Services For Borah Van Dormolen
The Texas Federation of Republican Women and the Republican Party of Texas, on behalf of the Family of Borah Van Dormolen, announce memorial arrangements honoring and celebrating Borah’s life
Burial services will be held on Thursday, March 21st at 11:00 AM
Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St Austin, TX 78702
A celebration of Borah’s life will be held at the
Austin Club, 110 E 9th St Austin, TX 78701, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. following the cemetery services.
Click here for her full obituary. Details regarding how to donate to a scholarship fund in her honor will be posted shortly:
We all know that Borah has been so loved by so many. Here is a sample of just some of the touching memories we have received about Borah in the last few days. We hope they will help you to remember and mourn this loss and to learn more about Borah, as they have done for us in the past week.
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Rick Perry, Governor of Texas:  “Throughout her extraordinary life, Borah Van Dormolen was motivated by a desire to serve her country and work passionately on the causes most important to her. After almost a quarter-century in the military, Lt. Col. Van Dormolen retired to champion the people and issues she valued, and she left her state, and her country, a better place for it. I was also proud to have appointed her to the State Cemetery Commission. We will all miss Borah’s wisdom and boundless energy. Anita joins me in sending our deepest condolences to her husband, Rich Castle, along with the rest of her family and vast network of friends.”
David Dewhurst, Lt. Governor, State of Texas: “My wife Tricia and I are deeply saddened by the death of Texas Republican Party Committeewoman and our cherished friend Borah Van Dormolen. For years, Borah has been a cornerstone of the conservative movement in Texas, and a woman known by her family, friends and peers as a person of honor, integrity and love. She was a decorated veteran, and worked tirelessly to improve the United States, the State of Texas and the Republican Party. Our prayers are with her husband Rich and their family in this difficult time.”

Greg Abbott, Attorney General: “Borah Van Dormolen was a great American and an even better friend. Borah’s service and devotion to our country was as deep as her commitment to advancing the Republican Party of Texas. Cecilia and I extend our condolences to Borah’s husband Rich and her family.”

Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner: “In addition to all her accomplishments and hard work, her career in the U.S. Army, her service to the State of Texas and the Republican Party, Borah was just simply the kind of person you enjoyed being around.  She had an ever present smile and a quick wit to go with it.  We will miss her, but we celebrate her remarkable life.”

Barry Smitherman, Railroad Commissioner: "Marijane and I were honored to know Borah .  She was a true patriot who served our country, state, and party with passion and dedication. I met Borah early in my campaign last election cycle, and she become a strong supporter; for that we are eternally grateful.  America needs more leaders like Borah, who work tirelessly for freedom, families and free enterprise.  To paraphrase what we used to say at TAMU, "She was a soldier, stateswoman, and knightly gentlelady."  Borah will be sorely missed and our heartfelt prayers are with her family."

Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend Borah Van Dormolen.  Borah was a wonderful woman who served her country in the U.S. Army and worked tirelessly to build the Republican Party in Texas and nationally.  Julie and I send our sincere condolences to Borah's family.”
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: “Borah Van Dormolen was a positive, can-do leader for Texas and America. Her energy and commitment built the Republican Party and took her to the top of our leadership. She will be missed by all who knew her.”
Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller: “Lt. Col. Borah Van Dormolen spent her life serving Texans. She was a dedicated soldier, a passionate political activist, a determined businesswoman and a trusted community leader. She leaves behind a legacy that exemplifies patriotism and friendship, and will be greatly missed.”
Todd Staples, Agriculture Commissioner, State of Texas: “Rest in Peace Borah; thank you for your service to our country and the Lone Star State.”
Ted Cruz, U. S. Senator: “In politics, Borah Van Dormolen fought for what she believed with dogged determination and a commanding presence. In the military, she served our nation admirably with distinction. In business, she was a true entrepreneur in the spirit of limitless Texas opportunity.”

“Heidi and I extend our deepest condolences to her husband Rich and their entire family. Borah will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved her.”

U. S. Senator John Cornyn: “Sandy and I are deeply saddened at the early loss of Borah Van Dormolen, a remarkable patriot, respected leader, and loving wife. 
