.  He graduated from Harlandale High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in track and basketball.  On his senior trip to Landa Park, the notion that he would one day spearhead the creation of New Braunfels’ first neighborhood historic district most assuredly never crossed his mind. 

Jay attended San Antonio College and upon completion in 1957 joined the United States Marine Corps.  Following his discharge from the Corps, Jay began a twenty-nine year career with the General Electric Company.  As a sales counselor in the major appliance division in San Antonio Jay’s territory included New Braunfels. After several transfers, family issues dictated that Jay leave the corporate world, and he and his two children moved to New Braunfels in 1979 where he opened an appliance business on San Antonio Street and was active in the Downtown Merchants Association.   In 1982, Jay married Susan Battenberg blended their families, sold his business, and joined a successful distributorship in San Antonio.  In 1986, Jay rejoined GE and he and Susan moved to St. Louis, Missouri.    After five transfers Jay retired in1998 and returned to the New Braunfels area. This move sparked a sense of community and ignited Jay’s impressive volunteer activities.  Living at Canyon Lake for five years Jay became a board member and then president of the Canyon Lake Community Recreation Center which soon became the Community Resource and Recreation Center where he served as its first board President. He also served on the Advisory Boards of both the YMCA of Comal County and Greater San Antonio.  He also served on the Tye Preston Memorial Library Capital Campaign.  

Moving back into New Braunfels Jay became involved with the renovation of the Brauntex Theatre doing everything from small tasks to the major renovation, serving as President of the Board for five years and then as Chair of the Advisory Board.   He currently serves on the boards of the Sophienburg Museum and Archives, New Braunfels Housing Partners, Hope Hospice Foundation and Hope Hospice where he served as President of both.    

Brewer also served his city and county governments with appointments to the Comal County Historical Commission, the Comal County Communications Task Force, and participated in the inaugural class of the University of County Government.  He served on the City of New Braunfels’ Wayfinding Committee, the Downtown Steering Committee, the Mayor’s Strategic Planning Committee, and as a member of the Castell Street Redevelopment Committee. 

The Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce gave Jay their “Volunteer Service Award” and earlier this year   Comal County Commissioners Court presented him with the “Jan Kennedy Key to the Courthouse” recognition.  The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce bestowed their “Chair of the Board Award” for Jay’s preservation efforts and in 2011 the coveted “Besserung” Award.

Members of First Protestant Church, Jay and Susan, are parents to Jaye Lynn, Michael, Nancy, and Katherine as well as the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

The Braunfels Foundation Trust is proud to continue to keep Jay Brewer on our community’s radar by naming him a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Living Legend Recipients

Betty Kyle

Betty Kyle

By Teresa Ohlrich Johnson

Betty Kyle is a descendant of one of the hardy first families who built and shaped New Braunfels.  Five generations later, this mother, educator, and community volunteer is still shaping this community and to recognize her contributions, the Braunfels Foundation Trust has named her a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Elizabeth Louise Burt was born in New Braunfels and grew up with her sister, Jane, and brother, Shelley, in the 1867 historic home in Comaltown where she lives today.

A 1958 graduate of New Braunfels High School ranked third in her class, Betty was in the Mighty Unicorn Band, a twirler, and on the student council.  After graduation, she attended the University of Texas in Austin, graduated with a degree in Home Economics, and began her teaching career at Troy High School outside of Temple.

In 1962, Betty married UT graduate Jack Kyle, and the couple moved to her hometown of New Braunfels with their young son, Scott.  Matt, Kathryn, and Jennifer were born in New Braunfels, all reside in New Braunfels, and follow in their mother’s active, community-driven footsteps.

Betty returned to the classroom and for twenty-nine years taught Child Development and Family Living and the Cooperative Career Program at Canyon High School.  She also coached cheerleaders and was the Student Council Advisor.  During these teaching years, Betty was on the Executive Board and Consultant to the Texas Association of Student Councils and a consultant to the National Association of Student Councils.   During her teaching career, Betty was both Canyon High School’s “Teacher of the Year” and New Braunfels Masonic Lodge’s “Outstanding Educator.” In 2001, KENS Channel 5 recognized Betty with the EXCEL Teacher of the Year award.   The Texas Association of Student Councils named her their “Advisor of the Year” and she received the “Texas Leadership Consultant Award” Betty retired from teaching in 2002 but quickly found a job as the accountant and manager of son Matt’s law practice. 

