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Uncle trying to set up Texas A&M scholarship in nephew’s name

Several years after his nephew died, an uncle is trying to keep his memory alive with a scholarship through the College of Nursing at Texas A&M University.

After graduating from A&M with both his undergraduate and his nursing degree, Shawn Mohr spent his career working with heart patients — in cardiac rehabilitation at St. Joseph hospital in Bryan and in the operating room at the DeBakey Heart Center at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.

It was ironic then, his uncle Ken Miller notes, that Mohr himself would die in his sleep from an enlarged heart in June 2011.

After Mohr died, Miller began to work on the scholarship as a way to keep his nephew’s memory alive. To get the endowment going, he must raise $25,000 in the next four years to provide about $1,100 in scholarships annually. With individual donations, Miller has raised $6,200.

“The best way I can describe him, are you familiar with Superman?” Miller asked. “The mild-mannered Clark Kent, that was Shawn. Just really easy-going. The nurses at Methodist just adored him.”

If Mohr was Clark Kent to his uncle, he was a superhero to his patients, said College of Nursing Dean Sharon Wilkerson, who had Mohr in three classes while he was working on his nursing degree.

“He was absolutely the most personable, the most likable person I have met in a long time,” she said.

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“He really was a very caring individual. He cared about his faculty, his student classmates and, most of all, his patients.”

Miller treated Mohr as the son he never had, said Janice Mohr, Shawn Mohr’s mother and Miller’s sister.

“Kenny never had children of his own and when I had Shawn he kinda took it upon himself that he was his son, too,” she said. “He always looked out for Shawn, took him on trips for high school graduation. They traveled a lot.”

Miller always respected his nephew’s intelligence, but working to raise funds for the scholarship has only deepened Miller’s adoration.

“It’s probably made me admire him more,” Miller said, pausing as the loss of his nephew began to overwhelm him. When he spoke again, there was a strain in his voice.

“One of the reasons I probably haven’t talked to as many people as I would like to about this is I get too emotional,” he said. “I’m trying to get past that so I can talk to more people about it.”

While there are a number of scholarships in the College of Nursing set up to honor nurses, each one is important to the school established in 2008, Wilkerson said.

“We’re just beginning to build a group of scholarships, but they really are central for students who need help to get their education,” she said. “Nursing is such an intense field that it’s really difficult for a student to work outside of the classroom.”

To donate, visit shawnmohr.org or send a check to the Texas A&M Foundation with “Shawn Mohr #0435621” in the memo line.

(c)2014 The Eagle (Bryan, Texas)

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