In Memory of Braxton Rethwisch

 

"Braxton Rethwisch is near and dear to my heart. I was one of the lucky ones to know him through CMU, MOACAC and personally. When I first took the role as the College and Career Counselor at Affton, I was an outsider since I didn't come from the "college" world. I didn't know anyone and I was sent to my first NACAC conference alone in Indianapolis. Braxton and his wife, Judy, took me under their wing that trip. Braxton introduced me to others in the field and took the time to advise me. I learned so much from him and the support I received was priceless. Through the years, Braxton continued to give me the confidence to speak up and advocate for myself and my students. The advice and friendship he shared with me over the years will always inspire me to do the same for others. He will truly be missed but will NEVER be forgotten."

Mary Giunta
College and Career Counselor
Affton High School

 

"One of a kind – they broke the mold when they created him – no other like him...

These are just a few of the descriptions we have all heard about our beloved colleague, Braxton Rethwisch over the years. I have known "Brax" for 24 years and feel like all those years have just flown by. I have missed not seeing him on the Recruiting circuit the past few years as we all have. Things in our professional circle were just not the same after he became ill. And it certainly did not take away the time we spent missing him and telling great stories about him. Most of us have at least one... he had many and we loved hearing them time after time.

The personal side of Brax is something we can all cherish and it’s his countless contributions to our professional organization MOACAC that we will all respect, admire and possibly even emulate in time to come. Braxton was a great mentor to many of us as we started out in the profession of Admissions. I had the good fortune of being one of those individuals. He did not cling to all the technology bells and whistles but did things the “old school” way----forming relationships, actually communicating with students, parents and school personnel one on one and taking a genuine interest in everyone he came into contact with. It worked for him and people genuinely felt the interest he took in them. He never showed up at a College Fair with a huge load of print materials but got his message across by actually talking about Central Methodist, what a student was interested in professionally and how they would benefit from attending CMU. I’m a relational individual and I still learned a mountain of things from Braxton about developing personal relationships in our industry.

I believe one of the many contributions he made to MOACAC and which flowed over to schools and students was the work he did on the Legislative Committee. I was able to be a member of this for several years and one of the highlights of my year each Spring was going to Jefferson City and watching Braxton “work the room” with our State Legislators. There were no Party lines where he was concerned. They all knew him, they all admired him and they were for the most part anxious to hear what he had to say on behalf of our students across Missouri. I’m not sure any of us really know of all the inroads he made on behalf of our kids in this State. Another one of his endearing qualities – his humility. He was always happy to beat a drum for one of us and our accomplishments but did not brag or boast about his own.

We all have countless stories to share about our beloved colleague and hopefully one day we will get the chance to come together and do that. One of a kind? Yes, definitely. Broke the mold after he was made? Absolutely! No other like him? Not a chance.

Our loss is definitely Heaven’s gain and I truly believe that God has already put Braxton to work in His kingdom. Maybe recruiting new angels…"

Diane Drilling
Regional Director
Drury University