As a seven-year member of the Braunfels Foundation Trust’s Scholarship Committee, Betty’s experience with and passion for vocational education has certainly helped the committee select students receiving the Trust’s First Step Scholarship for vocational and technical certifications. For the past ten years, Betty has been the vice-chair of the New Braunfels Parks Department Cemetery Committee and assists with the “Soul Searching in the Comal Cemetery” fundraiser and community outreach program.  Betty also works with The Headwaters at the Comal project raising funds to protect this legacy for the community.  For several years, Betty served on the New Braunfels Arts Council Endowment Committee, and in 1984 Betty chaired the City of New Braunfels’ Water Preservation Board.

The Braunfels Foundation Trust is not the only organization to recognize Betty’s contributions to her community.  The New Braunfels Optimist Club gave Betty their “Friend of Youth” honor and the Comal County Extension Service awarded their “Friend of 4H” award. Lamar Elementary School gave her a PTA Lifetime Member selection.  The New Braunfels Independent School District awarded their highest volunteer honor, “The Silver Unicorn Award,” and the New Braunfels Independent School District Education Foundation recognized Betty as one of their Distinguished Alumni in 2016. 

The New Braunfels Arts Council gave Betty a special award for her “Dedication to the Arts Community” and the “Community Endowment for the Arts” in 2019.  The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce recognized Betty’s community volunteer accomplishments with a place in Honors Hall in 2018. 

Betty is a member of First Protestant Church where she has been a board member for nine years.   She’s a cancer survivor, a mother, a teacher, a volunteer extraordinaire, and now a Living Legend whose roots are deep in the foundation of New Braunfels. 

Living Legend Recipients

Jackie Heitkamp

Jackie Heitkamp

By Teresa Ohlrich Johnson

Jackie Bouquet was a sophomore at McNeese State University at Lake Charles, Louisiana, when she met her future husband at an Aggie party at Lake McQueeney over the Thanksgiving holidays.  Jackie probably never imagined that she would one day marry an Air Force officer and make New Braunfels her home.  She also probably never imagined that her exceptional volunteerism in her adopted hometown would earn her Living Legend recognition by the Braunfels Foundation Trust.

Born in Iowa, Louisiana Jackie earned a twirling and band scholarship to McNeese State University where was she head majorette her junior and senior years.  When Jackie was a senior at McNeese, Lieutenant Dennis Heitkamp, now stationed at Lake Charles Air Force Base, looked up the girl he met at Lake McQueeney.  After graduating with a B.A. in Speech and English, Jackie taught English at Lake Charles High School until she and Dennis were married and began their twenty-seven- year Air Force career.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1984, the Heitkamps moved to New Braunfels and Jackie jumped in with both feet and began her career of service.  She volunteered for many years at both the Sophienburg Museum’s Christmas fundraiser, Weihnachtsmarkt, and for the Conservation Society as Board secretary, Historian, and a Lindheimer House docent.  It is her work with the Heritage Society, however, for which is undoubtedly best known.

Jackie is a charter member of the Heritage Society, Inc., with whom she has a thirty-year relationship serving in numerous roles including a thirteen-year turn as Board secretary and twenty-five-year term as Board Historian.  Her education background and love of teaching may explain her passion for the Heritage Society’s Docent Program.  Jackie has been a docent for thirty plus years, a docent trainer for twenty years, and she has been recognized as Docent Chair of the Year and Docent Trainer of the Year five times.

