Lawrence August Berend, age 99, lifelong resident of Windthorst, Texas passed away April 25, 2013, at his residence.
A vigil service and rosary will be held at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2013, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Windthorst. Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday, April 29, 2013, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Rev. Jack McKone, Pastoral Administrator of St. Mary’s, and Deacon Don Brown of Windthorst officiating. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Windthorst under the direction of Aulds Funeral Home of Archer City, Texas.
Lawrence was born November 30, 1913 in Windthorst, Texas to Edward Frank Berend and Catherine Josephine Hoff Berend.
He and Helen Marie Himmels were married on Tuesday, October 18, 1938 in Windthorst, Texas.
L.A. and brother, Paul, started business in 1939 with a 1935 Ford flatbed truck which they obtained by trading 10,000 pounds of maize, delivered to Doc Watson, a turkey farmer. They entered business without so much as a handshake, just went to work. While one of them slept the other peddled the hay they brought from Pilot Point, which in 1939 brought $9.00 per ton. At that time, gasoline to haul that hay cost about 16 cents per gallon. Their first store in Windthorst was a converted house on 10 acres owned by Paul’s mother-in-law. Their first hog and feeder cattle operation was established on the rear of that 10 acres. The brothers owned one car between them and each family used it on alternating weekends.
Berend Bros. sponsored dairy shows in Windthorst from 1953-1974 when they turned that responsibility over to the Archer County Extension Service. In the early years their Dad, Ed Berend, with the county agricultural agent made a trip to Michigan to buy outstanding Holstein bulls to upgrade the local dairy herds. In their first 50 years of operation, the brothers grew their partnership, incorporated in 1960, to include six retail stores, a large agribusiness operation on 14,000 acres with 125 part-time and full-time employees. The brothers’ first two employees were the late Rusty Lindemann and John Hoff. Since Rusty lived with the Berend brothers’ parents he was considered a family member and drew no pay.
Lawrence was an entrepreneur extraordinaire, innovator with vision, community leader and devoted family man. In addition to being Texas' largest pork producer, the family's strong belief in the future of agriculture was indicated by their diversified investments in poultry, beef cattle, sheep and feed manufacturing. L.A. was named to the Texas Pork Producers Association Hall of Fame on April 14, 1989.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Joseph Society, and Knights of Columbus Kettler Council # 1824. He served on the Water Board, Windthorst City Council, Windthorst ISD Board, the Region 9 Education Board, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church Board where he was on the finance committee. He also was a founding board member of Windthorst National Bank.
Lawrence loved playing cards and dominoes with his family and friends. That was a large part of his life and he enjoyed it so much. Faith, family, hard work and dedication would best describe the life of Lawrence August Berend.
Survivors include his wife, Helen Berend of Windthorst; four sons, Gerald Wayne Berend and wife, Nancy of Wichita Falls, Ray Edward Berend and wife, Dorothy of San Antonio, Texas, Larry John Berend and wife, Peggy of Wichita Falls, and David Charles Berend and wife, Laura of Dallas, Texas; two daughters, Marilyn Catherine Wachsman and husband, Richard of Dallas, and Carol Ann Sales and husband, Terry of Windthorst; four sisters-in-law, Mabel Bowlden of Dallas, Margie Himmels of Wichita Falls, Annette Fleitman of Lindsay, and Ann Veitenheimer of Windthorst; twenty-four grandchildren and thirty-four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by one grandson, Kevin Lawrence Wachsman; one grandson-in-law, Mark Brown; one brother, Paul Berend; and one sister, Clara Pennartz.
Serving as pallbearers will be Douglas Berend, Jay Berend, Matthew Berend, Chris Berend Rodrigue, Tyler Sales and Richard Wachsman.
The family suggests memorials to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, P.O. Box 230, Windthorst, Texas 76389, L.A. & Helen Berend Scholarship c/o Jesuit College Prep., 12345 Inwood Rd., Dallas, TX 75244, or to the charity of your choice.