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TFRW Woman of Distinction – November 2021


Our November Woman of Distinction is a TFRW treasure and sets an example for all of us to follow. She is a proud lady who was certainly “ahead of her time” in her career paths and forward thinking.

Woodie Virginia (she prefers just “V”) Hornburg was born the youngest of four children in Palestine, Texas, on July 7th, 1921. Her father was a conductor on the railroad. She is a fifth generation Texan—her great-grandmother was born here in 1834.

Following graduation from high school in Palestine she married Charles Hornburg. They met when he was serving his country in the Texas National Guard. They both attended Sam Houston State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in the early ‘40s. During her college years there, she started a program for girls attending college to help pay for the expenses of their education by working as a nanny for families in the area. After graduation she taught sixth grade in Rio Hondo, Texas, for several years. While teaching there, and since she had also obtained her counseling credentials, she was hired as a counselor. She continued her education by earning her Master’s degree in 1960 at the University of Houston and became the Director of Guidance for all grades, including high school.

After receiving her new position as Director, she authored the counseling program for the state, and her elementary program was one of two approved in Texas at that time. She pursued her license as a professional counselor—her number was 250— so she was quite a pioneer in the field. Although she obtained the licensure, she never practiced in that field and continued in the school system. Her efforts were recognized by the Texas State Teachers Association in the 1970s after having begun a process to educate families about child abuse and organizing a program to include all family members and pastors in the community. She gave many presentations and training seminars around the state, and continued to be involved in the Texas State Counselors Association. She was named Counselor of the Year for the Rio Grande Valley in 1985. After 29 years with the district, she retired in 1991 and remained in Fort Clark, Texas. Upon her retirement, six people were hired to fill her position and do her job!

She was President of Delta Kappa Gama, Harlingen Chapter, and started the chapter in Rio Hondo. She remained active in the DAR for more than 50 years.

She continued to drive her car until she was 96 years old and just last year her health declined to the point that she required the use of a wheelchair. She lives with her daughter in Fort Clark in her family house built in 1877.

She is a charter member of Kinney County Republican Women formed two years ago, and is part of the group of ladies responsible for growing their club to 165 members. Woodie is a member of the Church of Christ.

She inspired all of us at our convention last week and when leaving inquired when the next one would be scheduled. Upon meeting Gov. Abbott at the TFRW Awards Luncheon, she challenged him to a race in their wheelchairs!