Jackie served as Chair of the Folkfest Antiques and Collectibles for many years.  She was mentored by Bobbie Purdam and Nan and Bill Dillen at the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture and served as Conservator for damaged furniture restoring pieces in the collection.  Learning to repair and sometimes even rebuild the mannequins used for the annual Heritage Exhibits, Jackie served as Mannequin Chair repairing, repainting, and even searching for and collecting over seventy mannequins.  Jackie and Dennis chaired both the New Braunfels Sesquicentennial Heritage Exhibit and Folkfest and were recognized with the Heritage Society’s Outstanding Service Award in 2017.

Living Legends share a common thread in the fabric of their character — an unwavering focus on a diversity of interests.  Jackie is a member of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, a Senior Blue Coat, and was recognized with placement in the Chamber’s Hall of Honor in 2000.  As a member of the Braunfels Foundation Trust, Jackie has worked on the Arrangements Committee for the Trust’s Living Legends celebration from its inaugural event through 2017.  Jackie is a thirty-one-year associate member of the Ferdinand Lindheimer Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and since 1986, a member of the New Braunfels Garden Club serving in all leadership positions at least once!  She has been associated with the Friends of the Library for the past thirty years.  As a Lions Club State Certified Vision screener, Jackie continues to provide vision screenings for an average of 5000 NBISD and CISD elementary school children at twenty-four campuses each year.

As well as raising two children, Mark and Blair, Jackie Heitkamp assisted her husband in countless ways during their air force career.  As an officer’s wife, she was instrumental in helping new wives adjust to the demands of service life in remote duty stations.  She was not born or raised in New Braunfels but has spent much of her adult life learning and teaching the story of New Braunfels – whether as a docent at the Comal County Courthouse or at Heritage Village – to school children, adults, locals, and visitors alike.  Her commitment to continue and preserve that story of New Braunfels is absolutely the stuff of which Legends are made.

Living Legends

Tobin Hoffmann

Tobin Hoffmann

By Teresa Ohlrich Johnson

Tobin Hoffmann spends every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the Scout Hut with the Boy Scouts of Troop 133.  One weekend every month, plus every Spring Break and every summer, he takes his Scouts camping all over Texas and New Mexico.  Tobin Hoffmann has kept this schedule for thirty- seven years with no signs of stopping.   Tobin is a Scout Master, an Eagle Scout, a Silver Unicorn, a Distinguished Alumni, an Opa, a Rotarian, and now a Living Legend of New Braunfels. 

Tobin Carl Hoffmann is a local boy whose German ancestors settled New Braunfels in the 1840s.  Tobin’s parents, Carroll and Helen, passed the legacy of community service to their children who have more than honored that tradition.

For years, the Hoffmann family has decorated the Plaza for the Sophienburg Museum and Archives’ annual July 4th celebration, and Tobin’s Troop 133 has carried the large United States flag in the parade.  For years, Tobin and his wife, Judy, and their three children, Catherine, Caleb, and Canaan did the planting, watering, and care of the four island flowerbeds that circled the Plaza until the City of New Braunfels took over.

Tobin continues to amass an amazing body of volunteer work while maintaining his career as a certified financial planner.  He is a past president of the New Braunfels Downtown Rotary with a remarkable thirty-four-year perfect attendance record.  He is a Paul Harris Fellow and the 2007-2008 Rotarian of the Year.

A member of and past Chair of the Board of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Tobin was inducted into the Chamber’s Hall of Honor. He was further recognized for his commitment to the youth in Comal County with the Chamber’s President’s Award.  He is a member of the Braunfels Foundation Trust and the Wurstfest Association where he serves on the Scholarship Committee.  He is a member of the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters organization that helps connect resources within our county during a public disaster by working with organizations and non-profits like the Red Cross and Salvation Army to aid disaster victims.

Tobin is a long-time member and served on the Board of Directors of the Sophienburg Museum and Archives.  He participated significantly in the restoration of the Emmie Seele Faust Library, and an audio tour at the Sophienburg Museum features the voice of none other explaining the founding of New Braunfels.  He served as a member of the City of New Braunfels Bond Advisory Committee and during his tenure on the Downtown Advisory Board, trees were planted downtown and at the Courthouse and sidewalks were improved.

