In Memory of...

We would like to say thank you to everybody who has donated to us in support of our mission.  Every donation helps us rescue a dog that can be trained and given a second chance at life by helping a disabled Texas Veteran.  While we mourn those that are lost, we are thankful to those who donate in their memory. If you would like to make a donation in memory of a loved one, please click here.


Richard "Rick" Phillip Lindsay

Richard "Rick" Phillip Lindsay, of Houston, passed away Sunday, June 30, 2019 at the age of 72.
He is survived by his sons, Kenny & Steven and his grandson, Kieran.


Thomas “Dale” Willman, LT, USNR

December 8, 1918-June 26, 2019
Thomas “Dale” Willman passed away peacefully on June 26, 2019 at Hamilton Trace Skilled Nursing Facility in Fishers, Indiana. Dale was born December 8, 1918 to Thomas E. and M. Grace (Miles) Willman in North Vernon, Indiana. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Marilyn Willman Faulkner, his first wife, Jeanne Schrader Willman, and his second wife, Lee Harris Willman.

He is survived by his daughter Linda and husband, Dr. Frank Field of Kerrville, Texas, his granddaughter, Cynthia and husband, Patrick Ward of Texas, and his grandson Martin and wife, Shannon Field of Michigan, his four great-grandchildren.

Dale was a life-long resident of the Indianapolis area. He graduated from Arsenal Tech High School in 1936, attended Butler University, and graduated from Indiana University in 1940, Bachelor of Science in Business. After graduating from IU, he worked for Vicks Chemical Co. before entering the US Navy, as a 1st Lieutenant, Navy Pilot, stationed in the Pacific during WW II. After WW II, he remained in the Naval Reserves until 1965.

Upon returning to Indianapolis after WW II, Dale worked for Indianapolis Rubber Stamp Co. as production manager until his retirement in the 1980’s. Throughout his working career, he had many other interests such as professional ballroom dance instructor and civilian pilot instructor.

Dale was also involved for many years in the following organizations: 1) Indiana Freemason Hamilton Lodge #533, 2) Indianapolis Scottish Rite, and 3) Continental and Starlight Dance Clubs. Other interests included organizing and performing for special dance events, playing bongo drums, gardening, and caring for his animals – both cats and dogs.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your charity of choice in Dale’s memory. The family also wishes to thank all the friends and neighbors who assisted in his care. These people are angels on earth that surround us in our daily lives making the world a better place to live.


Charles Johnson

Charles Cecil Johnson, born August 13, 1922 in Pittsburg, Kansas, passed away in Pasadena, Texas on May 17, 2019. Charlie moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1928. After graduating high school he attended Marquette University. In 1940 he joined a new program at Marquette, the NROTC. In December, 1941, Pearl Harbor ended his college days. Charlie joined the CPT (Civilian Pilot Training) program, and upon completion went into active duty as a Naval Aviation Cadet. In 1943, he came to Corpus Christi for basic training. He had a choice of staying in the Navy or going into the Marines. He became a Major in the Marines Corps, serving our country in WWII and Korea. In 1973 at the age of 51 he retired from the military. Charlie was very proud of his service and loved the Marine Corps, always showing his pride by never leaving the house without wearing his veteran hat.

While stationed in Corpus Christi he met his future wife, Billie Smyer. They were married on May 18, 1946 at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and were happily married for the next 73 years. They made their home in Bishop, Texas, where he was an employee at Celanese until retirement.

Charlie is survived by his wife Billie, one daughter, Mary Jayne (Jim) Holden of Pasadena, Texas, 3 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Published in Corpus-Christi Caller-Times on June 9, 2019

Betty L. Whittier

Betty L. Whittier, of Kerrville, Texas, was victorious in her five-year fight with cancer, leaving it behind on her way to a better place on June 10th, 2019 in Kerrville. She was born in Toledo, Ohio, to George and Ivida Bruning on September 13th, 1936. She married Louis Westlund (who is deceased) on November 21, 1959, in Toledo, Ohio. She later married her beloved husband, Charles E. (Ted) Whittier on June 14th, 1991 in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Betty graduated from St. Ursula Academy in Toledo, Ohio, and from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, also in Toledo. She had a long career as an RN, nineteen years of which she spent assisting in surgery at St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee, Ohio, retiring in 1993. Betty was involved in community outreach activities in Perrysburg, Ohio and medical missionary work in the Caribbean for which she also ran the logistics in addition to serving as a surgical nurse. She ran a successful professional resume service from home for 13 years as well. After retirement, Betty and Ted travelled full-time all around the U.S. in an RV for six and a half years, ultimately settling in Kerrville, Texas, in 2003. She enjoyed time to herself in her own space, was a member of the KPD Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and ran a manufacturer's coupon collection service for overseas military personnel on Okinawa, Japan, which service has been taken over by the Christian Women's Job Corps here in Kerrville.

