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Joe Reuss '49 February 22, 2024 10:05 AM updated: February 28, 2024 10:10 AM

Joseph B. "Joe" Reuss 

February 10, 1928 - February 15, 2024 

Joseph B. Reuss, 96, of Cuero passed away Thursday, February 15, 2024. He was born February 10, 1928 in Cuero to the late Theodore A. "Theo" Reuss, Sr. and Frances Ruth (Sigler) Reuss. He was the great-grandson of German immigrant and early Cuero physician, settler and entrepreneur, Dr. Joseph Martin Reuss.

Joe Reuss was a long-time registered pharmacist and former owner of Reuss Pharmacy and Valumart Pharmacy in Cuero, as well as many other business ventures, community involvements and philanthropic endeavors. He was a 1945 graduate of Cuero High School and a 1949 graduate of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering. While at Texas A&M, Joe was in the Corps of Cadets and received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant. He was a U.S. Army veteran and served his country in Europe during reconstruction after WWII, under the direction of NATO forces. After his overseas service and working several years for General Motors, Joe made the decision to go back to college and join the family business. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy with high honors. At that time, the state of Texas had only two major Colleges of Pharmacy, with no pharmacy school at TAMU. Joe would jokingly tell friends and acquaintances, "I attended Texas A&M to have fun, and the University of Texas to earn a living." After earning his pharmacy degree, he returned to Cuero and became the fourth generation at Reuss Pharmacy.

Joe met his future wife through a mutual friend, Gus Cage, and married the late Wanda Proctor Reuss at the First United Methodist Church in Cuero on July 5, 1958. Joe and Wanda enjoyed traveling to Europe, especially Germany, while exploring their genealogy and meeting new family and friends. They were both actively involved in the pharmacies, associated businesses, and many trade and professional organizations for over forty years.

Joe was instrumental in restoring, preserving, and rehabilitating many historic structures in downtown Cuero, and hated to see empty buildings. Over his long business career, Mr. Reuss was proud to have hired and mentored hundreds of high school students. He believed it was important, and he enjoyed providing opportunities to the next generation of young people.

Joe was a 65+ year member of the Cuero Lions Club, Texas A&M Association of Former Students, Cuero Chamber of Commerce, Cuero VFW, American Legion, a former chairman of the DeWitt County Republican Party, member of the Cuero Museums' Board of Directors, a former director for the Cuero Hospital Foundation, a former member of the Texas Pharmacy Association, and while a member of the Cuero Industrial Foundation, he was instrumental in developing Pebble Ridge Estates subdivision in Cuero. Mr. Reuss was a two-time recipient of the Cuero Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, in 1984 for helping the City of Cuero achieve the "Main Street City" designation and again in 1992 for his role in Cuero being awarded the TDCJ Stevenson Prison Unit. With immense pride in 2013, and in partnership with the City of Cuero, Mr. Reuss founded and instituted the Pharmacy and Medical Museum of Texas in downtown Cuero. This unique museum displays artifacts from the multi-generation Reuss family archives as well as from many other local pharmacy and medical sources. Joe and Wanda's dream of preserving and exhibiting their historic family collection for public display was finally realized by the detailed restoration of the iconic 1889 Heaton Brothers pharmacy building on Cuero's Main Street, and ultimately gifting the property and all its contents to the City of Cuero.

Mr. Reuss was a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Cuero. It was obvious to all who knew him, that one of Joe's most revered and respected life achievements was the way he lovingly cared for Wanda as her primary caregiver until her Alzheimer-related death in 2011. His long life was truly a life well lived and a life of service to others.

He is survived by two nieces, Stacey Smith Robins and husband Tom of New Braunfels, and Lori Reuss Scott and husband David of Cuero; nephews, Randall T. Smith and wife Carla of Alpena, Arkansas and Joseph Dale Reuss of Katy; great-nieces Rene' Foley and husband Steven of Corpus Christi, and Betsy Richelle Reuss and Tracy Ariel Reuss of Mexico City; great-nephews Theo A. "Augie" Reuss IV and wife Sara of The Woodlands, Colin A. Reuss of Houston, Thomas Robins Jr. and wife Lindsey of Austin and Blake Robins of Austin. He is also survived by longtime business associates and close personal friends, Gerald and Linda Zengerle of Cuero; and David and Joyce Polasek of College Station.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Wanda; brother, Dr. Theo A. "Ted" Reuss Jr and nephews, Theo A. "Teddy" Reuss III and Ronald R. "Chip" Reuss.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at 1:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in Cuero, and the Memorial Service will begin at 2:00 PM with Pastor Lindsey Smith officiating. A reception will follow at the Pharmacy and Medical Museum at 114 E Main Street.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Alzcare of DeWitt County, and to Hope Wilson and Jeremiah Ford for their loving and steadfast care of Joe in his twilight years.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Pharmacy and Medical Museum of Texas, the First United Methodist Church of Cuero, the Texas A&M Foundation, the Cuero Lions Club or a charity of the donor's choice.

You may sign the guestbook or send condolences at 


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