Helgard Suhr-Hollis was born in Potsdam, Germany. She lived in East-Germany for many years and moved with her family to West-Germany in 1949. She attended school in Düsseldorf (Abitur) and graduated from the Höhere Fachschule (College) in Cologne with a BA in Home Administration.
She immigrated with her friend Christel to New Braunfels in October 1962. She fell in love with the town, founded by Germans. In 1963 she married W. Frank Suhr and they had three children: Frank, Brigitte and Monika. Later, her second marriage was to Dr. Patrick Hollis in 1996 and she has two step-children: Shawn and Erin.
Helgard stated to volunteer at Seele Elementary school, was a Girl Scout leader for 10 years and worked with her son’s Boy Scout troop for 8 years. She is a co-founder of the German American Society and the Marsch- und Wandergruppe, and was president of both organizations for many years. She organized 22 concerts for German Choirs, bands, artists and folk dance groups. She is a member of the German American Heritage Society of Washington, DC, and officer of the NB Partnership Committee, a charter member of the NB Heritage Society and docent there for more than 25 years. Helgard is a life member of the Sophienburg Museum and she has volunteered at its Archives for 20 years. She is a long time member of the NB Conservation Society and was in charge of the two fund drives. She has been a member of the NB Rotary Club for 20 years, serving as president in 2007-08, and for 14 years was chair of the International Lane. She went on Rotary mission trips to Guatemala and Mexico. Helgard is a Life member of the Chamber of Commerce, a Blue Coat for 24 years and was Blue Coat of the Year 7 times. She organized a city-wide effort to get 1,200 chairs for the Civic Center, and raised more than $18,000 for the chair campaign. Helgard was on the committee to raise $200,000 to remodel the City Gazebo and helped raise funds for the Prince Solms Statue at the Civic Center. Her hobbies are traveling, walking, reading and being a volunteer.
Helgard received the Order of Merit from the President of Germany and the German-American Friendship Award from the German Ambassador. From the Chamber of Commerce, she received the Besserung Award, the President’s Award and her picture is in Honors Hall. She received the Silver Unicorn Award for the NB School District and the Builder Award from the New Braunfels Masonic Lodge.