Betty is preceded in death by her parents and first husband. She is survived by her husband, Ted; children Michael (Beth), David (Dixie), Marty (Steve) and Julie. Stepchildren, Mark (Mindia), Jennifer (James Taylor), Kathryn (Joe), Heather (Ed) and Kevin. Grandchildren Zachary, Zoe, Nathan, Andy, Evan, Autumn, Jozef, Bridger, Kiska, Ryan, Shamus and Jordan.

Memorial services in Kerrville and Perrysburg, Ohio will be held at a later date. Memorials in lieu of flowers may be given to Peterson Hospice, Kerrville, Texas, St. Peter's Episcopal Church endowment, Kerrville, Texas, St. Timothy's Episcopal Church Memorial Garden, Perrysburg, Ohio and St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee, Ohio.

The Whittier family wishes to extend our sincere thanks and blessings to God's angels on earth: Dr. Young, the nurses and staff of Peterson Hospice; and, especially, Diane Scull, RN, who formed a special bond with Betty. In addition, thanks go to the doctors and staff of MD Anderson Cancer Center; and, all who have provided Betty such loving care on her way to triumph over this dread disease, which could not be cured in this world, by graduating to a much better place.

The family invites you to send condolences at by selecting the "Send Condolences" link.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville.


Carl Crawford Mengden

Carl Crawford Mengden, ‘Bud’, was born in Houston on September 28, 1928 to the late Eugenia Crawford and Walter H. Mengden, Sr. Bud was a true Southern Gentleman, a fourth-generation Houstonian and a direct descendant of the Crawford/Rugeley pioneer family of the Republic of Texas. He is a graduate of the Kinkaid School where he met his wife of 65 years, Ann Collette. Not surprisingly he was voted ‘Most Popular Senior’ at Kinkaid. Bud earned a BBA from the University of Texas where he was a member of the Chi Phi fraternity.  A veteran of the Korean War, Bud served as a Lieutenant in the Navy under Admiral Wilson. Following the war, he worked as an independent oil operator.

In 1961, Bud moved his family to their hilltop home on the Lucky L Ranch in Comfort, TX. He and his wife raised their three children there along with the care of their beloved nanny, Esperanza and her late husband, Alberto, their ranch foreman. Their ranch was home to a variety of loved pets including horses, cows, deer, sheep, pigs, armadillos, skunks, owls and countless cats and dogs. Bud managed a large turkey ranch while also raising cattle and Barbados sheep. Later he cultivated the organic Gourmet Garlic for Central Market. An avid tennis player, he built a tennis court on his hilltop and co-founded the Hill Country Racquet Club. Along with Hondo Crouch, Bud founded the Comfort Little Theatre where he performed comedy acts.

Bud gave his time and talents to local civic, school, church and philanthropic organizations. Throughout his life, he was a devout Catholic and an active parishioner. After the flood of ‘88, he opened his home to those affected, helped restore the Sacred Heart Church and designed their new Sanctuary Crucifix. He collected ‘how to’ books as he enjoyed working with his hands whether building, planting, or restoring antiques. His desire to learn new things lasted into his eighties when he participated in a Rice University think tank.

Bud had a contagious smile, a great sense of humor and a gift for storytelling. He was never happier than when surrounded by friends, family and a canine companion. He loved to dance and was a long time member of Allegro and Revelers. He enjoyed cooking elaborate meals and entertaining friends. Bud discovered a talent late in life that became his true passion – painting. Using a variety of mediums, he painted countless ‘masterpieces’. One of his greatest joys was sharing his artwork with family and friends. Along with Nellie Buel, he co-founded the Comfort Art Gallery.

