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Mr. George W. Strake, Jr., former member of the University of St. Thomas Board of Directors, passes away

Fr. Donald Nesti, founder of the Center for Faith & Culture, with Annette and George Strake at the 2019 Faithful Citizenship dinner.Mr. George W. Strake, Jr., former member of the University of St. Thomas Board of Directors and President of the Strake Foundation, passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, at the age of 88.

George was a devout Christian who cherished his Catholic faith, his family and most of all his beloved wife of almost 65 years, UST alumna and former Mardi Gras Queen Annette Strake, who preceded him in death just two and a half months prior. Mr. Strake was born in Houston on June 10, 1935, to Susan Kehoe Strake and George W. Strake, Sr. He proudly attended St. Thomas High School as an honor roll student. Shortly after graduating from University of Notre Dame, he returned home and wed Annette in 1959 at St. Anne Catholic Church.

Mr. Strake served two years as a commissioned United States Naval Officer and received an MBA from Harvard University. He was appointed as Texas Secretary of State in 1979 before serving as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas from 1983 to 1988.

The Strake Family is known and loved for their perpetual service to the furtherance of Catholic education in Houston, and we proudly bear a piece of their legacy with Strake Hall, home to our School of Arts and Sciences. Over many decades, the generosity of the Strake Foundation has provided capital and programmatic support for UST initiatives, particularly scholarships for veterans, and countless students have benefitted from their support. The University of St. Thomas awarded Mr. Strake with an Honorary Doctorate in 2006 in celebration of his outstanding service to our mission.

A Mass and Celebration of Life is to be conducted at 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19, in the Reckling Gymnasium at St. Thomas High School, 4500 Memorial Drive in Houston.