Virgil Lee Startz, a 94-year-old World War II veteran, died peacefully at his home in New Braunfels, Texas on February 17, 2021, following a sudden stroke.
Virgil was born in New Braunfels, on October 5, 1926, in his grandparents’ home, to the late Henry and Beulah Startz. He was a 5th generation New Braunfelser. His great-grandfather, Heinrich, and his great-great-grandfather, Johann, traveled by ship and overland with the first wave of German immigrants in 1845 to what was then the Republic of Texas. The Startz family was one of the founding families of New Braunfels.
As a boy growing up during the Depression in “Comaltown”, Virgil and his older brother, Willard, enjoyed a simple and idyllic small-town upbringing. They roamed all over New Braunfels, swimming and fishing in the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers, exploring, bicycling all over town, spending time with grandparents and cousins, and playing with buddies.
Virgil attended school in New Braunfels, graduating from New Braunfels High School in 1945, New Braunfels’ centennial year.
After graduation from high school, Virgil was immediately drafted into the United States Army. During basic training, Virgil, a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman, earned an award in marksmanship. He was shipped to Europe where he served as a Private First Class in the 88th Infantry Division, guarding German prisoners and supply trains in Italy. In addition to his guard duties, Virgil served in the United States Army Band and was proud to have performed for General Eisenhower and other Allied brass, and to have been complimented for his music by Audie Murphy.
Upon his discharge from the Army in January 1947, Virgil returned to New Braunfels. While processing Army discharge paperwork in the Comal County Courthouse, Virgil met a lovely young local girl, Doris Mae Wurzlow, who was working at the courthouse. They courted for several years and married in her parents’ home in New Braunfels on June 16, 1951.
Virgil and Doris welcomed three children into their family, Sally, Roberta, and Paul, and were involved in their children’s activities, including church, Sunday School, Little League, New Braunfels High School Band Boosters and Athletics, scouting, fishing, and hunting.
Virgil enjoyed a 35-year career in the local gas company until his retirement in 1988.
Virgil was a model husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, worker, and Christian. He enjoyed an active church life at First Protestant Church in New Braunfels – a church whose charter members included Virgil’s forefathers.
Virgil was a wealth of information about New Braunfels and Comal County, especially the many ranches and farms in the area; he was a good storyteller. He enjoyed independent living in his own home, as well as his two daily beers, right up until his last day!
Virgil was liked and loved by all who met or knew him. He was a cheerful, humble, generous, and happy man, a friend to all. We will miss him dearly.
Preceding Virgil in death were his wife, Doris; his parents, Henry and Beulah Startz; and his brother, Willard.
Virgil is survived by his children, Sally (Jim) Blacksmith, Roberta Schmid (Gerald Voges), and Paul (Leslie) Startz; his grandchildren, Sarah (Jacob) Adams, Andy (Shannon) Schmid, Tracy (Daniel) Elkowitz, Katey (Nathan) Crowley, Christina Thompson, and Allison Startz; and 8 great-grandchildren, Peyton, Colten, and Brady Schmid; Jameson and Hannah Adams; Charlotte and Barrett Crowley; and Brynna Elkowitz.
Virgil is also survived by his nephews, Steven (Susan) Startz and Brett Startz; his niece, Annette (John) Potts; and several cousins and other relatives.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no public visitation. A graveside service will be held at 3 pm on Thursday, February 25, at Comal Cemetery in New Braunfels, TX; face masks will be required of attendees.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to First Protestant Church, 172 W. Coll Street, New Braunfels, TX 78130, or Hope Hospice, 611 N. Walnut Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130.
Please sign the guestbook at www.doeppenschmidtfuneralhome.com.