A great loss: Veterinarian, banker, friend of the community
March 15, 2012 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2012 at 10:15 p.m.
Monday's death of Dr. Louis Boening has left a huge vacuum in the Yoakum community.
The residents and staff at Yoakum Nursing and Rehabilitation Center know this as well as anyone.
"As long as we can remember, he always looked after our animals," said assessment nurse Jenny Kremling.
Whether it was the occasional stray cat, Lucky the dog hit by a car outside the nursing home, or Rehab the nursing home's official canine mascot, Boening took care of them all, Kremling said.
"He would check them out. Vaccinate them. Neuter them. Whatever they needed he donated and never batted an eye," Kremling said. "And those animals make such a huge difference to our residents."
Kremling said the doctor's wife, Aileen Boening, was almost always at his side during their visits to the nursing home.
Boening, 78, also made a difference elsewhere in the Yoakum community, not only as a veterinarian for more than 50 years, but also in numerous other areas.
During his tenure at Yoakum National Bank, he served as a director, president, chief executive office and chairman of the board. At the time of his death, Boening was chairman emeritus of the bank's board of directors.
He began his career at the bank in 1969.
"The banking industry was vastly different from today's highly regulated and technology driven environment," said Dave Marlow, chairman of the board. "He learned from a core of longtime community bankers that a community bank must know its customers, their businesses and make sound and conservative financial decisions."
"These are the values that he led the bank by and passed on to the next generation of directors and employees," Marlow said. "Dr. Boening believed in service to the customers and community and value to the shareholders."
Darlene Renken, the bank's president and CEO, feels a personal loss with Boening's death.
"He was a mentor to me at the bank almost 39 years. He died suddenly but doing what he loved - at the pasture, checking his cattle," Renken said. "He was a very positive influence for the community and banking."
His service to the community included membership in the Yoakum Area Chamber of Commerce, the Yoakum Rotary Club, the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation and the Industrial Foundation. He was also elected to the Yoakum school board.
In 1994, Boening received the Paul F. Gustwick Community Service Award from the chamber.
In September, Boening was honored for his 10 years of service on the economic development corporation board of directors.
Patrick Kennedy, economic and community development coordinator, struggled with his composure as he remembered Boening's contributions to the Yoakum community.
"I'm still in a state of shock. I consider him one of my mentors," Kennedy said. "He had a deep concern for this community. His leadership will be greatly missed around here. It's a great loss for the community."
Bill Lopez, chamber of commerce president and fellow Rotarian, recalls Boening fondly.
"I only knew Doc about 15 years, but I found him to be very professional with high ethical standards," Lopez said. "He was soft-spoken, but direct.
"He was well respected. He has done a lot for this community and will be deeply missed."