Joseph Lawrence "Joe L." Schott, 79, passed away quietly at his home in Castroville on May 10, 2013, with his loving wife of 57 years by his side.
Joe L. was a dynamic and generous personality and well-known as the founder, along with his wife Bobbi, of the Medina County News Bulletin. Joe L.'s affection for journalism was profound and infectious. With 46 years dedicated to newspaper journalism, he inspired young people in Castroville and the area to follow in his footsteps.
His thirst for news started early when he began working in the sports department at The San Antonio Light in 1946 while he was still in Junior High School. Joe L. hitched rides with friends and family daily to San Antonio to work at The Light and attend Central Catholic High School. His pluck and determination led him to Austin where he studied at The University of Texas
, School of Journalism, graduating with honors in 1955. While at UT, he worked for the school's newspaper, the Daily Texan, and won numerous awards. Also during this time, he had his first exposure to politics, working as a legislative aide to then State Rep. Dolph Briscoe.
While journalism was his career, his first and true love was Barbara Jo "Bobbi" Woerner, whom he met while they were both working at Leon's Drive Inn (now Sammy's Restaurant) in Castroville. After graduation, Joe L. was drafted into the U.S. Army, but he returned to Castroville to marry his hometown sweetheart on June 17, 1956. The young couple lived in Petersburg, Virginia, while Joe L. was assigned to Fort Lee. In addition to his military duties, Schott also served as editor of the Ft. Lee Traveler, the Army newspaper, and he and his wife Bobbi established and operated a news bureau in Petersburg for the Richmond News Leader.
In 1958, Joe and Bobbi Schott returned to Castroville, and seeing the need for a newspaper in this growing community, they founded a weekly, The Castroville News Bulletin, which they eventually sold in 1979. The operations began in the family house, located in a duplex behind then Schott's Supermarket. It wasn't uncommon that the newspaper duo would work late into the night, clicking the keys of their manual typewriters, while their two young children, Bob Joe and Kathy, slept in the adjacent room. With the success of The News Bulletin, the Schott's were able to move their headquarters to Paris Street in Castroville. Through The News Bulletin, the Schott's were able to serve as a promotional voice for their historic and arts-oriented community and to lead successful campaigns for improved infrastructure, education and historic preservation. The News Bulletin gave Castroville a voice.
Joe L. also returned full-time to The Light in 1958, rising through the ranks as a reporter
(1955-63), photo/art editor (1963-68), assistant city editor (1968-70), city editor (1970-73), assistant managing editor (1973-81), and associate editor (1981-91). He earned many accolades and awards during his tenure.
He had a brief sabbatical from The Light when he served as state-wide campaign manager for Dolph Briscoe in his first bid for governor of Texas. In 1978, Joe L. was among the first members of The Texas Prosecutor Council, having been appointed by Gov. Briscoe, and served as vice chairman from 1978-1982.
Joe L. and Bobbi were longtime fans of the UT Longhorn football team, and they often went to games to support them. They enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and they were well-known for their travelogues, which appeared in The News Bulletin and The SA Light.
Joseph Lawrence is survived by his wife, Barbara Jo Woerner Schott; son, Robert Joseph Schott; and daughter, Kathryn Anne Schott McAllister, and her husband, Dr. Niall McAllister; grandchildren, Ryne Joseph Schott, Lila Ruth Schott, Joni Schott, Helen Schott, Joe L. Schott II, and William Branduff McAllister; brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard J. (Margaret) Schott of Castroville, Lindy L. (Maxine) Schott of Pearland; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Georgia Mae Schott (Sam) Mencio of San Antonio; numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Joseph F. Schott and Lucille Tschirhart Schott; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Martin Woerner and Lillie Lipke Woerner; son, Joseph Lawrence Schott, Jr.; daughter, Lila Lucille Schott; brother, Clifton J. "Mitzie" Schott; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Marjory Whitehead Schott, L.B. Palmer Jr. and Ruby Woerner Palmer, Jimmie and Gladys Woerner, Gilbert A. Klaus, Marie Woerner, and Phyllis Woerner.
The Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home will be open from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013 with a Memorial Service at 7:00 p.m. Interment of his ashes will be held at a later date at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery with military honors. Memorials may be made in his memory to the
Arrangements with Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home, Castroville. Visit www.tondre-guinn.com