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The people memorialized in obituaries and death noticesbelow either lived at least part of their lives in the county or are buried here. Please contact volunteer coordinator Regena Williamson to contribute obituaries and/or photographs from your research.




Thiele Cooper Funeral Home

SWEET HOME: Donald “Donnie” Zabransky, age 63, passed away on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. 

He was born on January 28, 1948 in Hallettsville to Henry and Annie Polasek Zabransky, Sr.  He was a supervisor for Circle Y Leather Company and a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church.

Survivors: wife, Earline Zabransky; daughters, Diane Ward and husband Darrin, Pamela Bujnoch and husband Patrick, Donna Zabransky and special friend Preston Koncaba; son, David Zabransky and special friend B. J. Lewallen all of Sweet Home; grandchildren, Meagan Ward, Miranda Ward, Dillon Ward, Blake Bujnoch and Colby Bujnoch; brothers, Henry Zabransky, Jr., and wife Wanda of Yoakum, Harvey Zabransky of Shiner and sister, Dolores Siegel and husband Marvin of Gonzales.

Preceded in death by: parents and brothers Bernard Zabransky and Wilbert Zabransky.

Rosary was at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home with Deacon Dennis Kutac officiating.  Funeral mass was at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday at Queen of Peace Catholic Church with Rev Charles Sonnier officiating. Interment at Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery

Pallbearers: Patrick Zabransky, Kenny Zabransky, Scott Zabransky, Jason Zabransky, Jason Zabransky, Benji Siegal, Jeffery Siegel, Robert Hermes and Robert Wagner

Memorials may be given to the donor’s choice

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


The Victoria Advocate, October 13, 2012

YOAKUM - Henry Zabransky, age 69, passed away on Thursday, October 11, 2012. 

He was born on December 24, 1942, in Lavaca County to Henry and Annie Polasek Zabransky, Sr.  He was a 1961 graduate of St. Ludmilla's; shipping supervisor at Tandy Brands Accessories for 48 years; member of Knights of Columbus # 1582, KJT # 13 and St. Joseph Catholic Church. 

Survivors: wife, Wanda Zabransky of Yoakum; sons, Richard Henry Zabransky and Patrick Harvey Zabransky both of San Antonio; brother, Harvey Zabransky of Shiner and sister, Delores Siegel of Gonzales. 

Preceded in death by: parents; brothers, Bernard, Donald and Wilbert. 

Rosary at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, at St. Joseph Catholic Church.  Funeral mass at 2:30 p.m. on Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Rev. Matthew Huehlefeld officiating. Entombment at St. Joseph Catholic Mausoleum. 

Pallbearers: Kenneth Zabransky, Scott Zabransky, Jason Zabransky, David Zabransky, Benji Siegal, Darrin Ward and Fred Maldonado. 

Memorials may be given to St Joseph Church or School or the donor's Choice.  Online guest book may be signed at

Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper funeral Home in Yoakum, 361-293-5656.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, 31 Oct 1998, page 13A


SHINER - Harry Fritz Zacharias, 82, of Shiner, died Thursday, Oct. 29, 1998.

He was born May 11, 1916, in Gonzales County, to the late Paul and Minnie Holt Zacharias. He was a meat cutter for Welhausen Grocery for 20 years. He was a Lutheran.

Survivor: wife, Margaret Berkenhoff Zacharias of Shiner.

Preceded in death by: brothers, Rudy Zacharias and Elo Zacharias.

Services will be 2 p.m. Sunday at United Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church, the Rev. Charles Eckert officiating.

Burial will be at Shiner Cemetery. Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, 594-3352.

Memorials: United Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 4 Jun 2001


SHINER—Margaret H. Zacharias, 79, of Shiner, died Saturday, June 2, 2001.  She was born Oct. 15, 1921, in Moulton. She was a homemaker and a member of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner.  Survivors: sister, Elizabeth Kalisek of Needville.  Preceded in death by: husband, Harry Fritz Zacharias; parents; and brothers, John L. Berkenhoff and Raymond J. Berkenhoff.  A rosary will be recited 7:30 p.m. tonight at Buffington Funeral Home chapel in Shiner.  Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, the Rev. Gerry Cernoch officiating.  Burial will be at Shiner Cemetery. Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, 361-594-3352.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 29 Nov 1899, Local News column

Fritz Zacharias jr. lost his wife last Wednesday. He has the deepest sympathy of all his friends.

