Preston Murdoch Geren Jr., 89, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. Service: 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be his grandsons and grandsons-in-law. Memorials: Should friends desire, memorials may be given to Streams and Valleys, Inc., 2918 Wingate St., P.O. Box 101373, Fort Worth, Texas 76185-1373. Preston was born Dec. 16, 1923, in Fort Worth, the son of Preston M. Geren and Linda Giesecke Geren. He graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1941 and attended Texas A&M until World War II
interrupted his studies. He was commissioned an officer in the Army and served with distinction in the European theater with Co. K, 385th Infantry Battalion, 76th Division, 3rd Army. He was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars
, and a Purple Heart
. After the war, he resumed his education at Georgia Tech, graduating with a degree in architecture and engineering in 1947. Preston joined the firm his father had established in 1934, Preston M. Geren Architects & Engineers. After his father's passing in 1969, Preston built on Preston Sr.'s legacy, leading the firm to become one of the largest in Texas. The scope of his architectural and engineering practice included projects at many of Texas' major universities, including TCU, the University of Texas
System, University of Texas Medical School, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, and Texas A&M University; many community colleges, including Kilgore, Waco, Midland/Odessa and Tarrant County; 137 school districts, many hospitals, churches, banks and office buildings. He was especially proud of his firm's work as associate architect with Louis Kahn on the Kimbell Art Museum, and of many buildings on the campus of Texas A&M, including the Clayton Williams Alumni Center. Preston was a strong supporter of education, sponsoring seven scholarships at Texas A&M. He believed the greatest gift an individual could receive was an education. His professional affiliations and recognitions included the presidency of the Texas Society of Architects and of the Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Society of Architects. He was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and received the Llewellyn Pitts Award from the Texas Society of Architects. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University and of the A&M College of Architecture. He was the first to receive the Fort Worth A&M Club Lifetime Achievement Award. As a business and civic leader he served on the board of directors of Ridglea State Bank, Equitable Savings & Loan, Fort Worth National Bank, Gibraltar Savings Bank, First United Bancorp, Enserch Corp, Pool Well Service Co. and Ebasco Services Co. He was a founder and director of Overton Bank & Trust, now merged into Frost Bank. He also served as chairman of Trinity Improvement Assoc., organizer and president of Streams & Valleys and was a member of the boards of the Fort Worth Children's Hospital, Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, Fort Worth Symphony, and served as president of the Exchange Club. Preston was a member of the President George H.W. Bush Library Committee, and the Texas A&M Chancellor and President's Advisory Committees. He also served as president of the 12th Man Foundation of Texas A&M, and was elected to the Westover Hills City Council and Tarrant Regional Water District. He was a lifetime member and two-term vestryman of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in downtown Fort Worth. Preston and his wife, Colleen Edwards Geren, who predeceased him in 2012, led full and rewarding lives defined by work, community, and family. Preston would like to be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, great-uncle and friend. "Grandad" held a particularly special place in the hearts of his 11 grandchildren. He started a tradition of taking all of his grandchildren to his beloved Aggies football games and midnight yell practice. He had a strong desire for all of his family to remain close, and the family reunions he hosted every year in New Braunfels always will be cherished memories for the entire family. Survivors: His five children, Charlie Geren, Preston "Pete" M. Geren III and wife, Beckie, Eva Geren Motheral and husband, Jim, Chandra Edwards Geren and husband, Robert Thomas, Dr. B.T. "Toby" Erwin III; 11 grandchildren, Emily Geren Leonard and husband, Michael J. Leonard, Natalie Erwin Nagim and husband, Ryan Nagim, Holly Erwin McCarty and husband, Kent McCarty, Sarah E. Motheral, Paxton E. Motheral, C. Patrick Pate Jr. and wife, Melanie, A. Preston Pate and wife, Lindsay, Mason L. Pate, Tracy E. Geren, Sarah Ann Geren, Mary C. Geren; four great-grandchildren, Preston M. Leonard, Laurie K. Venable, Marion Colleen Nagim and Lucy Allison Pate; and his sisters, Linda Lee Nichols of Coronado, Calif., and Alma Caroline Key and husband, Bill, of Clifton. He has two more great-grandchildren on the way.