Who are scholarships named for?
For years Port Aransas High School seniors have been presented scholarships with people’s names attached. In most cases, the seniors don’t have a clue who those people are, especially because nearly all awards bearing an individual’s name are in honor of someone who is deceased.
Awards were presented to the Class of 2011 on Friday (see Pages 12-14A).
Awards or scholarships are named for someone by family or friends in an effort to keep the memory of their loved one alive and to honor their good deeds. We’d like to let students know something about the person for whom the scholarship they received is named.
In the order in which they appeared on the scholarship assembly program, those people are:
• Bob Clark was a successful businessman in Port Aransas who owned several souvenir shops, among them, The Islander. He used his success to better Port Aransas, and much of what he did to help people in this community never will be known. The only thing, besides the scholarship, that bears his name, is Bob Clark Parkway – the road that leads from Ross Avenue to the Community Park that is on land he donated to the city for that purpose. He died in December 2009.
• Marjorie Wohlschlag founded the kindergarten program in the Port Aransas Independent School District where she taught for many years, starting in 1965. Wohlschlag also taught pre-kindergarten, and was much loved by her students and peers. She retired in 1987, but volunteered for years after that. She died in January 2010.
• Letha Agnew was a high school teacher in Corpus Christi for decades. Her nieces, Nancy Clarke of Port Aransas and Carolyn Richards and Sally Grissom, both formerly of Port Aransas and now of Rockport and Kerrville, respectively, established the scholarship in her name. Richards has said her aunt never married or had children, but she loved her students as her own. In her nieces as well as her students, Agnew instilled a respect for the written word, Richards said.
• Jim Edmonson, a former high school English and journalism teacher, came to Port Aransas in 1981 to serve as publisher of the South Jetty, which had been purchased by one of his former students in Refugio, Mary Henkel Judson and her husband, Murray Judson. After about a year, Edmonson returned to teaching, this time in Port Aransas. He served as a counselor and high school principal before he was tapped to become manager of Nueces County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4. He died in November 2002.
• I.B. Magee Jr. was the founder of the Family Center IGA. A developer who lived in Corpus Christi, he moved his family to Port Aransas in the mid-1960s and became a fixture, quietly helping individuals in need and supporting every facet of the community, especially youth causes and nonprofit organizations. The Nueces County park in Port Aransas is named in his honor. He died in June 2004.
Walker was an avid fisherman whose home was in Corpus Christi, but whose heart was in Port Aransas. In fact, he married a Port Aransas girl, Wendy Littleton, and it was only 11 days after their son Trey was born that he died doing what he loved best – fishing offshore. His widow, now Wendy Moore, honors him each year with the scholarship that keeps the memory of her son’s father alive. He died in July 2003.
• Kenney Scales was president of Island State Bank, now ValueBank Texas, when he died suddenly in 1987. He was a mentor and friend to the residents and youth of Port Aransas. Island State Bank started the scholarship in Scales’ honor, and ValueBank has continued it.
• Jody McCormick, the late owner of Sharkey’s, established the annual South Texas Music Fest and Chili, Barbecue and Bean Cook-offs to benefit the Port Aransas Leisure Society’s vocational scholarship fund. He died in November 2006.
• Christie Campbell was an outstanding Port Aransas High School student athlete who battled a rare form of cancer for several years before succumbing in January 2008 at the age of 28. Throughout her battle she continued her college classes at The University of Texas at Austin, setting an example for, and inspiring not only the students she mentored, but everyone who knew her or read about her.
• Justin F. Kahn was a freshman at Port Aransas High School when he died in March of this year. He was an avid fisherman and a member of the Port Aransas Junior Boatmen. His family hopes to keep his memory alive through a scholarship in his name.
• Hope Devlin was one of the few women charter fishing captains in the Coastal Bend. She had no children of her own, but children were her passion. After she died of breast cancer, a fishing tournament for kids was established in her name. The Kiwanis Club subsequently named a scholarship in her honor.
• Norma Otterstetter was a Winter Texan from Michigan who bequeathed money to the Kiwanis Club, which the club has used for scholarships. She died in an auto accident in October 2009.
So seniors, there is a story behind every name on every scholarship, and your scholarships are presented to you from a source of love and with love.
Treasure them and treat them well. You are carrying on a legacy with every dollar used toward your education.
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at email@example.com, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.