Updated: Fri 8:51 AM, Jun 14, 2013
Funeral Home: Thompson's Harveson & Cole
December 16, 1923 - June 12, 2013
Preston Murdoch Geren, Jr., passed away peacefully on June 12, 2013. Services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at St. Andrew Episcopal Church with interment at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth. Visitation will be from 4 in 6 p.m. Friday at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home in Fort Worth.
Preston was born December 16, 1923 in Fort Worth, the son of Preston M. Geren and Linda Giesecke Geren. He graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1941 and attended Texas A&M until World War II interrupted his studies. He was commissioned an officer in the Army and served with distinction in the European theater with Co. K, 385th Infantry, 76th Division, 3rd Army. He was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart. After the war, he resumed his education at Georgia Tech, graduating with a degree in Architecture and Engineering in 1947.
Preston joined the firm his father had established in 1934, Preston M. Geren Architects & Engineers. After his father's passing in 1969, Preston built on Preston Sr.'s legacy, leading the firm to become one of the largest in Texas. The scope of his architectural and engineering practice included projects at many of Texas' major universities, including TCU, the University of Texas System, University of Texas Medical School, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, and Texas A&M University; many community colleges, including Kilgore, Waco, Midland/Odessa and Tarrant County; 137 school districts, many hospitals, churches, banks and office buildings. He was especially proud of his firm's work as associate architect with Louis Kahn on the Kimbell Art Museum, and of many buildings on the campus of Texas A&M, including the Clayton Williams Alumni Center.
Preston was a strong supporter of education, sponsoring seven scholarships at Texas A&M. He believed the greatest gift an individual could receive was an education.
His professional affiliations and recognitions included the presidency of the Texas Society of Architects and of the Fort Worth chapter of the Texas Society of Architects. He was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and received the Llewellyn Pitts Award from the Texas Society of Architects. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University and of the A&M College of Architecture. He was the first to receive the Fort Worth A&M Club Lifetime Achievement Award.
As a business and civic leader he served on the board of directors of Ridglea State Bank, Equitable Savings & Loan, Fort Worth National Bank, Gibraltar Savings Bank, First United Bancorp, Enserch Corp, Pool Well Service Co. and Ebasco Services Co. He was a founder and director of Overton Bank & Trust, now merged into Frost Bank. He also served as Chairman of Trinity Improvement Assoc., organizer & president of Streams & Valleys and was a member of the boards of the Ft. Worth Children's Hospital, Ft. Worth Museum of Science & History, Ft. Worth Symphony, and served as president of the Exchange Club. Preston was a member of the President George H.W. Bush Library Committee, and the Texas A&M Chancellor and President's Advisory Committees. He also served as president of the 12th Man Foundation of Texas A&M, and was elected to the Westover Hills City Council and Tarrant Regional Water District.
He was a lifetime member and two-term vestryman of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in downtown Ft. Worth.
Preston and his wife, Colleen Edwards Geren, who predeceased him in 2012, led full and rewarding lives defined by work, community, and family. Preston would like to be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, great-uncle, and friend. "Grandad" held a particularly special place in the hearts of his eleven grandchildren. He started a tradition of taking all of his grandchildren to his beloved Aggie football games and midnight yell practice. He had a strong desire for all of his family to remain close, and the family reunions he hosted every year in New Braunfels always will be cherished memories for the entire family.
Survivors include his five children, Charlie Geren, Preston (Pete) M. Geren, III and wife Beckie, Eva Geren Motheral and husband Jim, Chandra Edwards Geren and husband Robert Thomas, Dr. B. T. (Toby) Erwin, III; eleven grandchildren, Emily Geren Leonard and husband, Michael J. Leonard, Natalie Erwin Nagim and husband, Ryan Nagim, Holly Erwin McCarty and husband, Kent McCarty, Sarah E. Motheral, Paxton E. Motheral, C. Patrick Pate Jr. and wife, Melanie, A. Preston Pate and wife, Lindsay, Mason L. Pate, Tracy E. Geren, Sarah Ann Geren, Mary C. Geren; four great grandchildren, Preston M. Leonard, Laurie K. Venable, Marion Colleen Nagim, and Lucy Allison Pate; and his sisters, Linda Lee Nichols of Coronado, California, and Alma Caroline Key and husband Bill of Clifton, Texas. He has two more great- grandchildren on the way.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons and grandsons-in-law.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Texas A&M School of Architecture c/o Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840.
Arrangements are in the care of
Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home and Crematory
702 Eighth Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas