In Memory

Herman Katzer, ((Teacher))

Mr. Herman Alfred Katzer
1931 - 2015 



Visitation: Wednesday, March 18, 2015, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home
Funeral: Thursday, March 19, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home 
Interment: Following the funeral at the Boerne Cemetery
Born July 26, 1931
Died March 15, 2015

Herman Alfred Katzer was born in Yorktown in Dewitt County, Texas, to Edward H. and Leona Baer Katzer on July 26, 1931. He attended elementary school in Dewitt County until moving to Boerne and attending school there. He graduated from Boerne High School in 1950.

After graduating, Herman enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he completed a four year term. While he was in the Navy, he served as a radioman in both the LST Ship 914 and LST 1138.

Herman married Dorothy Ann Katzer on January 16, 1955. He then attended San Antonio College transferring to Texas A&I College in Kingsville (now A&M Kingsville College) where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture in 1958. He next started teaching Science in the North East ISD and attending classes at Trinity University and Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, ultimately receiving his Masters Degree in Science.

Herman taught Earth Science and also drove a school bus during his service in the North East ISD. After 31 years, Herman retired in 1989. It was then that Herman and Dorothy purchased ranch property in Comfort, Texas, where they built a homestead and enjoyed country life.

Herman was preceded in death by his brothers, Edger Lee Katzer in infancy, LeRoy Melvin and Clarence Katzer, all of Boerne. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Ann Katzer, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held Wednesday, March 18, 2015, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home. The funeral will be Thursday, March 19, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home with interment following at the Boerne Cemetery.

To leave condolences for the family, please visit and select the Obituaries tab.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church of Comfort, 318 High Street, Comfort, TX 78013; Comfort Volunteer Fire and EMS, 224 W. FM 473, Comfort, TX 78013; or to Hill Country Memorial Foundation, Inc., PO Box 1339 / Fredericksburg, Texas 78624.

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03/20/15 06:05 PM #1    

Jenice Graham (Benedict)

Mr. Katzer was one of those straight-up teachers that one NEVER, ever forgets. He was a strict teacher, I suppose because of his navy-disciplined background. - He expected a lot from us ALL. No one was treated any different or special. My brother, Joe Graham, Jim and I occasionally talked fondly about Mr. Katzer being our teacher and bus driver at Garner. Even though he was tough on us he was a good teacher and we learned a lot. We knew he cared for all of us and we rose to a higher level because of those expectations. - I also remember he had a very funny, caustic sense of humor at times... but under that shell was a softie.- I will never forget him. A good man. - God's Speed, Mr. Herman Katzer! :)      -    Jenice

03/20/15 10:13 PM #2    

Donny Hancock

Ditto on what Jenice said in her comment. Mr Katzer was a no BS, type of man.  So typical of his generation. He was a tremendous educator that demanded perfection but he always treated everyone with honor and respect. Besides being a great science teacher I remember he also taught lots of us drivers education. I remember things to this day that I still practice while driving that he was so strict in teaching. The world has lost a good man for sure.

Donny Hancock

03/21/15 09:59 AM #3    

Jenice Graham (Benedict)

Don Hancock and Everyone:  If you go to the funeral home's obituary website there are lots of comments made by former students, especially comments about drivers ed class and his bus. -  As my science teacher, I can still remember him saying, "Miss Graham, I can hear you talking."  He made me do push-ups, in the back of the classroom as punishment, on several occasions for talking. Ha-ha-ha! I knew I deserved the reprimand and of course I did them. Made me strong :) -  I guess parents would sue nowdays for that type of discipline, but it worked for me then and I didn't dislike him for being strict.  Today the schools need more teachers like Herman.    - jb

03/21/15 11:14 AM #4    

Steve Clark

I did not have Mr. Katzer as a science teacher, but did experience his brand of "hickory stick" education for behind the wheel driver's education.  A group of us from Hollywood Park happened to be assigned to the same session for driving practice; Pam Merkins, Randy Zwink, Dan Ehliger and myself.  When it came time to change the tire exercise, he made Pam do it insisting that the guys were capable, but it was the girls who needed the training should they ever be stranded by themselves.  That actually made perfect sense to the male contingent in the car and even more now upon reflection.  Of course all the guys silently snickered as poor Pam struggled to "manhandle" the spare while Mr. Katzer offered sage pointers and barked commands.

Mr. Katzer also had a thing for adjusting the rear view mirror.  The correct way was to grab the mirror from the backside, not with you hand over the front of the mirror.  Same for adjusting the shift lever.  The proper technique was to grab the lever with the full use of the hand and never loop your thumb over the wheel and grab the shifter with your other fingers.  Doing either of these two operations wrong got you a rap on the knuckles with the ever present drum stick that Mr. Katzer carried as a memory jogger.  Poor Randy usually had black and blue knuckles by the end of the class.

