HOULE, Dudley Benningfield "Ben"|
Dudley Benningfield (Ben) Houle MD FACS was called home on February 19, 2014 at the age 87. Ben was born in Eastland, Texas on February 2, 1927. He proudly served his country in the Army during World War II and later in the Air Force. He retired after a long decorated career as a flight surgeon and hospital commander from the Air Force in 1973 from Carswell AFB, Texas. Ben became the first physician in the Lake Travis area. He worked as a surgeon and family practitioner until his retirement in 1997.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents, Dudley L. and Floye Benningfield Houle. He spent his childhood in Eastland, Texas as well as Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Ben attended school in Eastland before attending Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee where he graduated in 1943. He started college at Texas A&M College until he joined the army. After World War II, he was honorably discharged and enrolled at Texas Christian University. He graduated in 1949 with a BA in Biology. He received his MD from Tufts University Medical School in1953, his Masters degree in Surgery from University of Minnesota in 1958, and his Masters of Science in Public Administration from George Washington University in 1963.
While in the Air Force, Ben had special interest in Surgery, Disaster Medicine, Aerospace Medicine, and Respiratory Physiology. Ben was Chief of Special Services at Carswell AFB, Texas and the hospital commander at San Pablo AFB, Spain and Bergstrom AFB, Texas. He served as Flight Surgeon for Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 mission.
After his retirement from the Air Force, Ben was very active in the Austin and Lake Travis area. Ben served on the Dripping Springs School Board. He was the School Board President when the decision was made to form a new school district known today as Lake Travis ISD. He was often found on the sideline of the Dripping Springs football team as their team physician. He was an associate professor of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. Ben was a member of the Parson Lodge, Austin Scottish Rite Valley, Ben Hur Shrine of Austin, Anson Jones National So-joiner, and Surgeon for National Heroes, '76, 2006-2007. Ben enjoyed the fellowship of the "Quiet Birdmen." He was a colonel in the Commemorative Air Force. His hobbies included fishing, hunting, flying, and Civil War history.
Ben is survived by his wife, Yvonne Sue Sterbutzel. Throughout their 47 years of marriage, Ben and Sue enjoyed traveling in their motor coach all over the United States especially spending their summers in Door County, Wisconsin. They also loved to cruise and travel throughout the world.
In addition, Ben is survived by his daughters, Nancy Kirk and husband, Bruce; Suzanne Dau and husband, Ted; Barbara Flynt and husband, David; Patricia Leveroni and husband, Joe; Kim Schafer and husband, Jim; Gwen Waltman and husband, Skip; son, Steve Houle and wife, Lisa; seventeen grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and his Bengal cat, Dudley.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 24th at Weed-Corley-Fish Lake Travis, 411 RR 620 South in Lakeway. Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 in the Weed-Corley-Fish Chapel. Interment will be at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, February 26th at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio.
Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, 2014