Dr. Renate True

Dr. Renate True passed away February 13, 2017 at her home in La Marque, Texas.

Renate was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil on September 19, 1936.  She went to college in Brazil and received her doctrine.

Renate was one of the world’s first women aquanauts.  She was part of the Tektite II project, an underwater laboratory which was the home to divers during Tektite I and II programs. The Tektite program was the first scientists-in-the-sea program sponsored nationally.  She was featured in National Geographic.  Dr. True was very proud of this accomplishment.

Dr. True taught Anatomy and Physiology at College of the Mainland for 30 years.  She taught many students who remember her as an amazing person and professor.

She is preceded in death by her husband Merrill who passed away in December 2011.  She is survived by her sisters, Gerda Stoll and Erica Schlenz who reside in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  She is also survived by her friend, Loretta Hartless, who took care of her in the last years of her life.  Renate will be missed.

Her memorial service is to be held Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm at Crowder Funeral Home, 401 Texas Avenue, La Marque, Texas.  Please join us for a final farewell to a piece of history and a wonderful human being.

In lieu of flowers a Scholarship Fund has been set up in Dr. Renate True’s honor at College of the Mainland.



  1. Rest peacefully, Renate. Your friendship when I first arrived at COM as a new faculty member was always appreciated. Your kind face and encouraging words helped me to adjust to a new and very different life in Texas. I recall arriving to work early, but never before you, and leaving late, but never after you. Although 30 years older than I, your dedication and drive allowed you to outwork this young guy! Obrigado pela sua amizade.

    Tom English
  2. Rest well Dr. True. You have earned it. Our late evening conversations during my years as a student at COM gave me drive to continue on in my studies even when I wanted to give up. I will never forget your warmth and dedication to the students. I strive every day to mirror your image, which I can never possibly achieve. You were, and always will be, a unique treasure.

    Carol Voight
  3. Dr. True will always be remembered by her students and co-workers. She always had a smile on her face, even through the tough times in life. She was always eager to help her students and non students. She taught our Librarian how to converse in her home language of Brazil. Her favorite author is Dick Frances. Those of us who were lucky enough to have met her for even a short time will miss Renate greatly. She still lives in our hearts and memories. She is now with her Sweetie. I will pray for the ones who are morning her passing. Rest in Peace my sweet Lady.

    Doloris Dutton
    • I love how you wrote that she is now with her “sweetie”. Anyone who knew Dr.True, knew that she called everyone’s significant other “their sweetie”. She would always ask me about my husband. “So, how is your sweetie?” I’m really going to miss that special little lady

      Deborah Martorell
  4. As a fellow faculty member we shared many of the same students that were going through the nursing program at COM. I can’t begin to count the number of students that you tutored and encouraged. You instilled in them the self confidence that would enable them to complete the program and become registered nurses. You will always have a special place in my heart.

    Tom Hawkins, RN, MSN, FNP-BC
  5. I was blessed to have Dr. True as a professor for Anatomy and Physiology I and 2. At the time, I was living on the Strand in Galveston in the Artist Lofts on Market Sreet. One day I walked outside my building and there was Dr. True! Amazingly, we lived in the same building! She lived on the 5th floor with her husband and I lived on the 2nd floor with at the time, my fiance; now my husband. We would always run into her and her husband inside and outside the building. He was in a wheel chair at the time and there she was, always right beside him, doting on him. Getting to see this side of her, outside of class, only made me love her more. I was actually lucky enough to meet her sister who was visiting from Sao Paolo who interestingly enough, was a zoologist. I think her entire family was full highly intelligent people. One funny memory that I have of Dr. True was when she taught us about enzymes and substrates. She colored her middle fingernail with dry eraser and showed us how the two bond. Not everyone may understand what I am speaking of, hopefully if you had Dr. True as a professor you know what I’m talking about. She was so sweet, good-natured and funny! Also, one of the smartest people I have had the pleasure of knowing. She laid down the path for many women scientists at a time when the the majority of the field were men. For this, I am proud of you Dr. True! I will miss you Dr. True. Your cute little accent and funny jokes. It brings me happiness to know that she is with her husband, shining that sweet smile of hers down on us. Dr. Renate True, you truly impacted my life, thank you.

    Deborah Martorell
  6. I was blessed to have Dr. True as my professor upon my graduation from La Marque High School in 1986. She taught me the meaning of studying hard and being dedicated to get to my goal!! She never let me get below an “A” on any one of her tests. She always knew that I could do better. I will always remember her for her beautiful smile, and dedication to her students. I will miss you Dr. True. You have always been a Wonderful teacher, and a Great person!!! Rest I Peace!!!