I had fairly long legs then and had to move the seat all the way back when I drove.  I remember that Mt. Katzer loved that as it also gave him plenty of room and relaxed him enough to loosen his grip on the drumstick during my driving sessions.  Others, like Randy, had to move the seat much closer to the wheel and this cramped the instructors leg room, which made him unfomfortable and much more likely to wield the stick.

So, Yes.  You might say Mr. Katzer was strict in his teaching methods.  I doubt that the current education system would condone the use of a drumstick as a teaching aid.  At the time, it seemed almost appropriate though and did make for some interesting and sometimes humorous interactions between teacher and student, believe it or not.  

And yes.  I would also agree that Mr. Katzer may have been strict, but he had the interests of the student at heart.  He was determined that the information he passed on was understood and that the knowledge was applied correctly.  Even with all the rigor, I still have humorous memories of that driver's ed class and appreciated having had such a colorful teacher to learn from.

03/21/15 11:54 AM #5    

Bob Abel

I agree with all of the above ;)

So sorry to hear of his passing. Very good stories/comments! That crewcut hairstyle with the strictness scared us alright....reminding me of one word = discipline, old world style. LOL

But I really liked him, as you could see the heart of gold & kindness thru the outer layer. He really helped us all & always willng to answer questions. Like it was said...he is a hard to forget person. The world could use more like him to control some of the wild kids on the streets nowadays. He was a good man.

03/21/15 12:44 PM #6    

Robert Selgelid

I had Mr. Katzer and talking about being shy and bashful as I was, he was good friends with my dad, whom was an 8th grade science teacher at Eisenhower and a bus driver with Mr. Katzer. Do you think I was under any pressure to do good? He kept us on pins and needles with I think it was yard stick ruler he used to slap against a table to get everybodys attention. God Bless Mr. Katzer! I think I made A's!

03/23/15 10:00 AM #7    

Roger Barnes

Mac Class of 69 here.  I had Mr Katzer for 7th Grade Science and I also rode his bus in 7th Grade until my best friend, Tony Degges, got kicked off permanently for getting into a fight with Guy Sealy the moment he stepped off the bus.  We then started driving underage to school in Tony's blue Plymouth Station Wagon (the Blue Goose).  Since I came from a military family I was somewhat used to Mr Katzer's style of discipline but I must say he took it to a much higher level.  In the military we call that degree of military discipline "strack".  Although Science was not my strong suit I did pull a "C" in his class without getting wacked too many times. That was the pre air conditioning era, and that classroom was hot and stuffy so I guess the drumsticks and rulers kept us awake!  I have stronger memories of his bus where I can still see him standing up at the front of the bus, with his flat-top, short sleeve white shirt and tie, pulling on and tightening his leather driving gloves, and issuing commands to all.  He had a handpicked female student "name-taker" who recorded anyone who dared speak. We thought of her as a traitor.  If Katzer himself heard violators he would stop the bus and eject the offenders no matter where he was on the route.  I myself was ousted somewhere along the way for some infraction once.  I remember him befriending an upper class "duck tailed" "stomp" wearing" hoodlum" who had slipped into the Navy underage and was bounced out of the Navy and was back in the 9th grade (he'd flunked a grade or two) riding his bus.   He sat right behind Mr Katzer and it was obvious he had taken this wayward youth under his wing.  He was the only kid on the bus that got any slack.  Aww the memories.  Years later, in the late 1980s, when I was home on leave from the servce, I stopped by Garner Junior High on a weekend, walked the halls, and was surprised to see his name still on the door of the same classroom I sat in in 1963.  Then in recent years I hired a man to shred our pastures and his last name was Katzer.  Come to find out he was "Uncle Herman's" nephew....a small world indeed.  Mr Katzer certainly was unforgettable and had a mighty impact on all who entered his orbit.  We surely needed what he had to offer.  He was one of a kind.  Gone but not forgotten. Condolences to his family.  

03/23/15 06:27 PM #8    

Terri Temple

Mr. Katzer was certainly one of those teachers you will never forget. I had him for Chemistry and Driver's Ed. He expected a lot, but as others have said, it was because he cared that we would learn something. I have fond memories of Driver's Ed with him because I got to know that he really had a good sense of humor underneath his strict persona that we all knew. I do not remember the others in the car, but I do remember Mr. Katzer's surprisingly funny sense of humor. I am glad he was a part of my life.  

03/24/15 12:20 PM #9    

Bill Liese

Great Teacher, little hard on the boys sometimes, road his bus route for a yr., He was one of the top teacher's I thought .God only takes the Best.
He made me study by his style of teaching, was lucky to get B , in his class. Respect always , he was a teddy bear with the girls , If you had him as a teacher, you'll. Not forget him.
Did more push UPS than in football ??. I was a talker

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