Lorenz Franz Bading was born September 13, 1916, on the family farm about 7 miles north of New Braunfels. Lorenz’s dad was very mechanical-minded—a builder, carpenter, and innovator. When working with his dad inventing and/or building a wind-powered gristmill, molasses press, a portable grain-threshing machine, and a variety of small implements, Lorenz learned many skills, including leadership, organizational skills, effective communication, and creativity. The Bading family was quite musically inclined, and this passion was instilled in Lorenz early in life when he starting playing the accordion at about age 12.
Lorenz married Lottie, his wife of almost 72 years, on January 28, 1939; their first daughter Laurel was born in 1941 and their second daughter Lanette in 1947.
Lorenz was one of the “Greatest Generation,” having honorably served his country in World War II. The increase of international unrest influenced Lorenz to enlist in the New Braunfels-based 133rd Field Artillery Regimental Band of the Texas National Guard in April 1937. With the activation of the Guard into Federal service in 1940, Lorenz became a full-time soldier. With the Allied invasion of North Africa, Lorenz served in the 36th Division in preparing for the invasion of Italy. On September 9, 1943, now famously known as Salerno Day, Lorenz landed on the beachhead on that first day of the campaign to liberate Italy. He served with the 36th Division throughout the Italian campaign as it progressed through France, Germany, and Austria, until the war’s end in May of 1945. Lorenz exhibited considerable organizational and leadership skills as he rose to assume the duties and responsibilities of First Sergeant and Band Leader of the (sole remaining) divisional band (originally 11 regimental bands). After overseas service, Lorenz was promoted to Warrant Officer and further served his nation by reorganizing the 36th Division Band now headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, ultimately completing 11 years of active duty service from 1937 to 1948. Since 1945 Lorenz has devoted 67 years (to date) to preserve the legacy of the 36th Division. Over the years Lorenz has made presentations before local grade school and high school students and also band members of the 36th Division Infantry Band in Austin, TX about the history of active duty of the 36th Division from 1937 to 1948.
After serving his country, due to Lorenz’ interest in building, and with his leadership and command skills gained in the military, in l945 Lorenz took a position with Richards and Krueger Lumber Company as a residential homebuilder and eventually became a manager and partner in the company. His entrepreneurial abilities enabled him to establish his own company, Homes by Lorenz, in 1968. He continued this enterprise for 57 years. Lorenz was highly respected as a reputable builder and still receives calls from past clients seeking his advice on home construction or remodeling and commending him on the quality of his work. Similar to his leadership and organizational abilities in the military, he founded and served as President of the Comal County Builders Association and was also a representative for local, state, and national Homebuilders’ Associations.
In addition to his military and personal career, Lorenz served his community by his extensive involvement in many other civic and community organizations. He was President of the New Braunfels Rotary Club. His interests in resource conservation in his community led him to his involvement in the Crystal Clear Water Supply Corporation, where he served as a member of the Board of Directors for 29 years from 1980 – 2009. Lorenz joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, and served as Post Commander of the VFW. He remains active as a Life Member of both. Lorenz participates to this day in efforts to ensure that all veterans, past and currently serving, receive the appreciation and recognition they deserve. To further encourage patriotism and education, for many years he graded essays submitted by students of local middle schools and high schools in the “Patriot Pen” and “Voice of Democracy” competitions sponsored yearly by the VFW Post #7110.
Music was always an essential part of Lorenz’ life. Even before the war Lorenz played in several community bands and orchestras, including the New Braunfels Municipal Band. Following World War II he organized and led a Big Band dance orchestra for 40 years.
Lorenz’ family has been involved in local agriculture since they arrived in Texas in 1848 and he has been devoted to preserving farmland as a resource for the community and the nation. A fifth generation farmer and rancher, Lorenz was recognized by the State of Texas Department of Agriculture Family Land Heritage Program for having kept his family farm in continuous agricultural operation for more than 100 years (for Farm I founded in 1881 and Farm II founded in 1852) and 150 years (for Farm II). It is noteworthy that Farm I is the oldest farm in continuous cultivation by a single family in Comal County. Over the years Lorenz has developed a strong reputation for the quality of his breeding cattle. Buyers have traveled statewide to purchase his animals for their herds. Lorenz has worked with various city and county government entities regarding land use and planning to ensure that conservation issues are incorporated into their plans.
In conclusion, a letter written May 12, 1945, by one of the men in his military unit told of how Lorenz was the man who kept the unit from never faltering in any of its duties; how Lorenz was an inspiration to the servicemen; how the writer tried to incorporate some of Lorenz’ finer points, such as his exemplary character and morals, into his philosophy of life. It concluded by stating that in time of war the Army needed men like Lorenz for its officers. Throughout his life that same exemplary ideal has been a part of Lorenz’ character in serving his community and his country.