The Homer Walles Fund
Through the generosity of Homer Walles and his dedication to the Central Baptist Church of Port Neches, the first endowed fund of the Foundation for Southeast Texas was created on December 30, 1996. Mr. Walles created the fund because he wanted to give a perpetual gift with a yearly stream of income to his church. In addition to the initial gift setting up the fund, he made additional gifts to the fund. Each January, Central Baptist receives a larger grant that the one received the previous year because the value of the fund has grown as a result of high investment returns.
Mr. Walles’ generosity to this community goes far beyond the Central Baptist Church. In 1987 Homer and his wife Jane created the first endowed chair for Lamar University. The Chair, designated for the College of Fine Arts and Communication is named “The Walles Chair in the Visual and Performing Arts.” The Walles’ also created a companion endowed scholarship in the College of Business and regularly gave Presidential Scholarships.
Homer Walls gave to the community of Southeast Texas because he believed that, for all his life, he had been blessed by the educational, religious, cultural, and recreational opportunities made possible for him in this community. He believed that the recipients of endowed funds benefit not only in the present but also in the future.
Walles was a third generation Southeast Texan. His grandfather came to Orange County from Germany, and his father settled in Port Neches and worked for Texaco. Mr. Walles was born in Port Neches and lived in the home where he was born and grew up. He earned his A.A. Degree from Lamar University prior to serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He received a B.B.A. from the University of Texas after WWII and returned to Port Neches and was until his retirement, a purchasing agent for Texaco.
In his retirement, Mr. Walles had a number of hobbies. He and Jane participated in and enjoyed shows and exhibitions at Lamar. They enjoyed Broadway plays that came to the area and had created a beautiful garden at their home. Additionally, Homer Walles, like the burly football player Rosie Greer, had created masterful needlepoint creations that graced the Walles home.
The Foundation for Southeast Texas is proud and grateful to have Homer Walles as its first contributor.