Sympathies extended to Hodde and Verstuyft families

Southern Livestock

July 7, 2023


Betty Linda Hammond Verstuyft of Von Ormy, Texas, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2023 in her home surrounded by loved ones at the age of 77. Verstuyft faced a sudden and brief battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born Nov. 20, 1945, in Kansas City, Kansas, to Richard Hammond and Rose Teufel Hammond.

In 1964, Betty graduated from South San High School and on May 28, 1966, she married her high school sweetheart, Thomas “Tom” A. Verstuyft, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in San Antonio. For ten years, she worked as a beautician at Lurline’s Beauty Shop in the South San area. Shortly after their son was born, she took over the business management and bookkeeping for Verstuyft Farms family partnership in Southwest Bexar County.

The most important thing in life to Verstuyft was spending time with her family. She was a selfless wife, mother, mimi, and loyal friend. She was always quick to put others’ needs before her own and nothing brought her more joy than her two beloved granddaughters. The Verstuyfts loved to travel and were fortunate enough to have many opportunities to do so with great friends. Family and friends will be forever grateful for the lasting memories, warm hospitality, homemade meals, and desserts she always served and shared.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Tom Verstuyft; son, Randy Verstuyft of Von Ormy; daughter and son-in-law, Jamie and Mike Pontillo of Boerne; granddaughters Danica and Mallory Pontillo; brother and sister-in-law, Kenton and Linda Hammond; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and dear friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Rose Hammond and her in-laws, Henry and Juliana Verstuyft.

The Holy Rosary was recited at 10:00 a.m. followed by the Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, June 15, 2023, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Macdona, Texas. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in her memory to Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church or your favorite charity.

Leroy Hodde, age 79, passed away on June 14, 2023. He was born on March 4, 1944, in Washington County to Edwin and Elsine Hodde and was their only child. He was a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church.

He grew up farming and ranching with horses and cattle and was involved in 4-H and FFA where he participated in school projects. He was honored in high school for being an outstanding 4-H’er in his district and graduated from Brenham High School in 1962. 

On Nov. 9, 1968, Leroy married Gladys Baron at Zion Lutheran Church, and they were blessed with two sons, Randy and Bradley.

His career involved cattle and real estate. He was a cattle rancher all of his life and provided custom farm services for hay baling/shredding and plowing. He was also a bonded livestock broker and handled orders from buyers for Great Plains Cattle Feeders in the Texas Panhandle and other states. He also supplied cattle to Texas A&M University in their Bovine Nutrition Program. Hodde was active in showing commercial females at the Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Beaumont and Houston Livestock Shows and was recognized many times for winning grand champion and the herdsman award. 

Hodde started selling real estate in 1976, where he worked with Pierre Roberts at Roberts Horne Real Estate. In 1998 he combined his two worlds by starting Hodde Land and Cattle Company so he could have the pleasure of working alongside both of his sons in the businesses of real estate and ranching. His office was, and still is, located in downtown Brenham. Through the years, he sold countless properties in Washington and the surrounding counties, and he remembered each one and could almost always recall the buyer or seller’s name and the year he sold it. He always had a story to tell and became a great mentor to his agents. 

On the outside it didn’t appear that he had many hobbies, because even though he enjoyed hunting and fishing, his main love was being outdoors doing ranch work. He would spend endless hours driving tractors, baling hay and hauling cattle to and from area livestock auction barns. He had an uncanny ability to make or fix something with whatever resources he had lying around. He knew just how to repair his equipment to make it through the day or build a piece of equipment to make his farm work easier such as building a dual hay rake chassis to save time, adding a removeable cab to his tractor for the winter and converting an old cattle trailer to haul round hay bales that would unload without a tractor. 

Hodde was very involved with the Washington County Fair where he started out on the swine committee and eventually became vice president and then president from 2000-2001. He truly enjoyed volunteering his time to 4-H and hauling exhibitor’s projects to various shows. 

One of his greatest joys was watching his grandkids, Carsyn and Cooper, follow in his footsteps and show their animals at the Washington County Fair and all of the major livestock shows. 

He remained an active member of Zion Lutheran Church his entire life and served on the church council. He always enjoyed cooking Easter breakfast and was a member of the Gay Hill Lodge #193. 

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Gladys Hodde; sons and daughters-in-law: Randy Hodde and wife, Debbie, Bradley Hodde and wife Jenna, and his grandchildren: Carsyn and Cooper Hodde, Aerynn Huntsman and Rhyan Hodde. He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Funeral services were Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Zion Lutheran Church. Pallbearers were Larry Blum, Bruce Hohlt, Brian Lorenz, Doyle Borchardt, Cody Andrejczak, Matt Zibilski, Charles Holtkamp and Doug Pierce. Memorials may be given to Zion Lutheran Church. 

Southern Livestock

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