“Borah rose through the ranks of the Army achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After more than two decades serving her nation, Borah poured her energy and sense of duty into Texas. Frequently offering frank advice in only the way Borah could do, she was a leader by example and a friend.
“Borah's legacy will live on in many ways, including in the young Texans she helped me select for nominations to our nation's military academies through her service on my Military Academy Selection Committee.
“Sandy joins me in sending our thoughts and prayers to Borah’s husband, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Rich Castle, their families, and all of those that Borah touched throughout her journey in life.”
State Senator Brian Birdwell:  “Mel and I are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Borah Van Dormolen. Our deepest sympathies go out to Borah's family. We are grateful for her life of service, both to the nation and to the Republican Party. She will be missed.”
Congressman Kenny Marchant: “I had the privilege of knowing Borah Van Dormolen, Republican National Committeewoman. She was a dear friend, committed patriot, and conservative leader. Borah’s friendship and wonderful personality will be greatly missed by many throughout our State. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.”
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Rebecca Williamson, former SREC SD 24 and TFRW Board member: “Borah was not only a mentor and dear friend, but she was one of the most remarkable people I have ever known.  There was nothing she couldn't do – she would always find a way to accomplish every task with intelligence, common sense, practicality, and ALWAYS with humor.  As we now deal with the loss of one of the greatest stars of Texas, I so often think, What Would Borah Do?  She would grieve, but she would also carry on and do her best to help others through these sad times.  And she would insert just the right amount of wit and humor to make us smile and even laugh out loud.  Borah was a true leader – someone we were proud to know and love.”   
Melinda Fredricks, Vice Chair, Republican Party of Texas: “Like many people, the first time I saw Borah was at a grassroots training meeting many years ago. I immediately admired her, and over the years, that admiration grew into a deep respect and appreciation. Borah gave her whole adult life to the defense of our Constitution, first as a career Army, and then on the political battlefield. A true patriot has fallen.”
Toni Anne Dashiell, Past President, TFRW: “Borah would work her magic in a room if she was the keynote speaker or visiting as a guest. She inspired and motivated others to be the best they could be. Borah was larger than life and will truly be missed.”
Becky Berger, SREC SD 18: “Borah embraced life like no one I know.  She was a best friend on first sight and has seen me go from new bride to first time District Director on TFRW then encouraged me to expand to SREC and finally as a huge supporter of my run for office.  Borah believes in people when they only see an inkling of potential, she saw more.  But no matter what was going on she was honest, to the point and one of few people who knew to see joy in the crazy little things. (See hat trick in the photos).  Her love for Rich was like a romantic comedy, an example for newly weds & old marrieds.  They are completely devoted to each other.  I will miss her for so many reasons and want everyone to know about her.  She developed relationships that were effective politically but her personal friends she held dear.  Perseverance was a strong character trait in her. So many sides to a woman many only saw as a leader.” 
Mandy Tschoepe, Secretary, Republican Party of Texas: “I don’t think anyone has mentioned that she also competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City in swimming.  My kids thought that was so neat once when we all dinner…. That they had met a real Olympian!”
Johnnie B. and Linda Rogers: “A leader of her nation, of her party and her friends.  Borah will be missed.”
 Sylvia Manley, District Director SD 7, TFRW: “'Borah was a mentor of note.  She trained so many of us and did it with humor and by example.  'Borah was a friend, had a zest for life, and was just plain fun to be around and with!  This is aside from her formidable leadership skills.  Thank you 'Borah for all you did and the lives you touched.  You are missed.”
Mona Blocker Garcia: “Borah shared many late evenings with me when I was on the TFRW BOD.  She told me stories about the wars she had fought while in the First Cavalry and Texas politics.  That was when I named her "Warrior Woman" because that is what she was.  She was fearlessly brave and noble and always fought for the underdog.  She was fair minded and always looked for solutions to problems both personal and political.  She privately dealt with her many health problems and never complained.  She was a unique human being and will be sorely missed.  Borah often quoted "If you fight with a bear, you better be a bear."  She even had a pair of pajamas with small black bears printed all over them…  she thought of herself as a bear!”
Borah FLorida
Freida Graham Wright: “What a wonderful life Borah had.  She enlisted in the military in 1974 and rose through the ranks.  She was even a Professor at West Point for a while. Also, not many knew she had been an Olympic swimmer.  I will never forget her voice and her laugh."
