Bennie Walter Bock, II
Bennie Walter Bock, II, longtime New Braunfels resident and former Texas State Representative, passed peacefully at his home surrounded by loved ones on June 29, 2022, at the age of 80. A 7th generation Texan, Bennie was a passionate public servant, businessman, attorney, and rancher.
Bock was born in Lockhart, Texas, on May 17, 1942, and moved to New Braunfels at the age of 3. A 1960 graduate of New Braunfels High School, he went on to earn his Bachelors of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin in 1964 and his Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s Law School in 1968. He worked for the Texas Attorney General’s Office after graduating from law school.
In 1964, Bennie met Austin native Kathy Holmberg on a blind date, and her blue eyes mesmerized him. The two hit it off and were married in 1965, making their home in Austin. Four years later they were blessed with a daughter, Suzanne, and Bennie moved the young family back to New Braunfels where he would practice law. Kathy and Bennie welcomed their second daughter, Lucretia, in 1974.
Bennie was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and held that office from 1972-1983, representing Comal, Guadalupe, and Caldwell counties. During his time in the legislature, Bennie made many significant contributions. He wrote and passed significant state laws in transportation, agriculture, historical preservation, parks and wildlife, and the tax and liquor industries, as well as strengthening laws against drug dealers and passing reconstitution of professional boards governing physicians, dentists, attorneys, and land surveyors. He served as the first House Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission, served on the Liquor Regulation Committee (1975-79, Chairman), and the Environmental Affairs Committee (1980-82, Chairman). He was the only member of the Texas Legislature to override a Governor’s veto in the last 76 years. In the 1978 Special Session, he introduced an amendment to “Abolish Texas Property Taxes” which lost in the House by three votes. The following year, he was voted the Most Conservative of all House Members (while a Democrat) by the College Republicans. He later became a Republican and made an unsuccessful run for the Texas Senate in 1986 in a hotly contested race.
After his time in the legislature, Bennie lobbied for the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), raised and showed cutting horses and racehorses, and owned or operated many businesses including Seguin Motor Company (which earned the President’s Award twice under his leadership), KWED 1580 AM radio station in Seguin, Pinwheel Ranch and continued to maintain a law practice, as well as other entities.
He was involved in many organizations which served the citizens of Texas and his community of New Braunfels: Texas Good Roads Association (2003-05); Texas Legislative Conference (2002, Chairman), and member of the Arrangements Committee (1983-2022); Director of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association; former Chairman, Labor & Immigration Committee; former President, New Braunfels Sophienburg Museum & Archives; former President, New Braunfels Industrial Foundation; Life Member, University of Texas Ex-Students Association; Life Member, American Quarter Horse Association; President & Chairman, Creedmoor-Maha Water District. Bennie was honored with Conference Dedication at the 52nd Annual Texas Legislative Conference in 2018 and was awarded the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Honor Award in 2019.
The true joys of Bennie’s life were his faith and his family. A longtime follower of Jesus, Bennie was a lay reader at St. John’s Episcopal Church and recently became a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. The Caleb Bible Study was a big part of his life and met at his Mill Street Art Gallery office. Bennie was preceded in death by his parents Sue and Bennie Walter Bock, Sr.; his wife Katharyn Holmberg Bock; and his daughter Lucretia Carole Bock. He is survived by his daughter Suzanne Bock Badger, son-in-law Brian Edmond Badger, and niece Elizabeth Carterette Holmberg. He adored being “Papi” to granddaughter Rachel Carterette Badger, and his namesake, grandson Benjamin Neal Badger, who also survive him. He leaves behind many cousins and devoted friends. His love of storytelling about politics, art, and horses over a good meal of Black’s Barbeque will be missed by all.
Bennie will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St., Austin, TX, with a graveside service on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. A Celebration of Life will be held later that afternoon, at 3:30 p.m., at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 777 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope Hospice of New Braunfels, 611 N. Walnut Ave., New Braunfels, TX 78130 or to his nonprofit college scholarship fund, Ephesus Foundation, 387 W. Mill St., New Braunfels, TX 78130. To leave a message for the family, please visit www.luxfhcares.com and select obituaries.