Call us on the number below:
Close this window
Gus Franklin Mutscher age 90 died peacefully on February 26, 2023 in Brenham, Texas. Over the course of his life, he was a salesman, legislator, cattle rancher, baseball player, father, grandfather, judge, and philanthropist. He was known as a charming leader who had the ability to quickly connect with people of all backgrounds. For more than 25 years he served the citizens of the state of Texas as an elected official. A six-term member of the Texas House of Representatives, he served as Speaker during the 61st and 62nd legislatures. He subsequently served for 12 years as County Judge of Washington County.
Gus was born within the Washington County community of William Penn, Texas in 1932 the second of four children. He graduated from Brenham High School and received a baseball scholarship to Blinn College where he was a member of the school’s championship debate team. Known for his broad smile, friendly demeanor, and magnetic personality he was voted “Mr. Buccaneer” by his classmates and elected student body president. At the University of Texas at Austin, he served as International President of the Lutheran student organization Gamma Delta while earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. As a member of the UT ROTC program, he became a Commissioned Reserve Officer in the United States Army. Following his military service, he accepted a position in sales and advertising with the Borden Company. That position took him to Houston, where he was honored by the Chamber of Commerce in 1959 as the Outstanding Young Businessman of Harris County.
Mutscher was encouraged to run for public office and in 1960 won his first campaign seat in the Texas House where he represented Washington, Waller, and Austin counties. He served as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Committee on Claims and Accounts, Chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee, and a member of the Legislative Budget Board and Texas Legislative Council. During that period, Mutscher supported legislation to improve air and water quality, upgraded services for those with mental health and intellectual disabilities, prioritized public and higher education, and promoted the preservation of Texas history by the state’s museums. In addition, he gave strong support to junior college programs, agricultural extension services, Hemisfair, and organized research.
He was elected the 67th Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives by unanimous vote in 1969. Under his leadership, he stressed the importance of a sound legislative process, strong committee system, interim activities, and efficient management. He endeavored to maintain the superior quality of the state’s highways and advance the Texas higher education system to national prominence. Moreover, he sought to strengthen the state’s healthcare education system through the establishment of several medical and dental schools and nurse training programs by drawing Baylor Medical School into the state’s system. He was instrumental in securing passage of Galveston County clean beach legislation and construction of both the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and the Star of the Republic Museum - “a worthy Museum at the birthplace of Texas that would be a Star upon a Star.” He increased funding to expand the Texas Department of Public Safety services and officers statewide. As a proud Texas Longhorn, he was given the distinctive burnt orange sport coat that the University of Texas awards to its Distinguished Alumnus.
After completing his sixth term in the House, Gus moved back to his hometown of Brenham, Texas where he was involved in real-estate and the cattle business. He returned to public office in 1976 to fill a vacancy as the County Judge. His lifelong love and admiration for the people of Washington County was demonstrated by his public service, charitable endeavors, and community outreach. He was an officer and lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church, guided by his steadfast faith in God. He was known for treating everyone equally with respect, dignity, and kindness. Over the course of his long public service career, he was awarded citations and received recognition for his service by Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and George H.W. Bush.
Outside of the office, the country air of William Penn invigorated and refreshed his mind while working cattle, mending fences, and chasing down escaped bulls. His other favorite pastime was drinking a cold Dr. Pepper while watching Texas Longhorn football and baseball games with his family. Also a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, he would routinely drive to Irving wearing a “Tom Landry” fedora to catch a game. Despite maintaining a full schedule professionally and personally, Gus always made time for his greatest passion, his children and grandsons. He took great pride in his family and never missed an opportunity to stay involved in their lives and offer words of encouragement and support.
He is survived by his two children, Lisa Mikus and husband James, Gus H. Mutscher and wife Amy, and grandsons Matthew Mikus and wife Lauren, William Mikus, Cade Mutscher, and Drew Mutscher. He is survived by one sister, Marge Foelber and brother-in-law Herb Foelber, brother-in-law Fred Boecker, and sister-in-law Joanne Mutscher. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Donna Axum, parents Gus and Gertrude Mutscher, sister Betty Boecker, and brother Goeke Mutscher.
A public visitation will be held from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM, and family visitation from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Sunday, March 5, 2023 at Memorial Oaks Chapel in Brenham, Texas. Funeral services are scheduled for 10:00 AM, Monday, March 6, 2023 at Grace Lutheran Church of Brenham, Texas. An interment will follow at 3:00 PM, Monday March 6, 2023 at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Pallbearers for the funeral are Matthew Mikus, William Mikus, Cade Mutscher, Drew Mutscher, Kevin Mutscher, Scott Boecker, Jeff Schwartz, and Curtis Fuelberg.
Honorary pallbearers are the Honorable Gib Lewis, Honorable John Whitmire, Paul Kruse, F.C. (Sonny) Shulte, Jimmy Nassour, Susan Myers, Tom Kleinworth, Johnnie Lacina, Ron Alfred, John Muegge, Jim Kolkhorst, Tieman (Skipper) Dippel, Jr., William Betts, Jr., Jim Reynolds, and Mike Hopkins, Jr.
If you are so inclined, the family has requested donations can be made in Gus’ memory to the Texas Star of the Republic Museum or Blinn College Foundation.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street of Brenham. Phone: 979.836.4564.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.