Bud waged a long battle with dementia but remained true to his gregarious and fun loving nature until the end. The family would like to express their unending gratitude to the Village of Incarnate Word religious community and staff, all of whom gave their loving care to Bud.

Bud peacefully passed away at the age of 90 surrounded by his wife and three children. He is survived by his wife, Ann Collette; three children, Michael Crawford Mengden (Bridget), Susan Collette Mengden (Peter Ellis), Cathy Mengden Dohnalek (Dan); eight grandchildren, Collette (Jeremy), Phil, Hayden, Nolan, Catherine, Clay, William, Michael; great grandson, Rhette; sister, Pati (Don Eckhardt); sister-in-law June; niece, Sr. Marie Janae; three nephews, Walter, Joe, and John Mengden. He is predeceased by his brother, Senator Walter H. Mengden, Jr.

A funeral mass will be celebrated in Houston at St. Anne Catholic Church on Friday, May 24 at 3 pm. A memorial service will be held in San Antonio at The Village of Incarnate Word on Monday, May 27 at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a memorial contribution, in Carl’s name, to Veterans Assistance Dogs of Texas at Every donation helps rescue dogs from local shelters who are trained to assist in the physical/emotional recovery and independence of disabled veterans.


Leon Allen Meek II

November 24, 1943 – February 4, 2019

Leon Allen Meek II, age 75, went to see his Lord peacefully on February 4, 2019, at his home in Smith Point, Texas.  He will be missed by all who knew him.

Allen is survived by his wife, Vicki McComas Meek, of Smith Point; her children Kevin McComas and wife Jessie of Katy, TX, Joel McComas and wife Kris of Fulshear, TX; his nieces, Keren Grissom and husband Garrett and Carla Venette and husband Adam, both of Cypress, TX; his grandchildren, Kelly McComas, JT McComas, Reagan McComas, Josh McComas; and his grandnephew Sam Venette, and grandnieces, Erin Venette and Audrey Grissom.

He is preceded in death by his son, Leon Allen (Trey) Meek III; his first wife, Joyce Tucker Meek; his sister, Faye Meek Cunningham; and his parents, Leon Allen Meek and Ruth King Meek.

Allen was born at home on November 24, 1943 in Raymondville, TX, to loving parents. In his youth, he lived with his family in many towns across Texas, including Comanche, Houston, Humble and Freeport.  In 1962, he graduated from Brazosport High School and began his collegiate years at University of Texas. After serving in the United States Coast Guard for a time, he returned to school and earned a BS in Education degree from Sam Houston State University in 1970.

Allen began a life-long career in education at West Hardin High School where he taught History and coached football.  In 1973, Allen and his family moved to Houston when he accepted a teaching and coaching position in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School at Jersey Village High School. After earning a master’s degree from Prairie View A&M, he served as an assistant principal and later an associate principal at Jersey Village. In 1988, he was named principal of the school. In 1997, Allen presided as principal over the opening of the brand new Cypress Springs High School, where he remained until his retirement in 2001.

Allen was a social and active man who was involved in Rotary Club for many years. After retirement, he moved with Joyce to Smith Point, TX to enjoy a simpler life of boating and fishing. He made friends wherever he went and became immersed in the small community, helping organize the annual fish fry and auction, participating in the Fourth of July parades, and even volunteering as a fire fighter. Most recently he enjoyed traveling and attending RV rallies with Vicki and served as the President of the South Central Chapter of the American Coach Association. 

A memorial service is scheduled for 2:30 pm on February 17, 2019, at West Houston Church of Christ chapel.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate Allen’s life. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to VA Dogs of Texas at


Michael Wayne Chelakis, USMC

10 June 1968 - 31 March 2018
Semper Fi, Devil Dog.
We have the watch.


John Mike Ponton

Another of our brothers has been called home.  John Ponton passed away on the 28th of May.  He served in the United States Army, with tours in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  We would like to pass along our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Ponton.


Troy Max Spharler, Jr.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Troy Spharler, Jr., a 20 year Veteran of the U.S. Army.  We would like to thank Cathleen Storey, the sister-in-law of our Chairman of the Board, Kirk Storey, for her donation to VA Dogs.  


