Former professor remembered as master craftsman, mentor

Larry Priesmeyer, a master craftsman, architect and Texas A&M College of Architecture professor emeritus, passed away May 20, 2018. He was 85.

Memorial services are scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 24 at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan.

Priesmeyer spent three decades teaching woodworking, drafting, construction documentation and design as a member of the Department of Architecture faculty. Former students remember him as a challenging, passionate mentor who helped hundreds of graduates find their first jobs.

“Larry was a wonderful man, and had great influence over multitudes of students beyond myself through his drafting classes, woodshop,” said former student Jeff Cain, class of ‘94. “He will be missed.”

Priesmeyer earned a Bachelor’s of Architecture in 1957 and a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning in 1967, both from Texas A&M. Between degrees, he served as a as a first lieutenant projects officer for the U.S. Army Air Defense Center Second Guided Missile Group Headquarters in Ft. Bliss, Texas.

At Texas A&M, he worked as research architect and planner, eventually becoming an associate professor of architecture and director of the college woodshop. He earned tenure in 1972.

A talented lecturer, he devoted time to sharing the love of his craft with Texas K-12 students, encouraging them to pursue design careers and showing how architecture affects lives.

Priesmeyer also had a rich professional career, serving as project architect and principal at several Texas firms throughout five-decades of practice. His final professional engagement was as principal for Aesthetic Solutions, an architecture, interiors, photography and wood composition practice in College Station, where he worked from 1994 to retirement.

A lifelong supporter of Texas A&M, Priesmeyer headed a successful effort to create a Class of 1957 endowment providing graduate school scholarships to graduating seniors. The first and only class-sponsored scholarship endowment was established in 2007 presented at the class’ 50-year reunion.

A large photo of the Class of ’57, taken in 1957 on the steps of the Williams Building, has hung for many years in the Langford Architecture Center. At their 50-year reunion, surviving class members struck similar poses for a new photo that now hangs beneath the original, providing a striking comparison.

Priesmeyer and his wife, Roberta also endowed the Roberta and Larry Priesmeyer ’56 Scholarship in 2007 for students pursuing a degree in the Department of Architecture.

His legacy lives on at the Texas A&M campus, where his strikingly detailed wood work can be found on display. In addition to dozens of military honor displays, carvings and signs, he has designed and built beautiful and functional furniture and art pieces that are used currently.

One such work, a solid mahogany and Plexiglas case capable of displaying 140 Aggie rings, commissioned by a Texas A&M Presidential Citation, sits in the Clayton Williams building Library at the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students.

 

Sarah Wilson
swilson@arch.tamu.edu

posted May 23, 2018