Longtime Caldwell County Commissioner, one-time judge Duesterheft dies at 77
By Miles Smith
Longtime Caldwell County Commissioner, co-founder of the Maxwell Volunteer Fire Department and one-time Caldwell County Judge Ronnie Duesterheft died Tuesday in San Marcos surrounded by his family. He was 77.
Visitation for Duesterheft will be from 4-7 p.m. Sunday at McCurdy Funeral Home in Lockhart. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Maxwell.
A longtime businessman, Duesterheft purchased N.E.D. Sales and Service, which later became heavy equipment rental company D and D Rentals, in 1973, but it’s his service to the community that he’s perhaps best known for.
Duesterheft helped establish the Maxwell Volunteer Fire Department – the first small community volunteer fire department in Caldwell County – in 1965. He also helped start the Maxwell Water Supply Corporation and its board, serving as its president during its first seven years.
He was first elected to the Caldwell County Commissioners Court in 1984 and stayed on until 2004 when he retired.
He rejoined the court in 2010 when he was appointed county judge to fill the unexpired term of HT Wright, who died in office.
State Rep. John Cyrier, whom Wright appointed to the court, was serving in his first term when Duesterheft rejoined to serve as county judge. He said Duesterheft was a mentor him as a young commissioner and said that support continued after his service was complete.
“He was always a mentor and a father figure to me and was very supportive of me as a county commissioner and when I became a state representative,” Cyrier said. “He has done so much for our county.”
Cyrier said he had many memories of Duesterheft, but one that stood out was the morning of the deadliest balloon crash in United States history in 2016 that killed several people.
“He was 74 years old and he was driving the fire truck at 7 a.m. that morning to put out the fire,” Cyrier recalled. “I asked him what he was doing there, and he said ‘Those young volunteers don’t like to get up on a Saturday morning.’
“It was just another example of how he gave so much.”
Read more in Thursday’s Lockhart Post-Register.