Golden Elkins: “We don’t always understand God’s will, but what I do understand is that Borah set an example for us all to follow.  God blessed me and many, many other just by allowing us to know and work with her.  My prayers are for her family, which includes all of Texas.  May we never forget.”
Toby Marie Walker: “I'm going to miss you Borah Van Dormolen! Thank you for being such a great mentor and friend to so many of us, and for being the leader and source of encouragement.”
Wade Emmert, Dallas County Republican Chair: “So sad at the passing of Borah Van Dormolen. She was a true soldier for the Republican Party. She will be greatly missed.”
Kyleen Wright: “Our hearts & prayers are with your family. Thank you for your service to our country, our party & the troops.”
Holly Herrington McClaren: “Sad today. Praying for Borah Van Dormolen's family and friends. She was a great patriot and loved our country! She will be greatly missed. RPT and TFRW conventions will not be the same without her.”
Jan Ott, TFRW Officer: "No one could forget 'Borah if they were with us on one of our TFRW trips to DC -in fact, we have said we could never do one without her. Her skills and caring were incomparable when we had a serious injury on one trip, and her unique and special humor were a joy to all when we had a delay.  But,the most special moment was when, with the help of Rich, we were able to surprise her with an induction into the Women's War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in honor of her military service.  We know 'Borah's spirit is still guiding and inspiring us all."
Jessica Colon: “Our hearts are very heavy with this news.  Borah was a hero for our country, a leader for our Party and a friend to so many.  May God richly bless her soul and bring comfort to her family and our community.”
Skipper Wallace, Legislative Chair, Texas Republican County Chairs Association: “Having been friends with Borah for many years I have never seen someone so dedicated to this Country and State. She was not only a Warrior for this Country but for the State of Texas. She will be sorely missed.”
Deborah Guerriero, President, Dallas County Council of Republican Women: “As hard as it is to gear up to fulfill our responsibilities through our grief, if we did not, Borah would be giving us a swift kick you know where!  Let us all remember this remarkable woman with the special memories we each have.  Laugh, Love and Never Forget our time with her on this Earth."
Hazel Cotton: “Back in 2007, Borah came to our Republican Women’s Club, Star of Texas, for a speaking engagement in Texarkana.  I hung on every word.  A short time later, then Bowie County Chairman Mark Graves asked me if I would fill an unexpired term as Precinct Chair in my precinct.  I really didn't want to do it, but, then I thought of Borah and her tireless energy and agreed to do it.  The rest is history.  I deeply admired Borah and will miss her.”
Shirley Spellerberg: “She was a great patriot and will be missed.”
Duke Machado, President, GOP is for Me: "Borah was an incredible advocate for the Hispanic Republican movement, and was there for us when others were still uncertain about the need to reach out to Hispanics.  She was a visionary who understood the significance of the growing Hispanic community and the need to connect with Conservative Hispanics -she was a true friend.  We will forever remember the way she commanded a room, made people laugh, and inspired us to do more by telling us what we needed to hear, not what we wanted to hear.  There was only one Borah Van Dormolen and it was an honor to know her."
Borah with Carter
Ed Emmett, Harris County Judge: “Gwen and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lt. Col. Borah Van Dormolen today.  Anyone who met her knew they were in the presence of a real, positive force.  The Republican Party and the State of Texas have lost a leader and the nation has lost a true patriot.  Our prayers are with her family during these difficult days.”
Artemio "Temo" Muñiz, Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans: “My favorite memory of Borah will forever be of her smiling and grabbing my shoulder while quoting back the first few verses of Psalms 91 with conviction in English.  She had just given all of us a copy of Psalms 91 at the Republican Party of Texas Headquarters. I hadn't heard those sacred words of divine protection since my childhood and I just had to let her know that I also knew it by heart in Spanish.” 