Marie Zacharias, 31 Jan 1878 – 20 Nov 1899, was buried in the Shiner Sons of Herman Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross

Helen Rose (Galetka) Zak

Kubena Funeral Home - Hallettsville

Helen Rose (Galetka) Zak, 68, of Hallettsville, died March 20, 2009.

She was born on January 17, 1941 to Charles & Antonia Trlica Galetka in Hallettsville. She attended Boethel School during her early years, and she graduated from Hallettsville High School in 1959. She married Johnnie A. Zak on October 29, 1960; they were blessed with 4 children, Arlene, Kathy, Jean, and John.

Helen decorated cakes for 30 years, and seamstress for several years. She enjoyed deer hunting and playing Tarock, tennis, cards, and dominoes with friends and family. In her younger days, Helen belonged to a local square dancing club at Applet’s Hill. She was a member of and Sunday School Teacher for Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church. She was also a member of SPJST Lodge #4, Christian Sisters, and secretary/treasurer for R.V.O.S. Lodge #34 of Vsetin.

Helen is survived by: her husband Johnnie; daughters, Kathleen Smolik & husband Melvin of Hallettsville, Jean Wick & husband Edward of Weimar; son John Zak & wife Anita of Hallettsville; grandchildren, Tucker, Trevor, and Tracie Smolik; Samantha, Molly, and Amy Jo Wick; Claire and Emma Zak; and sister Dorothy (Galetka) Henneke of Hallettsville.

Helen was preceded in death by; her parents Charles & Antonia Galetka, daughter Arlene (Zak) Koehn, brother Alex Galetka, and sister Margaret Haase.

Service: 10 am, Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church. Visitation: 2 pm, Tuesday at Kubena Funeral Home in Hallettsville. Prayer Service: 7 pm, Tuesday at Kubena Funeral Home. Officiate: Rev. Mark Labaj. Pallbearers: Trevor Smolik, Tucker Smolik, Gilbert Henneke, David Zak, Tynan Zak, and Cameron Zak. Burial: Vsetin Cemetery. Memorials: Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church or Hospice of South Texas.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, Tuesday, June 22, 1976

Advocate News Service

SHINER - Joe Zamazal, 76, of Shiner, died Monday in a Shiner hospital.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Shiner Catholic Church with the Rev. Patrick Fidgeon officiating and burial will be in Shiner Catholic Cemetery.

Rosary for the parish will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Buffington Funeral Home Chapel. A special rosary by KJT Society was held Monday evening.

 survivors include a brother. Frank Zamazal of Shiner; three sisters, Mrs. Cecilia Wagner of Sweet Home, Mrs. Bessie Albrecht of Houston and Mrs. Lillie Teasar of Gonzales; and nieces and nephews.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Kubena Funeral Home

Johnnie A. Zak, 78, of Hallettsville, passed away Dec. 6, 2012. He was born on Nov. 3, 1934 to John & Albina Woytek Zak in Lavaca County, Texas. He married Helen Galetka on Oct. 29, 1960 at Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church. He serviced active duty in the US Army in the late 50’s, member and Board of Elders at Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church, and member of SPJST #4.

Johnnie is survived by: 2 daughters, Kathleen Smolik & husband Melvin of Hallettsville, Jean Wick & husband Edward of Weimar; son John Zak & wife Anita of Hallettsville; 9 grandchildren, Tucker, Trevor, and Tracie Smolik; Samantha, Molly, and Amy Jo Wick; Claire, Emma, and Cal Zak; and sister Leona Miculka & husband Milton of Hallettsville.

Johnnie was preceded in death by; his wife Helen; daughter Arlene (Zak) Koehn; parents; brother Vernon Zak.

Funeral Service: 10 am, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church. Visitation: 4 pm, Tuesday at Kubena Funeral Home in Hallettsville. Prayer Service: 7 pm, Tuesday at Kubena Funeral Home. Officiate: Rev. Mark Labaj. Burial: Vsetin Cemetery. Memorials: Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren Church or Donor’s choice.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, Friday, February 6, 1976

SHINER – Miss Mary Zamazal, 74, of Abilene died there Thursday morning.  Church with burial in Shiner Catholic Cemetery.  A rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Friday at Buffington Chapel.

