Wilburn G. Roesler
July 17, 1935 –
July 4, 2013
Wilburn G. Roesler, 77, passed peacefully in his home on July 4, 2013 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. W.G., as he was known to his friends, was born July 17, 1935 in Brenham, Texas. After graduating from Brenham High School, W.G. attended Blinn Junior College on a football scholarship before graduating from Sam Houston State Teachers College with agriculture and science degrees in 1959.
After graduating from college, W.G. embarked on an education career that spanned some 48 years including stints as a teacher, coach, counselor, principal and superintendent. He was known and respected statewide as an educator. His influence touched thousands of lives throughout his career, including students, teachers and administrators.
WG began his education career in Midlothian in 1959, spending his first year as a science teacher.
He was hired by L.A. Mills, the Midlothian school superintendent, and an instant bond was created based on how both men managed budgets. Mr. Mills required all purchases of school goods to be made at the local Army surplus store. As W.G. exceled in this requirement he was quickly given the additional responsibilities of Athletic Director and head football and track coach. Under his initial tenure at Midlothian, between the years of 1961 and 1964, he coached his football teams to three district championships and his track teams to four straight district titles. His track team won the regional championship and placed third in state in 1963 and fifth in state in 1964. During that time, W.G. also served as an active reserve in the U.S. Air Force. He was a member of the Midlothian Volunteer Fire Department (although it is said that his community service is more attributed to the fact that the fire station had a pool table than it was about civic duty) and he continued his education, obtaining a masters degree in vocational agriculture education in 1963 from Sam Houston State Teachers College.
In 1966, W.G. continued his career at Northwest ISD, inheriting a football program that lost 33 consecutive games. Under W.G.’s leadership, Northwest was able to become a winning program, finishing runner-up in the district in 1970 and 1971 and winning two district championships in track during that time.
In 1972, W.G. returned to Midlothian as high school counselor and was quickly promoted to high school principal the following year, where he remained for the next 18 years of his career. He loved being a part of the school system and the community of Midlothian. They always held a special place in his heart as he remained an active member of the community throughout the remainder of his life.
During the latter stage of his career, W.G. had a desire to lead a school district. In 1991 he accepted the position of superintendent for Maypearl ISD, where he spent the next nine years. Although the district was in financial difficulty when he assumed the position, the school realized many facility improvements through bond programs that he led, including a new high school, new gymnasium, new agriculture facility, administration office and improvements to the track and football field.
He also placed a strong emphasis on academics improving school scores from an acceptable rating to an exemplary rating under the state guidelines of TAAS, earning him consideration as a finalist for TASB superintendent of the year in 1994.
W.G. cherished the community, the school, and the school board of Maypearl for the opportunity they gave him and for the pleasure he derived from the accomplishments that were achieved during his tenure. In his final years, he often wore a Maypearl Panther cap.
After retirement, W.G. was honored by having sports complexes in both Maypearl and Midlothian named after him. The W.G. Roesler Track and Field in Maypearl is currently under a $1.4M renovation and the W.G. Roesler Sports Complex in Midlothian includes the baseball field, the track and the field house complexes.
In addition to his careers in Midlothian, Northwest and Maypearl, after retirement, W.G. served as interim superintendent at numerous schools in Ellis County including Palmer, Red Oak, Italy, Milford and Midlothian. These roles brought him a great deal of enjoyment allowing him to remain involved in the education business on a more limited basis until his health finally prevented him from continuing in 2007.
Although the education business required a great deal of his time, W.G. also had an entrepreneurial spirit that led him to dabble in a variety of businesses to supplement his teaching income including car washes, a washateria, cattle and real estate investments. Although the revenue from his businesses was never great, it was not difficult to be profitable with W.G.’s theory of minimal costs (he was all about green before green was even a theory). W.G. was known his entire life to be frugal, earning the nickname “iron pockets” in reference to the pennies for which he would never let loose. He never felt he was paying too much for something, as long as it was free.
To characterize W.G. as a people person would be inaccurate because it does not describe the depth of W.G.’s fondness and desire to be around others. He thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the community, with friends and his family, and he never missed an opportunity to be around them. He had a huge smile and laugh that was contagious. It was an almost silent laugh that came from deep in his lungs and it made others laugh to hear it. Class reunions were among his favorite “get-togethers” as he never missed the opportunity to return to Brenham as well as participating in reunions of many Midlothian classes he was involved with over the years. He was a founding member of the Justin Lion’s Club and he treasured his recurring Rotary Club meetings in Midlothian. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Midlothian and was active in leading a major renovation project and was instrumental in helping obtain the historical marker in 2011. He never missed a Sunday service until is health prevented such.
Other than spending time with his family, W.G. loved to fish. Whether fishing for sandbass on the Brazos River, redfish or snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, or for salmon in Alaska, W.G. enjoyed being outdoors, swapping stories with friends and catching fish. He loved the camaraderie, but mostly he just loved to set a hook and reel in a fish. For those that fished with W.G., you knew when he had a fish on his line by the squeal of his Zebco 404, followed by his classic line while removing the fish from the hook, “You may not be big, but you’re on the wrong line today!”
More than anything in his life, W.G. revered his family. His life was dedicated to providing for its love, encouragement and support. Beyond working, virtually every moment of his life was spent with his wife, children or grandchildren. He never missed important events in their lives, from the many football and basketball games and track meets that he attended, to school awards, to graduations, to weddings, to the birth of grandchildren, and then grandparent’s days and grandchildren events. He was there for all, offering words of encouragement and displaying his pride.
He also loved to travel. He took countless trips with his family including camping, snow skiing, water skiing and fishing trips with his wife, children and grandchildren. One such family trip of note was a camping trip along a route from Texas to Rhode Island that W.G. cleverly disguised as a family vacation. Little did the family realize that the nightly stays on that particular vacation would include sleeping in KOA campsites and at various friends’ homes along the route. In W.G.’s mind, that really did not matter as long as the family was together. After retirement, W.G. became less concerned about the cost of travel, as he and his wife took numerous trips locally and abroad, many times with their close friends.
W.G. believed in education and encouraged his three children to all earn their college degrees. He believed that hard work is a requirement for success in life. He worked hard in his life and he required the same from his children, at least while they were under his roof. He was generous with his time and with his money, always there for others to offer moral support, financial support or any other assistance in a time of need.
W.G. has touched and influenced literally thousands of lives and he will be missed as an educator and a friend, but mostly he will be missed as a loyal and loving husband, dad and papa.
W.G. is survived by his wife of 52 years, Michaelyn; his sons, Jeff, Brad and his wife, Kim, and Greg; his four grandchildren, Preston, Braydn, Hallie and Heath; and by countless students and athletes whose lives he touched and influenced.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father, three brothers, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the W.G. Roesler Scholarship (checks made payable to the Maypearl Education Foundation).
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 8, at the Midlothian Conference Center. Interment was held in Little Bethel Cemetery in Duncanville.
Arrangments under the direction of Midlothian Funeral Home, 200 E. Avenue E., Midlothian, Texas. 972-723-9884.