Tobin counts among his many honors selections as the United Way’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year, the New Braunfels Independent School District Education Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni award, and the New Braunfels Independent School District’s Silver Unicorn award.   Significantly, his volunteer work was recognized by one of his professional partners, Ameritas, with the Rosen Award.  Bestowed annually on someone who demonstrates both long-term success in their practice and long-term commitment to their community and the causes of humanity, the Rosen Award comes with a grant to a charity of the recipient’s choosing.

Tobin’s impact in leading and training young men to be good citizens and leaders through Boy Scouts is unrivaled.  As a scout himself in Troop 133, Tobin earned his Eagle Scout 1975.  After graduating from Texas State in 1981, he returned to New Braunfels to pick up where he left off.  With the help of fellow former Troop 133 members, Mike Kohlenberg, Jack Reinarz, and the late Nathan Rheinlander, Tobin and company rebuilt the Troop and activated all pack levels within the Boy Scouts.  He has helped hundreds of boys earn their Eagle Scout and our community has benefited greatly from the many finished Eagle Scout projects.  Hundreds more boys have been mentored.  In 2007, the Boys Scouts of America bestowed their highest volunteer honor, the Silver Beaver. 

Finally, on and off since 2001, Tobin has battled a rare form of cancer.  Six weeks after his first surgery in 2002 to remove much of his shoulder, he was on a mountainside camping with this Boy Scouts.  A subsequent surgery followed in 2016, but Tobin again went on with life in typical Tobin-style – with grace, humor, and offering encouragement to others in the same boat – all at on hundred miles per hour.  The Braunfels Foundation trust is therefore proud to name Tobin Hoffmann, a Living Legend for his legendary service to New Braunfels.

Living Legend

Mike Dietert

Mike Dietert

By Teresa Ohlrich Johnson

Mike Dietert is one of those individuals who does not go around tooting his own horn.  Although you will not catch him talking about his many contributions to his hometown of New Braunfels, his volunteer resume does all the talking and illustrates why the Braunfels Foundation Trust selected him as a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Mike was born in Comal County and grew up on the family farm off Watson Lane.  After moving into town, he graduated from Canyon High School in 1968.  He attended Texas A&M University and graduated from Southwest Texas State University (Texas State) in 1972 with a degree in Industrial Arts.  Mike married his high school sweetheart, Linda Pfannstiel, in 1969, and they are proud parents to Brandon Dietert and Allison Humphries.

Mike’s passion for the history and culture of New Braunfels has preserved not only our city’s landscape, character, and story, but has greatly benefitted he missions of multiple historic organizations.  Mike has restored the Pfannstiel family’s 1802 home in Comaltown, his great grandfather’s 1860s farmhouse, another 1860s farmhouse, and several other old homes.  As a founding member and two-time president of the Heritage Society, Mike for many years spent countless hours building the Heritage Exhibits that for many years transformed the New Braunfels Civic Center into early New Braunfels.  Held during Wurstfest, the Heritage Exhibit was a glimpse into the past and a history lesson to schoolchildren and adults, locals and visitors alike. 

During the late seventies, Mike helped kick-start the newly-formed Conservation Society and served as its president for three terms.  A long-time member of the Sophienburg Museum, Mike is currently on the Finance/Building Committee and the Verein membership group. 

Mike also shares that common thread found in the fabric of our Living Legends – diverse and multifaceted interests.  A member of the City of New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission for many years, Mike continues to serve on the City’s Partnership Committee.  A forty-year Life Member of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and a Blue Coat, Mike served as chair and vice-chair of numerous committees over the years and ultimately as Chair of the Board. 

In the early days of the New Braunfels Children’s Museum before its association with McKenna, Mike helped move and build the Museum at three different locations around New Braunfels. 

A member of the Wurstfest Association since 1971, Mike served as Wurstfest President in 1992.  He is a forty-plus-year member of the New Braunfels Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.  He has served on the boards of the Hummel Museum, Chase Bank, Citizens Bank, the New Braunfels Independent School District Education Foundation, and the McKenna Hospital Advisory Board.  He served as the Major Gifts Chair for the Comal Healthcare Foundation supporting McKenna Hospital in 1997.

The Braunfels Foundation Trust is not the first organization to publicly recognize Mike’s contributions to New Braunfels.  The New Braunfels Jaycees named Mike their “Outstanding New Braunfelser” in 1988.  In 1986, the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce recognized Mike with the President’s Award for Historic Preservation, and the Comal Independent School District named him one of their “Outstanding Alumni” in 2010.

Mike is probably best known for his fifty-three-year employment with the New Braunfels Smokehouse.  As a high school bus boy, a college student, and ultimately Vice President and General Manager, Mike has participated in the growth and prosperity of the Smokehouse.  With the backing of the Smokehouse, Mike has been able to contribute and participate in the growth and prosperity of his community. 

Mike Dietert has quietly, but significantly, contributed to the character of New Braunfels.  The Braunfels Foundation Trust is proud to loudly trumpet his praises and recognize Mike Dietert as a Living Legends of New Braunfels.

Living Legends

Bette Offerman Spain

Growing up as the daughter of an Air Force pilot, Bette Offerman lived many places.  The Braunfels Foundation Trust believes that it is extremely fortunate then for our community that Bette came home to New Braunfels to live.  Her contributions have improved our schools, made our city a richer place in which to live, our Christmases a little merrier, and absolutely qualify her to be named a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Bette was born in Harlingen where her father, Donald, was stationed.  Bette’s mother, Marie, has deep roots in New Braunfels, and the Offermans lived here for a short time before living in Bermuda, Pittsburg, Los Angeles and Sembach Air Force Base in Germany.  Returning from Germany, Bette lived in New Braunfels with her grandparents and finished her freshman year in high school.  The Offermans’ last official assignment was the ROTC program at East Texas State University, now Texas A&M Commerce.  After high school graduation, Bette enrolled at East Texas State earning a BS in Special Education, Elementary Education, and Physical Education.  In July of 1972, Bette married Michael Spain.

Education has always been of huge importance both professionally and personally to Bette.  She began teaching Special Education in the Dallas Independent School District while earning her Masters as an Educational Diagnostician.   In 1976, the Spains relocated to Austin where husband Michael began law school, Bette taught, and daughter Cate was born.  A job with a law firm took the family to for Richmond, Virginia, but soon the pull of Texas brought the Spains to San Antonio.   Bette began volunteering for the Any Baby Can organization and at Santa Rosa’s Children’s Hospital serving as a member and president of their Auxiliary Board.

Moving home to New Braunfels, Bette found herself back in the classroom volunteering at Cate’s schools and tutoring in the HOST programs at Lone Star and Seele schools.  Bette organized and charted the first National Junior Honor Society at New Braunfels Middle School.  She continued to guide that program for several years and was recognized with a PTA Honorary Life Membership.  Bette is still volunteering weekly in the library at granddaughter Sophie’s school and hosting an annual gingerbread decorating party.

In 1994, Bette was elected to the New Braunfels Independent School District school board serving three consecutive terms and holding all officer positions including president.   Bette also graduated as a Master Trustee from the Texas Association of School Boards Leadership Program.  In 1999, she initiated a proposal to the school board establishing the now-thriving NBISD Education Foundation and served on its first board.  The NBISD recognized Bette for her significant contributions with the coveted Silver Unicorn award.

Diversity of interests is common to Living Legends, and Bette is no exception.  Since 1997, Bette has volunteered on the Sophienburg Museum’s Weihnachtsmarkt Committee.  She served, among other things, as event chair and for ten years compiled a cookbook given to shoppers.  In 2004, she became Chair of the Museum’s gift store, and although her diagnosis of Muscular Sclerosis altered her volunteering with Sophie’s Shop, it hasn’t stopped her from supporting the Committee by delivering home-cooked lunches to volunteers during Wurstfest and Weihnachtsmarkt!

