Beulah Mae Wunderlich was born in Houston, Texas, on May 14, 1925. She was the only child of Beulah and Winfield Scott Wunderlich. The Wunderlichs were a loving and caring family. Beulah Mae's parents taught her by example the importance of honesty, integrity, and self-reliance. Her father worked long hours as a mechanic at Halliburton to provide a living for the family.
Miss Wunderlich grew up in the depths of the Great Depression. The financial hardships of the times left a lasting impression on her. During this time, her father lost his job, and the family was forced to rely solely on her mother's income. Her mother worked long hours at a local hotel to support the family. The lessons learned from living through the Depression guided Miss Wunderlich throughout the rest of her life. Witnessing the suffering of those around her, she learned the importance of working hard, being frugal, and helping others.
Miss Wunderlich attended elementary school in Houston, and graduated from Stephen F. Austin Senior High School in Houston. In 1943, she entered the University of Texas to pursue studies in pre-medicine. During her tenure at the University of Texas, she developed a high respect and admiration for the university and everything that it stood for. She recognized that the university provided an opportunity for many young Texans to gain an education. She noted that many of these graduates became successful contributing members of society. While she was attending class in Austin, Miss Wunderlich formed a special affection for the University of Texas football team. She was an active and dedicated fan, and followed the success of the "Horns" all her life. In fact, she loved anything and everything about the University of Texas.
In 1945, Miss Beulah Mae Wunderlich married Edward Haraldson. Edward Haraldson served in the army during World War II. Edward and Beulah Mae had two children.
Edward and Beulah Mae divorced in 1949. After their divorce, Beulah Mae Haraldson was faced with the full responsibility of raising two chidren as a single parent. She was determined to succeed in spite of the odds facing a young woman with limited higher education. She worked very hard and at times, at multiple jobs, to simply make ends meet. She worked as a secretary, office manager, retail merchandise buyer, enumerator, and entrepreneur, to support her children and to ensure that her children would have the opportunity to attend her beloved Alma Mater, The University of Texas.
Ms. Haraldson always aimed high. One of her goals in life was to retire from full-time employment by the age of 40. She accomplished this goal with her entrepreneurial spirit and interest in real estate. She managed to save her money and invested it in rental houses in the Houston area. Through her hard work and personal attention to details, she created a large fortune in real estate. She was always more than willing to share the lessons of her success with her family, friends, and anyone else who was fortunate enough to cross her path.
Throughout her life, Ms. Haraldson strived to help others and to empower them to succeed, even under difficult circumstances. She understood the importance of saving, regardless of the level of one's income. She did not believe in hand-outs alone. She always sought to help others by teaching them how to become self-sufficient. She deeply believed that all people, regardless of their background and their life circumstances, should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.
Before her death in 1992, Beulah Mae Wunderlich Haraldson established The Haraldson Foundation, to encourage outstanding students to remain in Texas, and to become the future leaders of her beloved state.
*Information compiled and recorded by the family and friends of Beulah Mae Wunderlich Haraldson