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New Braunfels Man Repays Pension

July 23, 1985

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) _ A 78-year-old man has given the Texas treasury $3,000 because 50 years ago the state helped his mother, a widow with four children, to survive with old age assistance.

″I saved up a little bit from Social Security and I have a little homestead that’s all paid for,″ Richard Besch said in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman from his hospital bed, where he is being treated for a diabetic condition.

″I thought it over, and figured I haven’t many more years to live. It was a gift to me then, so I returned it,″ he said.

His mother, Emma Besch, became eligible for the state Old Age Assistance Program in 1936 at age 65, beginning at only $13 a month. The payments continued for 20 years and reached $42 a month by the time she died in 1956.

Besch received a thank-you note from State Treasurer Ann Richards saying the gift ″honors your mother and you; you are a special person and a good citizen.″

Daniel Dietert, executive vice president of MBank in New Braunfels, said Besch had thought about making the gift for almost a year. Acting on Besch’s instructions, he sent a bank draft for $3,000 to the state treasury.

″He’s not at all a wealthy man,″ said Dietert.

Besch, a bachelor, lives with a brother in a small house he owns in a modest neighborhood in New Braunfels.

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