Woodmen of the World Memorial marker - Brotze, Felix – October 3, 1879 – April 9, 1916
Bracht-Stapper-Rhodius Cemetery, Schertz, Bexar County, Texas
Felix Brotze was the son of Otto Brotze and Josephine Pfeil. He married Laura Stapper [1882-1967] who was the daughter of Julian Stapper and Emma Meurin Stapper and the granddaughter of Eduard Stapper and Felicitas Bracht Stapper)
Woodmen of the World Memorial markers signify that the deceased individual was a member of the Woodmen of the World organization. Originally markers were provided at no charge to the members but as prices for materials increased a charge of $100 was added to the member’s Woodmen of the World certificate. In the 1920’s the organization discontinued the practice of providing markers and added the $100 as a benefit to the insurance policy. However, for many years, members and lodges continued providing the marker.
When Joseph Cullen Root founded Woodmen in the late 1800s, he envisioned an organization dedicated to helping its fellow man. Its purpose was "to minister to the afflicted to relieve distress; to cast a sheltering arm about the defenseless living; ... to encourage broad charitable views..." Root made a special effort to honor deceased Woodmen. He created Woodmen Memorial Day, celebrated on June 6 each year, and included the following statement in the Objectives of Woodcraft: "... to give honorable burial to our sacred dead ..."
Lifestyles have changed since Root wrote those goals into the Objectives of Woodcraft, but fraternalism remains strong. "The objects of Woodcraft have always exemplified love, honor and remembrance, "said Executive Vice President Wayne Graham, the director of the Society's fraternal programs. "Fraternalists are concerned with helping others, promoting patriotism and civic responsibility, and providing financial protection for their families.
Today, Woodmen members do not simply share the fact that they have purchased insurance or annuities through the same organization. Woodmen is a fraternal benefit society, with members connected by their membership and also their desire to better their lives, their families' lives and their communities.