Anton J. "Tony" Bockholt, 82, passed away at his home November 1, 2012 after a lengthy illness. He was born September 23, 1930 in Westphalia, Texas to Ben Bockholt and Rosa Glatter Bockholt. He was the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son of his great grandfather John Gerhardt Bockholt, one of the two first founders of the small farming community named for the Westfalen Province in Germany from which they immigrated. In 1935 he moved with his family to the Corpus Christi area where he was reared on a cotton, grain sorghum, and corn farm. Following his graduation from Robstown High School in 1948 he enrolled at Texas A&M University where he studied agriculture, receiving his B.S. in Agronomy in May 1952. In June 1952, he married Virginia Startz who became his partner and wife of 60 years. Their daughters, Ginny Lynn and Christiane were the joy of their lives.
In August 1952 he reported to Fort Knox, Kentucky to serve his military commitment as a 1st Lieutenant with the 3rd Armored Division. He returned to College Station in 1954 to pursue graduate studies. Tony received a M.S. in Agronomy in1957 and a Ph.D in Plant Breeding in 1967.
Tony was a Professor on the faculty and staff of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, a member of the Texas A&M Chapter of the Agronomy Society, the national Agronomy Society, the National Corn Breeders Association, the Texas Seed Association, the Texas Corn Products Board, the Texas A&M Chapter of the Society of the Sigma Xi, and the former Students Association of Texas A&M.
Tony's career with Texas A&M included a joint teaching and research appointment. In addition to teaching Agronomy 105 and Agronomy 601 and carrying out research responsibilities in corn improvement, he supervised numerous graduate students leaving a legacy of many trained undergraduate and graduate students around the country and overseas. He conducted an extensive program to develop high lysine corns with a hard vitreous endosperm known as quality protein Maize (QPM) which offers a nutritionally improved product serving populations that rely on corn for food. It is also highly sought by the snack and Mexican Food Industry and swine feeders. Between 1962 and his retirement in 1997 he released 11 corn hybrids, 26 inbreds and 8 composites. Four new yellow and 6 new white inbreds, and a white QPM are being proposed for release.
With a great love for Texas A&M, he was one with the Spirit of Aggieland. His choice of college was the beginning of his own dynasty – his All Aggie Family. Both daughters and three grandchildren as well as all their spouses are graduates of Texas A&M. He loved following Aggie Sports and was a long-time season ticket holder for Aggie football, basketball, and baseball games.
From his rural upbringing, Tony remained close to nature. As an identifier of trees and plants and an observer of wildlife he influenced his family to also observe and be one with the natural environment. Pursuits into the wild by the way of camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting nurtured and renewed his spirit.
From his student years, Tony was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church where he served on the parish board. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He served Brazos County and the City of College Station as an election judge from the late 1950's to 2004.
Tony Bockholt was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Rosa Bockholt; a brother, Leo Bockholt and numerous uncles, aunts, and cousins.
Tony is lovingly remembered by his wife Virginia; daughters Ginny Lynn and Michael Bodman, Christiane and Gary Wittie; grandsons Paul, Mark and Robert Bodman and Todd and Carolyn Wittie; and granddaughters, Jayne and Kyle Cornell and Kathryn and Jacob Melear, brothers, Eugene and Margie Bockholt, Raymond and Martha Bockholt, James Bockholt, Richard Bockholt; sister Carolyn Walls, brothers-in-law, Eugene Startz, Andrew and Della Startz, Sr, sister-in-law Mrs. Joyce (Leo, Sr. Bockholt), Irene Skoruppa; aunts, Rosina Bockholt, Dorothy Bockholt and Louise Sparks; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, November 2, 2012 at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station, with the Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 3, 2012 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in College Station, with reverend David Konderla as Celebrant. Interment will follow at College Station City Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Paul, Mark and Robert Bodman, Todd Wittie, Kyle Cornell and Jacob Melear.
Memorial contributions can be made to New Danville at 10951 Shepard Hill Rd., Willis, Texas 77318, which serves intellectually challenged adults, or to a charity of your choice.