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College mourns passing of longtime supporter Lohec
Ronald Lohec.
Ronald Lohec.

The Cullen College of Engineering extends it condolences to the family of Ronald Lohec, a graduate of the mechanical engineering program at the University of Houston and a long-time benefactor of the institution.

Lohec passed away on Dec. 12 at the age of 92. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Jan. 13 at Clear Lake United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Lohec will be interred at Grace Memorial Park Cemetery in Hitchcock, beside his wife of 63 years, Bo.

The following is Lohec's obituary.

A beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Ronald leaves behind a legacy of faith, love, and commitment to family.

He was born in 1931 in the small town of Alta Loma, Texas, which is now part of the city of Santa Fe. A child of the depression, he entertained himself by exploring the surrounding fields and bayous. He expanded his world by building his own radio and attaching a gasoline motor to his bicycle—early examples of his intelligence and engineering skills.

Ronald was a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served in the Korean War. He was discharged in 1952 and used the G.I. Bill to attend the University of Houston. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1955, he started his career at Humble Oil, which later became Exxon.

While attending the University of Houston, Ronald attended a football game that would change his life forever. It was there, with the help of mutual friends, that he met the love of his life, Bertha Nell “Bo” Johnston. He knew right away that Bo was special and he told her on their second date that he wanted to marry her. Sure enough, the couple married in November 1953 and spent the next 63 years building a family, traveling the world, and supporting one another.

With their three children, the family embarked on many adventures from sailing along the Texas coast to living in London. After retiring from Exxon in 1986, Ronald began consulting and traveled to Indonesia, Norway, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Egypt, often with Bo by his side.

Ronald cared deeply about giving back to the community, especially as it related to education. After Bo passed away in 2016, he founded a scholarship in her honor at the University of Houston. His support for the university has funded several engineering scholarships and facilitated important construction projects on campus. In 2023, the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering honored Ronald with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his career achievements, community service, and leadership.

A talented engineer, tinkerer, musician, historian, writer, sailor, and golfer, Ronald’s life was rich with his many interests. He often found community through these passions and made lifelong friendships by participating in groups like his golf group, the Bay Oaks Old Boys Club.

To know Ronald was a gift. His kindness, warmth, and integrity will live on in the memories of those who loved him. We will always treasure our time together and the many funny and extraordinary stories he told us about his life.

Ronald was preceded in death by his beloved Bo and his parents, Clement Eugene “Gene” and Pearl Louise Lohec. He is survived by his children, Phyllis Turnham, Marsha Green, and Wesley Lohec, nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and his brother, Phillip Lohec Sr.

Ronald Lohec will be deeply missed, but his family and friends take comfort in knowing he lived a beautiful, faithful life and now he may rest peacefully, reunited with his beloved Bo.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in memory of Ron Lohec be made to support the Ronald and Bertha Lohec Scholarship Endowment at the Cullen College of Engineering. Ron established this scholarship to support engineering students at his alma mater. Donations can be mailed to the Cullen College of Engineering:

  • The University of Houston
  • Cullen College of Engineering
  • C/O Margarita Frinsco
  • Engineering Building 2, Room E421
  • 4222 Martin Luther King Boulevard
  • Houston, TX 77204-4007

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