Two distinguished HAR past presidents have passed away. Conrad Bering, Jr., who was the Houston Board of REALTORS®’ (later HAR) president in 1970, died on Thursday, April 9, at age 93. And Lloyd Fadrique, HAR’s 1964 president, died on Sunday, March 1. He, too, was 93. Both men served HAR with the highest levels of dedication during their respective terms and were champions of our association in the years that followed. HAR extends gratitude for their service and heartfelt condolences to their families.
Conrad Bering, Jr.
Conrad was born on Texas Independence Day, March 2, 1922, a fifth generation Houstonian, in St. Joseph’s Infirmary in Houston. He attended Houston public schools beginning in Montrose Elementary, Sidney Lanier Junior High, and one year in San Jacinto High School awaiting the completion of the new Mirabeau B. Lamar Senior High School. He graduated from Lamar in the spring of 1939, the second graduating class, and enrolled in Texas A&M University that September.
Conrad was inducted into the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on March 25, 1943, and returned to complete the college year at Texas A&M, graduating in May 1943 with a BA in Economics. He was trained in the Quartermaster School in Camp Lee, VA, commissioned as a second lieutenant, and immediately transferred to the Corps of Engineers. He was assigned to the 1251st Engineer Combat Battalion at Camp Swift, Bastrop, TX and embarked for the Port of New York, in October 1944 for the European Theater of Operations, landing in England, and eventually serving in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Conrad earned two battle stars before he was released from active duty with the rank of captain in June 1946, and went on to serve in the reserves for a number of years.
In 1946, Conrad began a long dreamed of career in broadcasting with radio station KFDM in Beaumont. In 1951, he returned to Houston and entered the real estate profession with Bering Realty Corporation, founded by his father. In his nearly 60-year career as a REALTOR®, Conrad engaged in brokerage in the residential field primarily, but also focused on the development of raw land, home building, real estate appraisal, and commercial brokerage. He was active with the Houston Board of REALTORS® (now HAR), serving as president in 1970. Active in both the Texas and the National Association of REALTORS®, he served as president of the Texas Association of REALTORS® in 1986, and a director of the National Association of Realtors® for a number of years. He was recognized as HAR’s 1972 REALTOR® of the Year and Texas REALTOR® of the Year in 1989. In 2007, HAR honored Conrad with the John E. Wolf Citizenship Cup Award. He was appointed by the Governor of Texas to serve on the Advisory Committee of the Texas Real Estate Research Center, known as The Real Estate Center, at Texas A&M University.
For a 2011 profile of past presidents, Houston REALTOR® magazine asked Conrad to describe what HAR was like during his term in 1970:
“The membership was considerably smaller than it is now, and we had a very progressive association then, as we do now. But in retrospect, it was very primitive. It was mostly men at that time. We had half a dozen women. We met once a month and had lunch at the Warwick Hotel and it was a good ‘ol boys club, but progress was getting ahead of us. One day I came into the office and Tom Morton said, ‘What do you think about changing what we’re doing with MLS?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘You know every week on Friday we give you listings to go on your three-hole notebook and the changes of new listings or whatever. What would you think about having a book that is printed and delivered to you on Friday with all of that done and you throw it away and get a new one next Friday? Let’s do it!’ So that was the first progressive step I think that we took once the MLS was established. And don’t think it was not difficult. REALTORS® are not happy with change, I’m convinced, and they were ready to lynch Tom Morton for that, but it turned out to be a great innovation.”
Conrad was an active member of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, where he served numerous terms on the Vestry. He also served on boards and commissions of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He was formerly a director of the Spring Branch Memorial Drive Dad’s Club (now YMCA), the Houston Symphony Society, and Tanglewood Homes Association and other service activities.
Conrad enjoyed a chilled gin martini with a suggestion of vermouth and one olive. He was known to send it back if it wasn’t prepared to his specifications.
Conrad is preceded in death by his parents, Conrad and Lorene Bering; and his brother, Donald Rogers Bering. He is survived by his wife, Helen English Bering; his sister, Barbara Bering Dundas; his son, Conrad Bering III, and wife Bernardine Freeland Bering; his son, Walter Mackenzie Bering; his daughter, Alison Bering Mountain, and husband Smoky Michael Andrew Mountain; and his grandchildren, Hannah Elise Bering, Moira Mackenzie Bering, Eleanor Bonner Bering, Mackenzie Lee Mountain, Andrew Bering Mountain, and Charlotte Faye Mountain.
A memorial service and funeral took place on April 14 at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be sent to Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church Endowment, 6221 South Main, Houston, Texas 77030; Bayou Bend Gardens Endowment, P. O. Box 6826, Houston, Texas 77265-6826; Texas A&M University Former Students Association Memorial Fund, 505 George Bush Drive, College State, Texas 77840-2918; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 287153, Houston, Texas 77207; or, a charity of the giver’s choice.
