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George "Craig" Menzies III '67 March 13, 2017 3:59 PM updated: March 13, 2017 4:02 PM

Grimes Funeral Chapels obituary
1214 Mulberry
Bandera, Texas 78003
Tel: 830.796.3922

George Craigmile Menzies III
August 13, 1942 - February 27, 2017

Longtime Texas agriculture teacher George Craigmile Menzies, III — Craig — 74, of Harper, went to be with his Lord and Savior Feb. 27, 2017. With his loving wife of 51 years by his side, he passed away after a brave battle against a lengthy illness at Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville.

Craig was the firstborn son of George and Estelle Menzies; born on August 13, 1942 in Bryan, Texas.

He grew up on Spring Lane in Austin riding his bike to “that other university” for swimming lessons, trapping and fishing with his brother, raising hereford cattle for his FFA project, and doing his best to help out with his siblings after the early death of his father. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in 1959.

After high school, Craig had a brief, but fateful stint at Tarleton State University in Stephenville where he met the love of his life — Linda Christian Menzies — who was finishing her senior year in high school about 12 miles up the road in a little town called Lingleville. Craig and Linda were married on May 29, 1965 in Stephenville.

Together, with Linda working as a beautician to pay the bills, Craig earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education (1967) and Master of Agriculture degree in Horticulture (1975) from his beloved Texas A&M University.

In 1967 he began an esteemed 38-year career teaching Vocational Agriculture and Horticulture in various public schools. It all began with three frozen years in Wishek, North Dakota. While there he focused on teaching leadership. He established the school’s first FFA Banquet and was elected President of the Ag. Teachers Association of North Dakota.

In 1970, he and Linda returned to Texas with two babies to begin five years of teaching Ag. and Special Education at Calvert High School.

In 1975, McGregor ISD called on him to establish the school’s first horticulture department. In doing so, he lead his students in building a commercial-grade greenhouse operation from the ground up. He was also the first to write the statewide Horticulture Science program curriculum. McGregor’s horticulture department was loved and supported by the whole community. He also taught several other agriculture science classes at McGregor High School. He spent many hours after school making farm visits to help students with their livestock projects, taking them to livestock shows around Texas and coaching FFA leadership and judging teams.

He began five years at Eldorado High School in 1986. While there he worked with many students who raised club lambs, something that he truly loved as well. He traveled to every major livestock show and many others across the state with students who achieved much success under his guidance.

In 1991, he moved to Newton, Texas to accept a familiar challenge–build a production horticulture program from the ground up. He made the project his curriculum. His students learned much more than high school horticulture curriculum; they learned to operate a greenhouse business in the real world.

In 1997, he accepted a position and a new calling to teach horticulture at the Texas Youth Commission Juvenile Detention Center in Beaumont. It wasn’t an easy job. It required him to travel 75 miles one way everyday and, in at least one instance, the job proved to be life-threatening. But he was committed to serve the Lord in that job. He wanted his students to learn a marketable skill that would equip them to make better choices in their adult lives. He also never failed to leave a stack of full page print-outs of encouraging scripture verses laying on his desk in hopes that they might “go missing” by the end of the day. To his delight, they usually did.

He retired from teaching in Texas in 2001, only to accept a position teaching agriculture in Singer, Louisiana for about a year. Later he returned to Newton High School to teach alternative education for about a year.

Teaching was his passion. He believed in his student’s ability to succeed, when they worked hard. He was known for seeing the greatness in his students who may not have excelled academically or athletically. He helped them believe in their potential for greatness and it was one such student that he assisted in earning the highest award the National FFA Organization bestows. It was one of his proudest moments, when he watched that young man walk across the stage in Kansas City at the National FFA Convention to receive the prestigious American Farmer Degree.

Craig was also a community servant. He was a member of the Lions Club, served as Chairman of the United Way of McGregor and taught adult education horticulture classes at McClennan Community College.

While his career and his community service was important to him, there was nothing that took precedence over his relationship with Jesus Christ. He served the Lord faithfully in his church as a deacon at Pine Grove Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Newton. Upon his death, he was a member of Hill Country Fellowship of Fredericksburg. He has served as a Sunday School teacher of little ones on up to adult men and couples. He had a deep love of the Word of God and served for many years as a Gideon handing out Bibles, especially in prison ministry.

He was preceded in death by his cherished father George Craigmile Menzies, Jr. and mother Estelle Sheppard Menzies; also by his father-in-law Thomas C. Christian, his mother-in-law Ruby Raulston Christian, and brother-in-law Bobby Max Christian.

He is survived by the one that he treasured for 51 years, his wife Linda Christian Menzies, of Harper; one son George Craigmile Menzies, IV, and daughter-in-law Shanna, of Harper; daughter Nancy McAngus and son-in-law Tim, of Eldorado; and daughter Heather Daye Menzies, of Bay City. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren Carli Menzies McAngus, of Harper; George Craigmile Menzies, V, of Harper; McKenzie Scott McAngus, of Snyder; and Logan Shay Menzies, of Harper. Craig also leaves behind his siblings that he loved — his brother, William Michael Menzies and sister-in-law, Sheila, of Baird; his sister, Tyra Menzies Bevers and brother-in-law, Bill, of Spring; and sister, Nancy Menzies Vaughn and brother-in-law, Dennis, of Kingwood; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and dear friends.

A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Grimes Funeral Chapels in Kerrville with Pastor Chip Johnston officiating.

Memorials may be made to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch or Hill Country Fellowship of Fredericksburg.

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