Archived Story

The countdown: Top stories of 2012, No. 15-6

Published 11:43am Monday, December 31, 2012

6. Austin loses three giants in one week

The Wagner family has been a fixture in construction throughout the area. From left: Tim Wagner, Terry Wagner, John Wagner, Matt Wagner, and Brendhan Wagner. Company president and CEO John Wagner passed away in August. -- Herald file photo

In mid-August, three influential Austin men passed away in the span of a few days.


—Ralph Holman, 94, died on Aug. 15. He was a man of science and faith whose work at The Hormel Institute in Austin would establish him as a definitive name in the field.

Holman is regarded as the father of the Omega-3 method for describing fatty acids, which took the place of the previous, cumbersome “delta” system.

“All of us at The Hormel Institute are deeply saddened by Dr. Holman’s passing,” said The Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong at the time.


—Dick Trimble, 84, the founder of what would become Trimble’s Cycle Center, passed away Aug. 17.

At 26 years old, Trimble first opened his shop, Trimble’s. At first it was a gas station, but it would grow to become much more through his hard work ethic. In 1960, Trimble’s started selling motorcycles, and today, it’s the second oldest Honda motorcycle shop in the U.S.

“He just believed in good, hard work and he did a little bit of everything,” said Trimble’s son, Jeff, in August.

—John Wagner, 84, Wagner Construction Co. president and CEO, passed away Aug. 15 after a two-year battle with cancer.

For Wagner, nothing was more beautiful than taking a set of plans, watching a structure come out of the ground and seeing it to fruition. He did that hundreds if not thousands of times throughout his life, leaving an indelible mark on Austin.

“It’s such a legacy,” said Wagner’s son, Brendhan Wagner. “Not many people have the opportunity to have so many visual memories of their father and their family like the Wagners do.”

—By Kevin Coss

 Look for the top 5 stories on Tuesday.

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