By Kathi Bliss
The Lockhart Post-Register’s former editor and publisher, J. Louis Mohle, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 1, after complications from a fall left him in a coma-like state for several days. He was 81.
Mohle, a life-long Caldwell County resident, was widely known for his leadership in civic and church organizations. According to his brother Paul, when Mohle was not busy with his family or the newspaper, he was meeting or working for the good of his church and his community.
“He lived his life with a great consistency and integrity,” said Rev. Randy Frye, pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which has been Mohle’s church home throughout his life. “Most of the people I’ve spoken with [about Mohle's life] tell me that, and I think he lived that every day.”
The church was a focal point of Mohle’s life. Over the years, he served the church in many capacities, including as a Elder Emeritus and the director of the church choir. He retired from his duties as choir director in November 2005. He had been singing for the church since high school.
Mohle’s interest in music permeated his life. As a high school student, he formed a singing quartet with Bill and Harry Hilgers and Bobby Mohle. The group performed for the church on special occasions.
Later, when his educational pursuits took him to the University of Texas, he joined both the Texas Glee Club and the Longhorn Band. Mohle was so dedicated to being a member of the band that when he discovered there were too many sousaphone players [Mohle's instrument of choice], he learned to play the flute.
Mohle even managed to merge his love of music with his desire to serve the community, acting as the Songleader for the Lockhart Kiwanis Club for several years.
In addition to the Kiwanis club, Mohle was active in a number of local civic and business organizations, including the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce, the H.T. Rainey Post of the American Legion and Lockhart Little League.
According to his daughter, Kay Chamness, Mohle served Lockhart Little League as a Players’ Agent for more than 30 years. He was a Past Commander of the American Legion, past President of the Kiwanis Club and past President of the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members named him Lockhart’s Most Worthy Citizen in 1978.
Mohle’s brother suggested that his involvement in the newspaper was in part responsible for his widespread community activities.
“He did all the writing and went to most of the meetings,” Paul said. “When the Kiwanis Club came to Lockhart, he went to those meetings, and he was a charter member of the Kiwanis. He also worked with the Businessmen’s Association, which later became the Chamber of Commerce.”
Mohle purchased an interest in the Lockhart Post-Register in the late 40s.
“Back then, the newspaper was owned by ‘members,’ and each time a member died, the other members had a chance to buy out shares of the business,” Paul explained. “Our dad and Uncle Stan were both partners, and gradually took over as owners died.”
Louis purchased Stan Mohle’s share of the Post-Register when he returned to Lockhart from the University of Texas, after serving in the Air Force during the War.
Mohle and his father, and later brother Paul, ran the Post-Register until deciding to sell the business to the Garrett family in 1979.
Still, Mohle continued his involvement with the newspaper, acting as a sports reporter and columnist for several years after the sale.
Mohle is survived by his wife, Nell; his children, Terry and wife Pamela, Clinton and wife Julie, and Kay Chamness and husband Mike, all of Lockhart; grandchildren Jessica, Samantha, Camille, Trenton, Tyler, Kalyn, Jacey and Ashlyn; his brother Paul and wife Emma Lou; and a host of other family members and friends.