Dorothy Egert Wolma died peacefully at her home on January 12, 2013 after a long illness. She was born in Galveston Texas on January 6, 1924 the daughter of John and Josephine Egert. She graduated from Ball High School in 1941 and married Dr. Fred J. Wolma in 1943. A fourth generation Galvestonian, she was the granddaughter of John Egert, Sr. a well known local contractor whose firm played an important part in the rebuilding of Galveston following the 1900 storm. The firm of John Egert and Son was instrumental in the designing and building of the Galveston Seawall. After the completion of the seawall, Mrs. Wolma’s father and grandfather planned and executed the grade raising of Galveston Island. This engineering feat included the raising of every structure on the entire island including Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Mrs. Wolma was active in civic and community affairs and served as a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Galveston, UTMB faculty Wives, Galveston County Medical Alliance, Family Services, Junior League of Galveston County, and Sunshine Center. She also served on the Board of Directors of American Red Cross Disaster committee following hurricane Carla and was co-founder of the UTMB Hospital Auxiliary.
With a keen interest in the arts, she served on the Trustee Committee of the Texas Museum Association, was the Chairperson of the Ashton Villa Committee and served on the Board of Directors of the Galveston Cultural Arts and Galveston Historical Foundation. She also was a founding member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, located in Washington, D.C., and served as a former trustee of this organization.
A long time mental health advocate, Mrs. Wolma worked timelessly to expand and promote educational opportunities for mentally challenged children and adults. She served as the grant investigator who secured Federal funding to build the Sunshine Supportive Center, which today is referred to as Sunshine Center, Inc. She was a founder of the Sunshine Supportive Center which, at that time, was a joint program developed with public schools to provide education and training for mentally challenged individuals. In addition, she served on several state committees addressing mental health issues including the State Committee on Mental Health and Mental Retardation and served as a committee member on the Governor’s Annual Ball for Mental Health.
Mrs. Wolma was the widow of Dr. Fred J. Wolma, a long time professor of Surgery at UTMB. During his career, Dr. Wolma received the prestigious Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award, was named an Ashbel Smith Professor of Surgery and received the Alumni Appreciation Award for Excellence in Teaching. In honor of her husband’s more than 40 years of dedicated service to his patients, students and UTMB, she established the Fred J. and Dorothy E. Wolma Professorship in Vascular Surgery.
Mrs. Wolma is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Fred J. Wolma; her son, Fred J. Wolma, III; and her brother John Egert, III. She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Wolma Earthman and her husband, James B. Earthman, III; her only grandchild, Jennifer Leigh Worsham; and her brother, Willard Egert and his wife, Mary Ruth Egert of Sedona, Arizona.
Pallbearers are Diaz W. Murray, James L. Ware, James B. Galbraith, Dr. Brent E. Masel, Stephen R. Lewis, Dr. Courtney M. Townsend, Eugene Hornstein and Armin M. Cantini. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. William C. Levin and Lawrence J. DelPapa.
There is great appreciation of Dr. Barbara Thompson for the kind, compassionate and dedicated care she provided.
Secial thanks goes to Pat Stovall, Marilyn James, Juanita Brown, Donaldeen King and Yvette Batiste who provided her excellent and loving care during the last years of her life.
She was a long time member of Trinity Episcopal Church.
For those desiring, memorials in her honor may be sent to UTMB Department of Surgery, 301 University, Galveston, Texas 77555; Trinity Episcopal Church, 2216 Ball, Galveston, Texas 77550; or a charity of your choice.