Bette served on the McKenna System Board guiding the hospital before, during, and after its sale to Christus Santa Rosa and remained a member of the McKenna Foundation Board for several years.  Bette graduated from the Chamber’s Leadership Class in1993 and was instrumental in creating the New Braunfels Youth Leadership Program.  Bette is involved at New Braunfels Church and volunteers with the “Cross Cares” program that partners with Gruene United Methodist Church’s homeless project.

Bette and husband, Michael, have one daughter, Cate, and two grandchildren, Sophie and Ruxin.  The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung recognized Bette with their Unsung Hero Award in 2003, and the Braunfels Foundation Trust is delighted to also sing her praises and name Bette Spain a Living Legend of New Braunfels.

Douglas R. “Doug” Miller




The Braunfels Foundation Trust named Doug Miller a Living Legend of New Braunfels not because he was our State Representative in Austin for four terms.   That is just one of Doug’s former titles, and his service in the Legislature is only one example of his many contributions to New Braunfels.

Miller was born in Gonzales and moved to New Braunfels where he attended kindergarten at First Protestant Church and Goodwin Elementary.  After graduation from Canyon High School in 1972, Doug enrolled at Southwest Texas State – now Texas State — where driving a school bus helped pay for college.  During this time, he started a band, The Sounds of Country Music, which later became Doug Miller and the Rhythm Riders.  In his senior year at SWSTU, Doug joined the New Braunfels Police Department as a reserve police officer and three months before his graduation in 1976 was hired as a full-time Patrolman.  A few months later, Officer Miller threw a party at his apartment’s clubhouse and danced with a girl who would become his wife.  Fortunately, Anne Louise Mund met Doug’s dad two days before he passed away, and the couple was engaged a month after that first dance and married a year later.

In 1978, Doug began his insurance career with the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, son Douglas II was born, and he began his civic activities.  At the urging of his brother, Joe, Doug joined the New Braunfels Jaycees where he was recognized as the “Outstanding Young New Braunfelser,” “Jaycee of the Year”, and served as president.  That same year, at age 24, he got a green vest, becoming a member of the Wursfest Association.  In 1979, Doug bought the Ferguson Insurance Company and a few years later joined with Frank Witting to open Miller and Witting Insurance Agency.  Doug is currently President of Miller and Miller Insurance Agency.

In 1981, Doug ran for the New Braunfels City Council losing by exactly one hundred votes.  Disappointed but not discouraged, Doug ran again and was elected to the Council in 1987.  A year later, he was elected Mayor, and Doug and Anne Louise welcomed daughter Amanda.

Although Doug would lose his next election as county commissioner, his public service was not over.  In 1993, Doug was appointed to the Board of the newly-established Edwards Aquifer Authority which he had helped create.  In 2008, after fifteen years on the Edwards board and serving as its Chair, Doug was elected to the Texas House of Representatives for four terms.

Doug was recognized in 1988 with the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce’s outstanding citizen honor, The Besserung Award and inducted into the Hall of Honor in 2007.  He was both the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung’s “Citizen of the Year” and the Comal Independent School District’s “Outstanding Graduate” in 1997.  He received the NBISD “Silver Unicorn Award” and along with Anne was the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year in 2003.  Additionally, Doug has served as president of the Comal County Fair Association, Wurstfest Association, Comal County United Way, and the NBISD Education Foundation.  Additionally, he was Chair of the Board of the Greater New Chamber of Commerce.

Doug is a major in the Texas Guard and was awarded their “Outstanding Service Medal” in 2012.  He is a thirty-year member of the Downtown Rotary Club and a Baron in the Braunfels Foundation Trust, a member of Oakwood Baptist Church, current Chair of the Texas Legislative Conference, and Finance Chair of the 175th Anniversary Celebration of New Braunfels.

Police officer, mayor, state representative, and musician are a few of Doug Miller’s titles.  He is also a husband, father to Amanda and Douglas, and proud grandfather to McKinley and Korbyn.   Doug has served our community with distinction and the Braunfels Foundation Trust is honored to bestow a new title on Doug — Living Legend of New Braunfels.