Deborah “Borah” Van Dormolen passed away on March 10, 2013 after suffering a massive heart attack last week. She is being mourned by many in the political community, as she spent much of her time, energy and efforts in working for the Republican Party from the grassroots to the state house to the White House.
“Throughout her extraordinary life, Borah Van Dormolen was motivated by a desire to serve her country and work passionately on the causes most important to her,” Texas Governor Rick Perry stated. “We will all miss Borah’s wisdom and boundless energy.”
U.S. Rep. John Carter said that Van Dormolen’s passing is “a great loss for the Central Texas community. She was a light to this community and all that met her. Borah was truly a friend and a confidant.”
U.S. Senator John Cornyn echoed the sentiment, calling her a remarkable patriot, respected leader and loving wife. “Borah’s legacy will live on in many ways, including in the young Texans she helped me select for nominations to our nation¹s military academies through her service on my Military Academy Selection Committee.”
Borah Van Dormolen is a past president of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. She was also an active member of the Salado Area Republican Women and in county politics. She has been involved in countless political campaigns, working for conservative politicians.
After attending West Chester College in Pennsylvania, Van Dormolen enlisted in the U.S. Army, rising through the ranks and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1997. She served in various command, staff and leadership positions, including a term as Professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She was commander of logistics operations units for the U.S. Army’s largest and most powerful military formations, including the famed 1st Cavalry Division and 13th Corps Support Command.
Borah and Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Rich Castle, her husband of 25 years, ventured into the business world establishing Design Technology Group, Inc., a highly successful manufacturing and marketing firm of outdoor stainless steel electric grills.
She and her husband Rich called Salado home for two almost decades.
Van Dormolen’s political activities are remarkable in their width and breadth accomplished in such a short period of time since her military retirement. She has served the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) as Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Legislation, Chairman of Leadership Development, District Director Coordinator and District Director of Senatorial District 24. As Vice President - Finance, she coordinated the “Tribute to Women” luncheon at the Republican Party State Convention and the TFRW 2005 Legislative Day Luncheon in Austin.
During the TFRW State Convention in Corpus Christi, Borah was elected President of the Federation for 2006-2007. Borah has applied her leadership and teaching skills to campaign management seminars for the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) and TFRW. During the 77th Texas Legislature session, she served as Legislative Aide for State Representative Kent Grusendorf, (R-Dist. 94). Van Dormolen contributes significant amounts of time and talent to the Republican Party of Bell County in fundraising and grassroots organization.
At the time of her death, Van Dormolen was serving her second term as a Republican National Committeewoman from Texas and had recently been elected to represent the Lone Star State on the Rules Committee of the RNC. She also served on the Executive Committee of Maggie’s List, a political action committee focused on recruiting, training and supporting women running for congressional office. She also represented the United States in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City as a swimmer. Borah held a gubernatorial appointment to the Texas State Cemetery Commission and was honored in 2010 as the “Distinguished Military Retiree” for Texas.
Van Dormolen an important community leader serving as Past State Vice President for the Texas Council of Chapters of the Military Officers Association of America; Past President and current Director of the Central Texas Chapter of The Military Officers Association; Board of Governors for the Association of the United States Army, Fort Hood Chapter; Rotarian in the Salado Chapter; and past member of the Board of Directors for the Mill Creek Golf and Country Club and Central Texas Women’s Golf Association. Borah is an endowment member of the National Rifle Association and the Texas State Rifle Association.
Lt. Col. Deborah (Borah) Van Dormolen will be buried at a later date at the Texas State Cemetery.