Conrad Carl Ohlendorf
Conrad Carl Ohlendorf was born February 12, 1929 on the family farm near Lockhart, Texas to Max and Betty (Conrads) Ohlendorf. On April 6, 2021, after a long and fulfilling life, he joined his beloved wife Gerry in heaven.
Born into a German farming family in the Rogers Ranch community in Caldwell County, Conrad attended the local one room school through 7th grade. In 8th grade he transferred to Lockhart Public Schools where he graduated from Lockhart High in 1946 with many folks who remained lifelong friends.
Conrad attended Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corp of Cadets, graduating in 1950 with a BS in Agronomy. After graduation, he received a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army and spent two years serving his country.
On a visit home from college, he met Geraldine Retherford and in 1951 they were married in Lockhart's First United Methodist Church. Gerry was the love of his life, the director of his social calendar, and his constant companion until her death in 2017
Conrad and Gerry welcomed their first child, Carl Ray in 1952. In 1954, they came home to Lockhart to make a life together with their son on the family land. Diane arrived in 1955 to complete their family of four.
Conrad began his career at First-Lockhart National Bank in the bookkeeping department in 1959, was promoted to Vice President in 1964, and President in 1969, a position he held for over 30 years. He led FLNB for most of his adult life, and helped build the bank from a small organization to one of the strongest banks of its size in Texas. He was known as a man of his word, and was respected throughout the community. During those years he was involved in every corner of Lockhart – Little League, Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Caldwell County A&M Club, LISD School Board, Chisholm Trail, United Way, First United Methodist Church of Lockhart, and the American Legion. In 1986 he was named Outstanding Business and Professional Man of Caldwell and Travis County by the Soil and Water Conservation District. Conrad was 1975 Jaycees Boss of the Year and in 1988 was named Lockhart's Most Worthy Citizen.
When Conrad retired from the bank his beloved employees gifted him a cattle trailer. He used the trailer many times when he returned to farming and ranching full time, often in the company of Hugo Schaarshmidt, his lifelong friend and fellow farm worker. In later years, Carl often fondly referred to this paring as "my 80-year-old dad and his 85-year-old helper".
In 1977 Conrad became a grandfather, our Opa, a role he cherished. Opa was dedicated to his five grandkids, attending every sporting event, performance, and ceremony, often traveling long distances. Opa showed up for his family. He cooked hot cakes for breakfast, gave great big hugs, and recited a German rhyme that ended in tickles. In more recent years he became a great-grandfather 11 times. He loved to watch the great-grandkids run and play. When you left the house, Opa always stood in the driveway with Oma and waved until you drove out of sight.
Conrad dedicated his life to his family and his hometown. Always leading by example with quiet dignity, Conrad gave and earned abiding respect. He listened more than he spoke; chose his words carefully; acted deliberately; and judged others not by their wealth, status, or acquaintances but by the character they displayed through hard work, loyalty, honesty, and acceptance of personal responsibility.
Conrad is survived by his children Carl Ohlendorf (wife Nancy), Diane Peace (husband Tom); his grandchildren Jessie Stanco (husband Hunter), Ryan Ohlendorf (wife Nicole), Josh Elrod (wife Erin), Clay Ohlendorf (wife Riley), and Shelby Scholze (husband Mike); his great-grandchildren Miller Ohlendorf, Ruby Stanco, Phoebe Stanco, Lake Ohlendorf, Conrad James Ohlendorf, Camden Elrod, Maxen Elrod, Emmitt Ohlendorf, Bailey Scholze, Lyla Jane Stanco, and Collins Scholze; and a large, loving extended family of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Gerry, his parents, his sister Maxine Balser and brother-in-law, Stanley.
The Ohlendorf family extends gratitude to all of Conrad's gentle caregivers whose loving care allowed him to spend his final years at home. Ellie Perez, Tonya Heard, Margarita Biddy, Mercy Manzano, Lorraine Counts and Diane Dussetschleger thank you for cooking delicious meals, making sure he got to enjoy the evening breeze, and playing polka music for Opa. We also extend our deepest gratitude to Heart to Heart Hospice and Dr. Charles Laurence.
Conrad gave tirelessly to his family and community. We invite you to celebrate his life and legacy. Burial service will be held Sunday, April 18 at 2pm at the Lockhart City Cemetery followed by a reception 3-6pm at Two Wishes Ranch, 3495 Rolling Ridge Road.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church or the Lockhart ISD Education Foundation.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Apr. 9 to Apr. 11, 2021.