Childhood and Growing up:

I was born 25 January 1959 in Seguin, Texas (30 miles east of San Antonio). My parents are Helmut and Annie Mae. I grew up on our farm/ranch near La Vernia, Texas where grandfather Bruno Pönitz settled after leaving Saxony, Germany in the late 1800's. The area I grew up in was settled by predominantly Germans, ( I'm 100% German on all sides)  so I grew up speaking German before I learned English in school. I have one sister, Caroline, who is 15 years older than I am. Sounds like I was an "oops", doesn't it!!!

Growing up on the farm was hard work, but fun too. This consisted of things from vaccinating cattle, baling hay and helping cows give birth to hoeing (weeding) and cultivating the crops and harvesting them. The main crop was peanuts, and South Texas is famous for its pecan crops. Nothing better than home made Pecan Pie!!!

We also raised cotton, maize and corn. Growing up I always had a cow and her calf was sold and the money was put in a savings account for my college tuition fund. All the farm animals were my friends and pets, so it is easy to see why I became a vegetarian at the age of 11. I didn't want the meat I was eating to be that of my pet!!!!! Later after hearing about all the disease that most any kind of meat can have and the health risks of eating meat, my earlier decision was reinforced and I'm still a non-meat eater today. My weakness is dairy products... especially cheese. Oh.. and Nutella too. 

My last name:

You will see me spell my last name two different ways. Neither are mistakes. The original and CORRECT way is Pönitz and that is how it is spelled in Germany. That is the way I spell it professionally and personally. Since the English language does not have the "o umlaut" character the correct American equivalent is to replace it with an "oe". Thus the American spelling of: Poenitz. The closest correct American pronunciation is: PAY-nitz. There are two villages in Germany with that name. One is in northern Germany in the state of Schleswig-Holstein next to the Pönitzer See... a small lake. I have found no connection of this area to my family. There is another small village on the outskirts of Leipzig in Saxony with this name. Once again, I have not found a family connection. All Pönitz family roots are from another area of Saxony between Mittweida and Döbeln west of Dresden. While on the subject of origin, the other 3 of my grandparent-families come from the area of Germany that used to be called Pommerania... Kreis Dramburg in Pommern.

 

Education:

Grades 1 - 12 were attended in Seguin, Texas. Jefferson Elementary School (1 - 6), Ball Jr. High School (7 & 8) and SHS (10 - 12). I graduated from Seguin High School in 1977. I then left home and attended Southwestern Adventist College (now University) in Keene, Texas just south of Fort Worth, TX. I graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Business Administration. My '78/'79 sophomore college year I went to school near Braunau, Austria at Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen. The school was an old castle that was converted into a boarding school. I made some great friends there that year, but when I look at pictures of me, it looks like I had a bad hair year!!! My favorite activity was going to the next village (Hagenau) and sneaking into the barroness' castle when she was out on walks. That year consisted of more fun than studying. I was able to get better acquainted with all my German relatives and do some traveling. I have the best family in the world. Europe is BEAUTIFUL! I even got to explore what was then East Germany with my cousins. I fell in love with my heritage. July 1998 we had a Bogenhofen class reunion in Austria at the school. It was great to see several of my fellow classmates, their families, and our teachers again after 19 years. The campus is more like a resort than a school..... well at least in comparison to how it was when we were there. September 1996 I began classes at Massage Resources in Dallas to study massage Therapy.  1997 I successfully wrote  my Texas State boards to become a registered Massage Therapist.

 

 

Employment:

Childhood - Worked on the family farm and ranch

1977 - 1978 - Nu-Cushion, Keene, TX  (I made stick horses and toy mops)

1979 - 1981 - Johnson County Sheriff's Department. Courthouse and Jail Office Clerk and Finger Printer

1981 - 1992 - Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M Co), Grand Prairie and Dallas, TX

1992 - 1996 - Microsoft Corp. Technical Support and Management, Las Colinas, TX

1997 - Present - Self Employed specializing in massage therapy, and bodywork modalities

 

Spiritual Life:
My belief in God was an integral part of me growing up. We attended the Laurel Heights  Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Antonio whenever we could, but that was a long drive, so many times we'd have Sabbath School at home Saturday mornings. This strong faith, instilled by my family and tried and tested by life's experiences is still the force that guides and strengthens me today. My faith and belief system sustains me daily. I currently worship with my church family at Dallas First Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 4009 North Central Expressway.

 

Relationship Status:

Married Florence Guenin 18 July, 1982 in Seguin, TX

Divorced 25 April, 1988 ..... no children - 2 dogs: Rudi the miniature Dachshund and Kori the Shepherd/Lab Mix
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Several great relationships, each one teaching me something new and wonderful about life.
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In a committed relationship with Jeffrey Scott Williams since Dec 5, 2003.