Sandra Mortham, Chairman of Maggie's List: "Borah Van Dormolen's  enthusiasm, optimism, sense of fun and outstanding leadership unified people throughout the country to join together for conservative causes. When Borah became involved, everyone around her succeeded thanks to her incredible dedication and mind-blowing work ethic. As a founding member of Maggie's List and our Texas State Chairman, we were blessed to know Borah's  brilliance, creativity, kindness and bigger than life personality. She contributed mightily to our cause of electing more fiscally conservative women to the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.   Her spirit will live on with each generation of women leaders who serve at West Point, run for office, succeed in business or volunteer in our precious democracy. Maggie's List extends our deepest condolences to her loving husband Rich Castle and the community of friends and loved ones they built together."
Bill Crocker, former RNC member and RNC General Counsel: “To say that Borah Van Dormolen was unique is an understatement.  Without having known her during her distinguished U.S. Army career, you can only imagine the ability and intense dedication she must have had to rise through the ranks to be Lieutenant Colonel.  Those of us who have known her only in her “retirement” as a worker with and leader of Texas Republicans uniformly acknowledge that she was one of the most capable and tireless people with whom we have ever served.  The warrior spirit, challenging and overcoming every obstacle and difficulty with a wise perception of appropriate strategies and tactics coupled with limitless effort and energy was her greatest contribution to Texas Republicans and to the people with whom she served on the RNC.  All the while she lifted the spirits of the people with whom she served with candor and humor, and made it a pleasure to stand with her and confront the challenges.  Add to that the fact that she was a team member and team worker beyond comparison, and you have a dim picture of the real Borah.  She made huge contributions, in every way, to Texas Republicans and will be missed in ways and extents that may not be fully known for years.  That she will be missed is inadequate to describe the loss that Texas Republicans have suffered.  She is deserving of the highest honor we can bestow.”
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Robin Armstrong, MD, RNC member: “Borah was a delight to work with. She was strong, dedicated, quick witted, and determined!  When I joined the RNC she helped introduce me to people on that body and helped me get started. I am fortunate to have worked alongside her on the RNC.  Our time was far too short. She will be missed by all who knew her! Thank you Borah. May you rest in peace.” 
Jill Homan, RNC Member, Washington, DC: “… I had the opportunity to talk with Borah at the Convention and winter meeting.  She was so welcoming to me and just full of enthusiasm about growing the party.  This is so sad and my thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”
John Ryder, RNC Member, Tennessee: “What a great loss for our Committee, for our party, for Texas and the country.  It is hard to speak of Borah without using words like unique, special, one of a kind.  She was all of that, but she was also warm, kind, generous and funny.  There will never be another Borah, but I hope our country still produces women with her sense of duty, honor and country.”
Reince Priebus, Chairman, RNC: “We’re absolutely heartbroken by Borah’s passing, and our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Rich and her family and loved ones.”
 “Borah’s commitment to serving her country was unshakable—most notably her 23 years in the U.S. Army, where she achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  In politics, she worked tirelessly, motivated by the constant desire to strengthen her country and her beloved state of Texas.”
 “We’ll miss her leadership, her energy and her passion on the Republican National Committee.  Our party is better for her dedication and service, and I’ll always be proud to have worked alongside such a patriot and trailblazer.”
Steve Munisteri, Chairman, Republican Party of Texas: “One of the great privileges of my life is to get to know and work with someone whom I consider to be an amazing woman, Borah Van Dormolen.  Over the past several years I have had a chance to personally observe her tireless work on behalf of the Republican Party of Texas but more importantly on behalf of the country she loved dearly and served so well for so long. It is hard to believe that she is gone, having just been with her at last weekend’s SREC meeting when she was her usual, passionate, energetic and inspiring self. What always impressed me the most about Borah was her kind hearted spirit and how she always treated other people with dignity and respect.  There will never be another Borah and we will miss her deeply.  On behalf of the RPT family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to her husband Rich and to her family.”
Carolyn Hodges, President, Texas Federation of Republican Women: “TFRW mourns the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Borah Van Dormolen.  Borah was an inspiration to me as I began my path as a Republican Woman.  Her leadership in the Texas Federation of Republican Women was bold and decisive.  Her common sense, her sense of humor, intelligence, and caring for Republicans set her apart from others.  She was a dynamic and enthusiastic leader who was respected and loved across our state and nation.  Borah traveled tirelessly across Texas giving her all.  Everyone who met and heard Borah immediately began to share her enthusiasm and vision.  Let us all carry on as Borah would want us to do and be the Republicans she would be proud of – focusing on unity.”