Guided By Faith and Serving with Love
Jenny Webster Jurica
Personal photos courtesy of
the Jug Family
It all started with a chair…
On May 6, 1987, on a noisy and crowded deck at a sports bar in Walnut Creek, California, Lou Jug (perhaps taking a page from the famous George Strait song “The Chair”), brazenly approached Lisa Larsen with an empty chair in hand and asked, “Is this seat taken?”
The short answer is that, no, the seat wasn’t taken, and Lou’s impulsive act ensured that he would forever take a place in Lisa’s heart.
“I thought it was a rather bold move,”
says Lisa of Lou’s confident flirtation that night. “But when I saw his beautiful blue eyes and big smile, I decided to give him a chance.”
That chance encounter led to a proposal exactly one year later, on May 6th in Lahaina, Maui, and a wedding followed on the same date, in 1989, at the Treasure Island Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay. The Jug’s honeymoon included travel to France where the couple was first introduced to French wines and the beauty of the Mediterranean coast, and where the couple also discovered a shared affinity for travel.
This affinity for travel has followed the couple throughout their marriage, as they instilled a love for travel in their own four children. In fact, as a high school graduation gift for each of the Jug children, the family embarked upon an international trip — the destination decided upon by the graduate — that included the whole family. Each Jug child chose their travel gift wisely so that the family enjoyed trips to England, Paris, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain and Portugal, and included such cultural experiences as cooking lessons led by chefs from Le Cordon Bleu, a bicycle tour through Salzburg, Austria (where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed) and a meal at Le Jules Verne, which is a Michelin Star-rated restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower.
Lou has held multiple senior level positions with global institutional real estate investment management firms over the course of his career and he currently works as part of the Global Investors Group team at USAA Real Estate. This year, Lou also celebrates his 40th anniversary in the commercial real estate industry and is especially proud to contribute to USAA’s work to help support the financial stability of active-duty military, veterans and their families.
Lisa holds a BS in Nursing from San Jose State University, as well as a Master of Public Administration from California State University, East Bay. Her passion for nursing led her to work in hospice care and became useful as both she and Lou invested many years caring for their elderly parents.
The Jugs wistfully recall the years of caring for their elderly parents:
“We often reminded one another of the Biblical commandment to ‘honor your father and mother’ during this time that was punctuated by the joy of serving our parents, but carried with it the added sadness of watching their physical health decline and culminating in their eventual passing,” says Lou.
In 2020, when the couple, now empty nesters, first found the window to relocate from California to Texas opening to them (to be closer to the USAA Real Estate Headquarters in San Antonio), they toured many communities in the Texas Hill Country. When they found Cordillera Ranch, though, they knew they were home. The Jugs purchased their home in August of 2020 and were immediately drawn to the hospitality and welcomeness of their neighbors and the service opportunities in the area.
For the Jug family, living a life of service to others is more than just a way of life: It’s the only way that they can imagine living. Both Lou and Lisa grew up watching their fathers lovingly serve their country (Lou’s dad didn’t serve in the military, but served their church, and as a leader in their Boy Scout troop) as well as others and this inspired the Jugs to continue their fathers’ legacies with their own family. Even when Lou and Lisa were busy raising four active children, they still managed to find time to host small groups from their church as well as mentor couples in marriage and parenting, following in the footsteps of those who mentored Lou and Lisa early in their own marriage. The Jug children grew up serving side-by-side with their parents at “The Gathering Inn,” a ministry dedicated to feeding, clothing and providing shelter for the homeless, and have vivid memories of serving meals to children who were like them and yet didn’t have a home.
These days, Lou and Lisa jointly serve as Board Members for Safe Refuge for Children + Families, which is a California-based non-profit that offers a hope-filled option for struggling families. This organization is made possible through a unique community-church partnership and provides temporary homes for children until they can be safely reunited with family.
Lisa was also recently appointed to the Board of the Rainbow Senior Center at Kronkosky Place, in Boerne. It is there that Lisa’s expertise in nursing and senior care will help to guide and direct the organization’s staff and volunteers as they provide loving care and essential services to the senior citizens in Boerne and surrounding Hill Country areas.
Lou and Lisa both feel led to serve families in need within their community and beyond — specifically the elderly population. “Families are really the backbone of communities, cities, states and our nation. Our society is much stronger with strong family relationships, beginning with strong marriages and continuing from there,” said Lou. “We think of families in terms of all generations because it’s often the seniors who are forgotten and need the most help,” adds Lisa.
The couple’s four adult children, who now range in age from 31 to 25 years old, are each wildly accomplished in their own rite. Lou Jr. works in healthcare technology in Austin and serves on the Board of Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft palate-focused organization. Megan is a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse in Berkeley, California. Son, Sam, works for the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco and daughter, Kelsey, will complete her Masters of Nursing, as well as earn her Nurse Practitioner License from Yale School of Nursing in May of 2022. She looks forward to beginning her career as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner following graduation. In addition to leading successful and demanding professional lives, the Jug’s children also find time to serve their communities, just as their parents have over the course of their marriage.
Along with celebrating Kelsey’s graduation in May of 2022, the Jugs will also celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary on May 6 with a trip to Grand Cayman.
“We are very thankful for the bond of faith, the blessing of our ‘love story’ life together and a lifelong partnership of serving together in the community,” says Lou.
The Jugs have happily settled into life at Cordillera Ranch and love exploring the local shops and eateries. They are
also frequent students at Ministry of Dance, where the couple has learned several ballroom dances under the guidance of famed World Open Champion ballroom dancer, Bertus Stiehler, who the Jugs describe as, “patient and kind with a great sense of humor.”
A relationship that began with a humble chair and a bold gamble has grown and evolved into a loving, faith-filled partnership for the Jugs. Lou and Lisa’s 33-year marriage has granted them four wonderful children, a life dedicated to serving others, travels that have left lasting memories for their family, and now, the next chapter of their life continues at Cordillera Ranch.