Cindy Bamsch, wife of Officer Johnny T. Bamsch, is a retired teacher and Girl Scout leader for her granddaughter’s troop. She remains a steadfast friend and supporter of all Houston police officers and was gracious and appreciative about the plan to plant a new Live Oak in memory of her husband.
“All of our family is definitely interested and excited about this,” she said in a pre-Christmas interview, updating the status of the Bamschs’ only daughter Mandy, who was born after her father’s death in January 1975.
“It was a big deal when we had it transplanted the first time,” she said. “I have pictures of Mandy the time the first tree was planted. We have been watching it grow over the years.
“Mandy and her family live in Houston fairly close to the same area she grew up in. She’s closer to the location of the tree than I am.”
Cindy Bamsch is a retired elementary school teacher, having taught in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD for 34 years, specializing in first and third grades.
“It happened that once I found out I was going to have a grand baby that kinda took priority,” she said. “The first one was born 11 years ago.”
Taylor Derryberry is the oldest of three, followed by Ellis and grandson Ryder. Both Johnny and Cindy graduated from Waltrip High School – traditionally an institution that produces numerous Houston police officers. Currently the three grandchildren are due to attend the elementary and middle schools that feed into Waltrip.
Mrs. Bamsch was lavish in her praise of the HPOU and the 100 Club of Greater Houston for their undying support of the families of officers who died in the line of duty. She also had special compliments for Nelson Zoch, line of duty death historian, and David Freytag, a now-retired officer who was a leader in the HPD Honor Guard. Freytag, in particular, has been active in seeing that the current Live Oak memorial to Officer Bamsch is replaced.
“He and Nelson both have just devoted so much time, energy and work helping families of the officers killed in the line of duty. I just love reading the articles Nelson keeps up and facts he finds out about the cases.”
Once active in COPS, the organization for the surviving families of officers killed in the line of duty, Cindy said, “I’m not too active. I crrtainly keep up with it. I read the Badge & Gun and try to touch here there and yonder as much as I can.
“I really have a hard time saying no to things since I retired. I’m active in the Girl Scouts of America. I’m assistant leader for one of my granddaughters. I do volunteer at Oak Forest Elementary and stay very busy as a church volunteer at St. Christopher’s Episcopal.”
“I thought it very interesting the way things come up from time to time about Johnny and with the police department, seeing my grandchildren learn and participate. Not only did they get to meet and know their grandfather, so has Mandy.
“They go to the memorial services in May (during Police Week). The more they see the different things that happen, the more they understand about it. It’s been a very nice and gentle way for them to get an idea of who their father and grandfather really was.”
The father and mother of Johnny Bamsch are both deceased. Cindy said, “Johnny was their only child. Their lives just crumbled when Johnny was killed. It was devastating to them.”
Mr. Bamsch owned his own plumbing company while Mrs. Bamsch helped him in the office while caring for their only son.
“Most of the officers that were from the North Station knew the Bamsches by sight because they were very active. They took things to the station and visited with the guys and things like that.”