Major Fritz Leonard Boedeker, Jr. (USAF, ret.) On October 1, 2013, Major Fritz Leonard Boedeker, Jr. (USAF, ret.) of San Antonio, Texas entered into eternal rest. He was born March 21, 1924 in Shiner, Texas to Fritz Gerhardt Boedeker and Martha Louise Koenning Boedeker. Mr. Boedeker was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Victoria Gertrude Benzie Boedeker; and daughter, Elisabeth Marie Boedeker. |
In the early years of the U.S. involvement in World War II, the young Mr. Boedeker enlisted in the army following graduation from Shiner High School. However, he was denied after failing his physical. Determined to serve, he enrolled at Texas A & M College in 1943 and, after a year of studies, reapplied successfully beginning his military career. After basic training he was shipped off to Oberammergau, Germany in 1946 where he spent nearly a year working with the European Theater Intelligence School (ETIS). Rather than take a promotion in the army, he decided to take an offer to return to Texas A&M and enter the corps of cadets. In addition to his studies in agriculture and physics, he participated on the volleyball team and played with the A&M marching band. While he was a student, he met and in 1948 married the love of his life, Victoria Benzie, a young RN in the naval reserve. He graduated from A&M with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Agriculture in 1949. The young Lieutenant Boedeker was eventually assigned to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas where he specialized in base administration. His first child was born in 1951, and they were briefly transferred to the St. Louis area in 1953. Following the loss of their second child; however, the couple moved back to Lackland Air Force Base. In 1956, Captain Boedeker was assigned on a Tour of Duty to Korea. Upon his return a year later, the family moved to Biggs Air Force Base in El Paso, Texas, Loring Air Force Base in Maine in 1960, and finally Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts in 1961, where he worked on his MBA at the American International College in Springfield. In 1963, Captain Boedeker decided to take an assignment as Headquarters Squadron Section, 315th Air Division commander, bringing his family to Tachikawa Air Force Base near Tokyo, Japan. In Japan, Boedeker was prepared to enter combat in the Vietnam conflict, but because of illness requiring extensive surgery, he was forced to return to the states where he recuperated but was obliged to retire with 100 percent disability. He remained in the Air Force Reserves with the rank of Major. During his military career, Major Boedeker served as an army infantryman, air force instructor, adjutant, squadron commander, personnel officer, and director of administrative services. He was also active in several service organizations including the Kiwanis Club and the CCD program at an on-base church. Major Boedeker loved the city of San Antonio and brought his family there in 1965 after his military career ended, living in the same home on Keystone Drive for the rest of his life. In 1967, he earned his Masters of Education Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. He briefly taught physics in the San Antonio Independent School District. He then left to join the civil service team at the Defense Language School at Lackland Air Force Base, where he helped to write aircraft training manuals and taught foreign students how to interpret the technical terminology used in those manuals. He continued in the defense language school for the next twenty years, retiring in 1986 after 35 years of service to the United States Air Force. Aggie football and family heritage were Major Boedeker's passion. He loyally attended every Texas A&M home football game while residing in the San Antonio area. He had season tickets with his son James, and the final game that he attended was against Alabama on September 14, 2013. He also loved his family roots and helped to organize and support the annual Jahnsen-Boedeker family reunions that have been held each summer for more than 50 years. His greatest accomplishment was developing the family heritage chart. A few years after his wife's death from breast cancer, Major Boedeker became more active in the San Antonio A&M Club and the Beethoven Maennerchor where he sang in the tenor section. He served as Treasurer and Secretary of both the Maennerchor and the Southern District of the North American Singers Association until he eventually handed over the last of his responsibilities in 2010. Boedeker continued to sing actively with the choir and earned his 25 year certificate in 2012. He performed in his last concert at the Sangerfest held in Fredericksburg on September 21, 2013.
Major Boedeker is survived by his daughters, Cheryl Leah Schoolfield (John Douglas) and Diana Louise Boedeker-Bruce; sons, Fritz Leonard Boedeker, II, Phillip John Boedeker (Janice), James Robert Boedeker; sister, Junita Joachim (Charles); brothers, Martin Boedeker and Lester Boedeker (Aline); grandchildren, Michael Brian Bruce, Fritz Matthew Boedeker, David Michael Boedeker, Stephen Reece Boedeker, Jenna Elisabeth Boedeker, Gregory Lee Schoolfield, Edmond Ray Schoolfield and Marie Elisabeth Schoolfield.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 from 6:00pm until 9:00pm, with a Rosary at 7:00pm at Oak Hills Mortuary. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 10:00am at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 3303 Urban Crest, San Antonio, Texas. Interment will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, with Air Force Honors, followed by a reception at Aggie Park, 6205 West Avenue, San Antonio, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the San Antonio A&M Club Foundation, the Beethoven Maennerchor, or the
. You may sign the on-line guestbook at www.missionparks.com under the obituary section.
OAK HILLS MORTUARY
8332 Fredericksburg Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78229
Published in Houston Chronicle on Oct. 7, 2013