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 give 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.


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.

 John Ponton

John Ponton

 Con Alan Rusling

Con Alan Rusling

 Hayden G. Hummel

Hayden G. Hummel

 Edith Marion Carlberg

Edith Marion Carlberg