The Gonzales Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Banquet has come and gone but the residents of Gonzales cannot stop talking about this year’s David B. Walshak Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Vicki Frenzel has been trending on social media and in social circles. The congratulations just keeps coming.
“Vicki’s love of Gonzales in contagious,” Clint Hille, Frenzel’s nominator said. “Over the last 17 years I have witnesses Vicki’s dedication to this community through her many long hours of work, through a number of organizations.”
When Hille said Frenzel is involved, he was not kidding. Frenzel is a 20-year member of the Woman’s Study Club, a five-year member of Spade and Trowel Garden Club and has served for six years as an Elder of the Presbyterian Church (Where she has sung in the choir for 23 years); She is President of the Historic Homes Association – a position she has held for 22 years. Frenzel has served as a member and president of Gonzales’ Zoning Board of Adjustments, as well as serving as a docent at Pioneer Village for the last 15 years and a Pioneer Village board member for 10 years – with three of those years served as president.
Frenzel, a retired teacher is a long-time supporter of education and literacy. Among her other involvements, she has also served on the library board for 15 years – with 10 of those years served as board president – and was key in Gonzales getting a new and improved library.
“In 2014 she was successful in acquiring a $2 million donation that made the new Robert Lee Brothers Jr. Memorial Library possible,” Hille said. “She was also successful in acquiring the 600-plus items that make up the DuBose Collection – guns and other military items.”
Hille said Frenzel has dedicated herself to Gonzales and its history.
“In 2004 she began the four years of research that resulted in publishing the one and only book naming the men who fought the famous ‘Come and Take It’ Battle on October 2, 1835,” Hille said. “Because of her dedication to Gonzales will forever have a deeper knowledge of the men who fought for Texas Independence.”
Among other achievements, Frenzel was a school teacher for 28 years, spending the last five years in Gonzales, teaching math; she researched Gonzales news from 1853 to current day, compiling a chronology of everyday events in the city; she co-authored and co-published a coffee table book “Grandeur of Gonzales” with the Historic Homes Association; and, with her husband Paul Frenzel, she developed a file on every known historical marker in Gonzales County.
Frenzel is humble about her work and about her receipt of the David B. Walshak Lifetime Achievement Award.
“”I do not believe in working for reward,” she said. “It is nice. I am honored. But, that’s not why I do what I do. I do what I love.”
Frenzel, as public and social as she is, said she tries to “stay under the radar”, but people have noticed her hard work and efforts to change the way things are.
“I don’t try to change the world,” Frenzel said. “I just try to change one thing at a time.”
That’s what Frenzel has been doing since she arrived in Gonzales, but she will not take solitary credit for any of her accomplishments.
“A lot of people in this town do lots of good things,” she said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”