    Pamela Vallier
  7. Dr. True was one of the most intelligent women ive ever met. I was her student at College of the Mainland. I took her anatomy sms physiology courses. She was a walking encyclopedia of the human body. Not only was she incredibly intelligent, she had a great personality. She was also one of the toughest women I’ve known. Weekday an inspiration she was. You will be greatly missed Dr. True.

    Tracy Ayala
  8. What am inspiration she was. Had to correct the typo. She would’ve lol

    Tracy Ayala
  9. Dr. True and Merrill were close friends of my dad’s many years ago. I have heard countless amazing stories of both of them over my lifetime. It’s heartbreaking to hear of Renate’s passing. Allthough I was young when they would visit us, my memories of them were more than fond. I’m not a religious person but I just know they are together again and can only imagine what kind of trouble they must be up to! LOVE FOREVER!!! We will meet again xoxoxo

    Karen Bauer
  10. I am sitting watching a program on BBC1 “Blue Planet:The Wonders of the Ocean” and reminiscing about my beloved instructor Dr. True, as well as telling my partner about her amazing accomplishments. I was encouraged and chided and guided by this amazing woman through my time at COM. I did it Dr. True, I achieved my dreams and made new ones. Thank you for your guidance.

    Kate Collins
  11. Love you and missed you Dr True. I know her from my early teens. She is very great and supportive lady. Truly missed. Rest in peace..Mama…

    Shire sam
  12. What an inspiration she was to me in my career. What a friend to have on campus. I will never forget my first day at COM before anatomy and physiology class. The professor wasn’t in the room and several of us were standing around outside wondering who the professor was. One of the ladies said “I heard she was real mean and hard to get along with”. We entered the class on time, and lo and behold, who should be our professor but the lady who described herself as mean and hard to get along with. That couldn’t be further from the truth. She always had a smile on her face and was quick with a laugh and a smile. I love just thinking about her.

  13. Dr. True you will always remain in my heart. You taught me more than any other teacher. I was your student over thirty years ago. You were a light in my life and will always be. I know one day we’ll meet again. You were a magnificent human being and a jewel to the earth. Rip

    Judy Godwin
  14. Dr. True was a mentor, a friend and, like many others have said, an inspiration. Many know Dr. True for being a professor but she was more. Dr. True went above and beyond for her students and that was reflected by her many Teacher of the Year awards adorning get office space. Understand, she did so out of love; not for a thank you or accolades. She was a genuinely caring person in a world sadly short on those but, her presence more than made up for that which was in short suply. Dr. True exemplified what higher learning should be; it should be about learning.

    She mentored many health care professionals, before their degrees, licenses, & achievements. I’m not alone in saying Southeast Texas owes her a large debt. My regret and sadness is not just for the loss of kind hearted person but because she deserved more appreciation in return than what she received. I wish I could have stayed longer to help her transition from teaching full time, like she asked of me, and gave back some of my time to assist her & the institution (COM), for inspiring me at a time when I most needed it.

    Life is not the beginning, nor the end, it’s the time in between, and Dr. True lived a very fulfilling life. Although she had no children, she often felt her students were like her children and like a good parent she felt proud when they achieved and supported them when they fell short. She was an inspiration to both men and women alike. As an aquanaut & PhD graduate Dr. True not only broke barriers for women of her age but also inspired several generations to break more. Definitely a life well lived.

    Love you Dr. True.

    I pray for your peace.

    Devon Bickham
  15. Over 23 years ago I was a student at com. I have often thought of Dr. True many times in those years. Tonight I looked her up to see if she was still at com because I wanted to go see her.
    I found she had passed away. This saddens me to find this out.
    DR. True left an impression on me by taking a personal interest in me as a person. She asked to talk to me outside of class. We met and she wanted to give me some advice. She had seen in my personality that I would struggle in the world with co workers that would try to bring me down and cause trouble for me because I was such an over achiever and that would make alot of my coworkers look like they wouldn’t be doing their job. She told me I reminded her of her husband as he was the same way.
    I was looking her up tonight so I could tell her thank you for that advice. She was so right, but in knowing this knowledge she gave me, it helped me to understand it when it would happen. I didn’t take it personal on the many occasions it happened. I just understood and moved on!!
    She was also a great teacher, I still can see some of her board drawings on the pathophysiology of the heart.
    Thank you Dr. True for taking time out of your day to care about me as a person! I’ve never forgotten you, I only wish I would of looked you up sooner to tell you this!
    Rest in peace my dear sweet lady.

    Kristina Landry

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