Jean Evelyn and William "Bill" Hall Grimes

Jean Evelyn Grimes passed to a better world on Saturday May 20, 2017. Jean was born on July 11, 1924 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She was orphaned at the age of five and grew up in an orphanage in Canada until the age of twelve. She then spent the next six years living in various foster homes, usually as unpaid labor. At the age of 18 and having finished high school, she was turned loose on her own. She found employment at Assumption College in Windsor, Ontario. She later found employment with a hospital in Detroit, Michigan where she was in charge of out-patient billing. There she met her future husband William Grimes.

Jean and William were married on October 26, 1966. They enjoyed over 50 years of wedded bliss. The marriage produced two children, a son named Thomas Anthony Grimes and wife Samantha Mott and beloved grandson, Logan Hall Grimes, of Fort Collins, CO and a daughter, Erin Therese Grimes EIcher and husband Clyde from Greensburg, PA. She was also survived by her brother Bob Hallman and wife Barb and family of Canada; and nieces and a nephew in Florida.

Jean was one of the truly nice people in this world. She was a long suffering spouse who survived multiple moves which took the family to seven states including twice to California until finally settling in Texas, first in Houston, and finally to Round Rock, where she managed a Lammes Candy Store for a number of years. She was a wonderful mother and spouse and was beloved by many.

William Hall Grimes was born on March 16th, 1937.  He served in the United States Army from 1959 to 1965.  He was an active member of the American Legion, and enrolled in Ashford University in 2010, at the age of 73, to finish a degree program.  William passed away on December 29th, 2017, in Rock Port, TX.

A digital shadow box of William's service can be viewed here.

We would like to express our condolences to the family, as well as our thanks to their daughter Erin and her co-workers for the donation made in her parents' memory.


Con Alan Rusling

Con Alan Rusling, 69, of Lakeway, Texas died on Sunday, March 18, 2018 in hospice care at the Community Living Center of Central Texas Veterans Center, Temple. During his professional career he worked in the professions of oil and gas, forestry, financial business along with acquisitions and publications in Santa Ana, CA, Dallas, New York, and in Austin as former CFO at Sheshunoff Information Services, Thomson International. He also was a consultant and business advisor to several businesses in Austin such as fd2s and Adorno Rogers Technology. He was active in community and church leadership roles utilizing his business skills in organizations such as a board member of Ballet Austin and St. Michael's Episcopal Church. When he retired from the business world he turned his attention toward serving others as a youth mentor and sponsor, Stephen Minister, and host for Interfaith Hospitality Network families. He also trained and became an EMT, and volunteered at special events as well as hurricane disaster relief efforts in central Texas.

Con was born May 11, 1948 in Longview, TX to Charles James "C.J." and Martha Nell (Easterling) Rusling. When he was young his family moved to New Mexico, then to southern California by age 6 to his 20's. He would recall the thrill and excitement of going to Disneyland on opening day, and going to Walt Disney Elementary School, Anaheim. He was an avid swimmer and water polo player at Savannah High and Fullerton Junior College before serving in the United States Army from January, 1969 to May 1971, including a 13 month tour of duty in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division. He then attended California State University at Fullerton, and graduated with a BA in Business in 1974.

Con was not all work. He enjoyed his free time with playfulness around family and friends, in all seasons in a variety of activities and sports: fishing, skiing, racquet sports, golf, swimming, snorkeling, and SCUBA. Boating was his passion for adventure and relaxation: sail and power, salt and fresh water from the west coast, to Connecticut/Long Island, the Caribbean, and of course, lots of quality time on Lake Travis. He was able share his fishing skills with his grand children in recent years.

Con is preceded in death by his parents, and his niece, Martha Rusling. He is survived by his wife, college sweetheart, and best friend, Barbara of 47 years of marriage; his brother, Jim Rusling, Mustang, OK; his children Lt. Col. Con Aaron Rusling and wife Jennifer of Niceville, FL, and Leona A. Martin and husband Blake of Pearland, TX; his sister in law, Nancy Azeri; his 3 young grandchildren who were his delight and joy; his nephew, Mark, and niece, Anale'a; 8 cousins, a great nephew and great niece.

Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 24, 3:00 pm at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 1500 N. Capitol of TX Hwy, 78746. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Episcopal Relief & Development Fund, Hurricane Harvey ( or the VA Dogs of Texas (


Hayden G. Hummel

Hayden G. Hummel, 27, of Muldoon, formerly Richmond, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 25, 2018.

