James Lee Achterberg

James Lee Achterberg danced his way to Heaven on April 8th, 2022.  He was born in New Braunfels, Texas on February 3rd, 1946 to Leroy James and Norma Jean (Kneupper) Achterberg.

James is predeceased by his parents and his nephew, Justin Reid Bohmann.

James is survived by his sister, Barbara (Achterberg) Bohmann of Kendalia, Texas; his sons, Jim Achterberg-Gress and Robert Achterberg-Gress (Tiffany); grandsons, Tyler Gress (Sydney) and Braden Gress; great granddaughter, Ryekr D’ae Gress, all of Amarillo, Texas.

James spent his first 6 years of his life on the family farm in Cibolo, Texas.  From then on he lived in New Braunfels until graduation from New Braunfels High School in l964.  His high school years were spent working after school and on weekends at Schneider Brothers Service Station to save up money to buy his first car…his 1958 Chevy. Many locals from that era will remember that ’58 Chevy as being the second fastest hotrod in New Braunfels.  

In October 1964 he enlisted in the Air Force completing his basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas.  From basic he was sent to Port Hueneme, California to Tech School to receive his heating/air conditioning certification and then to his first assignment, Amarillo AFB, Texas. He spent his entire four years there and aided in the close down of the base.  James left the Air Force in October of 1968 and Amarillo AFB was officially deactivated in December, 1968.

His remaining years he worked in the heating and air conditioning industry and apartment maintenance, spending some time in New Braunfels and Amarillo.  Later in life he decided he wanted to travel.  He sold all his belongings and purchased his RV and travelled.  He decided that being a work camper was to his liking and started a job with Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, Moran Wyoming. It won his heart…the breathtaking beauty of the lake, the wildlife, the lodge, the Tetons, and the people. He would leave for Wyoming in April each year and stay until the lodge was shut down in October.  Then he would travel home and winter at his sister’s home from November through the next March.

He loved and cherished the simple things in life…he didn’t need much to make him happy.   He learned what hard work was from little on and could fix just about anything that was broken. His greatest loves were his family, dancing, and traveling.  Sadly a heart attack took James from us but we know he had many loved ones that were waiting to welcome him home.

Per his wishes, on June 3rd, 2022, James’ ashes were interred at Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery with military honors.

The Family wishes to extend their sincerest appreciation to the New Braunfels Police and Fire/EMS Departments and Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home for their compassionate assistance during this difficult loss.  

Please sign the guestbook at www.doeppenschmidtfuneralhome.com