Lloyd was born on June 23, 1921 in New Orleans. He graduated from Tulane University in 1941 with a degree in Chemical Engineering and earned an executive Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a supply officer (Lt. Commander) aboard the US Kaskaskia AO27 in the Pacific Theater, Lloyd moved to Houston in 1945 to work as a reservoir engineer for Exxon. He married Beverly St. Germain of Houston on April 28, 1950, and the two were married for 56 years until her death in 2006.
Lloyd had a successful career in business and real estate development, founding Fadrique and Co. and Woodlen Glen Corporation. From 1984 until 2001, Lloyd and Beverly lived in Santa Fe, NM. They returned to Houston in 2001 to be near five of their 10 grandchildren.
Both Lloyd and Beverly were gifted gourmet cooks who loved entertaining friends in their home. They studied with Jacque Pepin, Giuliano Bugialli, Martha Stewart and at La Varanne in Paris, France. In 1981, they co-authored and published a cookbook, The $12.00 Gourmet. While living in Santa Fe, they taught cooking classes at Santa Fe Community College, enjoyed picnicking and mushroom hunts in the mountains, and developing Lloyd’s fine wine collection.
Lloyd’s other hobbies included gardening, oil painting, photography and traveling. He and Beverly toured Europe several times and they visited the Holy Land. Lloyd also loved Apple Macintosh computers from the very beginning! He bought his first personal computer in 1984—a Mac128K—and forever thereafter, Lloyd enthusiastically embraced virtually every new Apple product the moment it became available.
Throughout his life, Lloyd offered his support and leadership to many business clubs, charitable service organizations and the arts. Lloyd was an active member of River Oaks Country Club, where he served on the board of directors, chaired the wine committee, and loved playing tennis. He prepared and served meals for The Gathering at the Church of St. John the Divine. Lloyd was a president of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Board of Realtors (1964), a board member of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, and a supporter of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.
For a 2011 profile of past presidents, Houston REALTOR® magazine asked Lloyd to describe the pressing concerns of the day during his 1964 term:
“There was a great push at the time to have zoning in Houston. Our board members had all checked zoning in various places. It’s a wonderful spot for politicians to get a little extra ‘mordida.’ There is a place where money talks. But in Houston at that time, we had a City Hall where there was no bribery going on to our knowledge. Mayor Louis Welch, who was a REALTOR®, became ‘the REALTORS’® mayor.’ He was just No. 1 then – we loved him dearly and his public works [department was] faultless. Lots of public works departments have friends in [government] that approve of paying for jobs that aren’t finished and then the city gets stuck with that. Welch had a fellow in public works who kept the [department’s] nose to the grindstone on contracts to the city.
We had a zoning fight that year. I was elected to be the rep for the REALTORS® and they had a big get-together at the Rice Hotel. They had a ballroom that held 12,000 and it was packed with pro- and con- zoning speakers. I had my speech all made out, and when I got home, I had a call from a friend and he was just cussing me out. I said, ‘What’s your problem?’ He said, ‘Well according to this reporter, you didn’t say anything for us.’ And I said, ‘I got news for you. You’re listening to the reporter and not what I said. I can send you a copy of my talk which I followed completely.’ [Zoning was voted] down and it has been a great help in Houston as has the fact that we have a building of trades here that is free enterprise and we have the best housing in the country with the cheapest price because we don’t have the ungodly requirements they have in other places.”
The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Grossman, MD and all the nursing staff and caregivers associated with Houston Methodist Hospital System for saving Lloyd’s life in 1995. Lloyd’s grandchildren have shared many happy memories with their “Tuda”” because of these professionals and their expertise. The family also wishes to thank caregivers Esperanza, Delores, Karina, Ruth, Olga, and Lloyd’s assistant Marsha for their loving care and kindness these last several years.
Lloyd was preceded in death by his parents, Pedro Fadrique and Gretchen Hibbert, his wife Beverly, and his son-in-law Robert DeHaan. He is survived by his sister, Mary Lou Pearson of Santa Fe; his daughter Beverly DeHaan of Houston, and grandchildren Steven Stroup; Ian Stroup, wife Andrea and Lloyd’s great grand children Bridget and Noah; Kendall Stroup and Lloyd’s great grandchildren Ricky and Gracie; Skyler Hernandez, husband Rudy, and Lloyd’s great grand children Addison, Prescilla and Jacqueline; and Chris Carney; step grandchildren Jeffry DeHaan, wife Robin of Midland, Michigan; Robert DeHaan III, wife Ashley of Wyoming; and Courtney Harness of Chesterfield, Michigan; son Captain Randy Fadrique of Houston, wife Diana and grandsons Derek and Brett; daughter Lisa Hill of Houston, husband Paul and granddaughter Caroline; daughter Devera Allday of Houston, husband Marty and grandsons Austin and Travis.
Lloyd was a devoted family man, greatly admired by friends and family as an inspirational role model of a husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, friend and gentleman.
A memorial service and funeral took place on March 5 at the Church of St. John the Divine in Houston.
The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to The Church of St. John the Divine – Episcopal, 2450 River Oaks Blvd., Houston, TX 77019; Open Door Mission, P.O. Box 9356, Houston, TX 77261; or River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), 1973 W. Gray, Suite #3, Houston, TX 77019.