Hayden was born in Richmond on March 5, 1990. He is a veteran of the United States Navy. He served on the USS Harry S. Truman as an aviation boatswain's Mate. Deployment activities included support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the global war on terror. He was awarded the Navy "E" ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and attained the rank of E4 from E1 in less than one year. Friends and fellow service men and women remember him for his loyalty, dedication, and work ethic. He was proud of his service and worked to help himself and others who struggled with PTSD.

His hobbies include traveling, physical fitness, cooking and watching sports. Hayden was a high school athlete, playing football and running track at Foster High School in Richmond.

Hayden is preceded in death by grandparents, Fred Henry Holub, Sylvia Kresta Holub and William Hummel. He is survived by his mother, Tracie Holub; father, Stephen Hummel; stepfather, Jim Pfeil; grandmother, Nancy Alston Hummel; grandparents, Glen and Joyce Pfeil; brothers, Collin Hummel, Brandon Pfeil and Andrew Pfeil; sister-in-law, Caitlin Shine; nephew, Eamon Pfeil; aunts Jean Ferrell and Sharon Holub Pinebrook; and uncles William Pinebrook and Rusty Hummel.

Hayden's funeral service will be Monday, March 12, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Praha, Texas (821 FM 1295, Flatonia). Services will start with the rosary at 9:30 a.m. and the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Burial will follow and there will be a gathering afterwards at the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, a request for donations to Texas VA Dogs; either by website in Hayden's name, or by check to: Veterans Assistance Dogs of Texas, 601 N. Spur 100, Kerrville, TX 78028 Attn: In memory of Hayden G. Hummel.

And to our Hayden: 'Kembali Bung' (Until we come back to each other, brother).


Thomas Lloyd Sievers

We would like to extend our condolences to Ken and Nancy Donley, and June Sievers, as well as to the friends and family of Thomas Sievers.  


Dr. Brock Lutz

We would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Lutz, as well as the community of Tyler, TX.  Dr. Lutz is remembered for his compassion and sense of humor.  We would like to extend our thanks to those who donated in his memory; including the Physicians and Staff of the ETMC Wound Healing Center, FAME of all Episcopal School, and the East Texas Infectious Disease Consultants, PLLC.


Margaret Riedil and Jaclyn Etheridge

We would like to extend our thanks and condolences to Holly Riedil for her contribution to VA Dogs in memory of Margaret Riedil and Jaclyn Etheridge.  They both loved dogs, very much, and Holly's donation in their memory will help us to continue our work rescuing dogs, and giving them a second chance through helping out Veterans.


Edith Marion Carlberg

7 January 1918 - 7 July 2017

Edith Marion Carlberg passed away peacefully in her sleep the morning of July 7, 2017 at the wonderful age of 99 1/2 years young.  She was the only child born January 7, 1918 to Frank Bartell and Henrietta Weller.  After returning from WWI, her father passed away in 1919 during the flu pandemic.  Edith known affectionately as Edie was raised by her mother on the family farm in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  She grew up loving animals and was a fervent horseback rider.  At the age of 18, she met and married an Army officer named Capt. Lawrence Carlberg.  They had a lifelong romance of 67 years that took them on adventures and travels all over the world.  Edie was a proud military wife.  She enjoyed dancing, reading novels, playing card, fashion, spending time with friends and most importantly her family.  Larry retired after 30 years' service as an Air Force Colonel in 1959.  They happily lived out their dats to the fullest at Air Force Village in San Antonio, TX.  Edie is survived by her two loving sons Col. Ronald and wife Gwendolyn Carlberg, CW4 Douglas Carlberg and wife Patti Meisetschleager, Granddaughter Jody Astrom and husband Mika Astrom, cousins Paul, Lina, Leana, Marcus Carlberg.  Services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in the fall.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Wounded Warriors or VA Dogs of Texas.

Thomas “Dale” Willman

Thomas “Dale” Willman

Charles Cecil Johnson

Charles Cecil Johnson

Carl Crawford “Bud” Mengden

Carl Crawford “Bud” Mengden

John Ponton

John Ponton

Con Alan Rusling

Con Alan Rusling

Hayden G. Hummel

Hayden G. Hummel

Edith Marion Carlberg

Edith Marion Carlberg