Boerne deaths precede Easter

Is it just me or do deaths occur more frequently around holidays? The Easter season saw the passing of four members of our community.
Different ages, different situations, same sadness and grief for those left behind. Lives cut short and lives well-lived. 
Brea Hines passed away last Thursday. The 12-year-old battled the ups and downs of cancer for three years. Her Fabra Elementary / Boerne Middle School North and First Baptist Church communities surrounded her with love and support. 
Pancake suppers and clay shoots defrayed the costs of care over the years. A Jetson-like robot kept her connected with teachers and classmates when she couldn’t make it to school. 
Brea was bright and funny. As a tribute, bright colors will be worn at her funeral to reflect her love of life and laughter. She will be missed but not forgotten.
Boerne ISD graduate Justin Walker’s passing was more sudden, but no less tragic. The 18-year-old’s death following a spring break concert on South Padre Island remains a mystery.
This is the second year in a row a young person left the same Schlitterbahn music festival never to be seen alive again.
I hope Schlitterbahn looks closely at the situation. What they’re offering to spring breakers doesn’t seem consistent with their family-friendly brand. 
Sadly, any changes they may make won’t ease the pain of Walker’s parents who endured the call every parent dreads.
Ann Schafer served the Boerne business community as finance director of the Greater Boerne Chamber for nearly fifteen years. I worked with her at times on a weekly basis.
Ever gracious and unassuming, I had no idea she was dealing with breast cancer until the death notice arrived. Remarkably, she worked with diligence until the week before her death.
In a condition that often causes individuals to look inward, Ann was able to look outward. She obviously wanted no attention on herself or her illness. She simply continued to serve. 
A kinder lady you’ll never meet. God, bless her and those she leaves behind, particularly her grandsons.
Finally, Norman David Jarrell passed last Tuesday. Like Mrs. Schafer, I didn’t know something about him until I read his obituary: he was a colonel in the Army. I have never known a military man who was as much of a teddy bear as Dave.
Dave  – excuse me – Colonel Jarrell would frequently take a break at my desk, but only a short one. He had places to go and people to serve. He would usually tell me his volunteer schedule for the week and I would promptly retire for a nap. It was incredible.
Patrick Heath Public Library, Hill Country Daily Bread, Hill Country Mission for Health, First United Methodist Church. Every day of the week seemed to have a commitment – not to make a buck or to have some fun but to serve which must have been fun for him.
His obituary said he passed away peacefully and was “immediately whisked into the presence of God.” That sounds about right. He certainly whisked around the presence of God while he was here.
I don’t know why tragedies seem to strike and loved ones seem to pass around holidays. Maybe it’s because that’s where the grace is.
Follow Kevin Thompson at
Kevin Thompson
Senior Vice President & Boerne Market Manager
1689 River Road | Boerne, Texas 78006 | Maps & Directions
(830) 816-5199 Phone | (210) 527-7940 Mobile | |

2 Responses to “Boerne deaths precede Easter”

  1. 1 Susan Allen March 30, 2016 at 08:13

    Excellent excellent excellent!!!

    Out of office

  2. 2 jessestroup March 30, 2016 at 22:18

    Touching.  I imagine every family member who read these was pleased about what you said about their feelings and their loved one.  Well put.  Way to go.  Jesse  Jesse R. Stroup Director of Spiritual Care Lifeline Chaplaincy 1926 Chattanooga Pl. #B Dallas, TX 75235

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