Surviving are two brothers, Frank and Joe, both of Shiner; three sisters, Mrs. Cecelia Waggoner of Sweet Home, Mrs. John Tesar of Gonzales, and Mrs. Bessie Albrecht of Houston.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, July 19, 1978

YOAKUM – Mrs. Christina Zamecnik, 75, of Yoakum, died Tuesday morning in a local hospital.

She was born June 20, 1903 in Lavaca County.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 9 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Yoakum.  The Rev. Al Padalecki will officiate.  Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.  A rosary will be recited Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Buffington Funeral Home Chapel.

Her husband Frank preceded her in death in 1956.  She is survived by six sisters, Mrs. Annie Hightower of Shiner, Mrs. Agnes Wacker and Mrs. Louise Smejkal, both of Corpus Christi, Mrs. Millie Turek of Victoria, Mrs. Mary Turner of Sweet Home and Mrs. Rosa Smejkal of Beeville, and three brothers, Louis Pargac of Moulton, Johnnie Pargac of Temple and Joe Pargac of Weimar.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Shiner Gazette, 21 Jul 1897


John Zander, father of Wm. Zander, departed this life Sunday night after a short illness. He was nearly seventy-four years old and had been a resident of Texas for thirty years. His wife survives him, being seventy-five years old in October. The old couple were living with their son, Wm. Zander. The funeral took place Monday evening at the Bunyes school house cemetery.

Johann Zander, 18 Sep 1823 – 19 Jul 1897, was buried in the Bunjes Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 27 Jul 1898

Mrs. Zander, the mother of our esteemed fellow citizen, Mr. Wm. Zander, died last Tuesday night at the advanced age of 77 years. Mrs. Zander came to Texas in 1867.

Maria Zander, 13 Oct 1822 – 20 Jul 1898, was buried in the Bunjes Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross


Colorado County Citizen, March 20, 1980, Page 2

Funeral services for Charlie J. Zapalac, Hallettsville area farmer, were held Monday at Sacred Heart Church in Hallettsville.

Interment was in Sacred Heart Parish Cemetery.  The Rev. Pat Marron officiated.

Mr. Zapalac was fatally injured March 21 in an automobile accident on U.S. 90-A about three miles west of Hallettsville.  He was reported to be on his way home to Worthing when his car collided with a semi-trailer truck.

Mr. Zapalac was born Nov. 27, 1920 near Hallettsville in Lavaca County. He married the former Vlasta Klimitschek on Nov 29, 1947.

Survivors include his wife, Vlasta of Worthing; two sons, George and Steve Zapalac both at home; five sisters, Mrs. Ollie Ross of Arcadia, Mrs. Mary Krauskopf of Dallas, Mrs. Caroline Faye of Luling and Mrs. Angeline Mach and Mrs. Lillie Orsak, both of Columbus, and a brother, Julius Zapalac of Hallettsville.

Transcribed by Laurie Albrecht


Kubena Funeral Home - Hallettsville

George Zapalac, 60, of Hallettsville, died June 22, 2008. He was born on May 7, 1948 to Charles J. & Vlasta Klimicek Zapalac in Hallettsville.
George was preceded in death by his parents, and brother Steve Charles Zapalac.

Graveside Service: 2 pm, Monday, June 23, 2008 at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Officiate: Rev. John Peters

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, Tuesday, February 17, 1976

Advocate News Service

HALLETTSVILLE - John P. Zapalac, 77, of Houston, a former resident of Hallettsville, died at 10:15 p.m. Sunday in a Houston hospital.

Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kubena Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. .Wednesday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church In Hallettsville. Burial will be In  in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

Mr. Zapalac was born Dec. 22, 1898 in Lavaca County.  He was a retired farmer.

His wife, Eloise, preceded him in death on July 31, 1947.

Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Elroy Pesch, Mrs. Roland Schaefer and Mrs. Lee Roy Kubecka, all of Houston; and 14 grandchildren.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, The (TX) - Tuesday, January 11, 2000

HALLETTSVILLE -- Marcella Zapalac, 87, of Hallettsville, died Monday, Jan. 10, 2000. 

She was born Nov. 16, 1912, in Lavaca County, to the late Frank and Veronica Otto Drozd. She was a homemaker and a member of Sacred Heart Church in Hallettsville. 

Survivors: sons, Edward Zapalac of Hallettsville and Melvin Zapalac of Cypress; three grandchildren and one great-grandchildren. 

Preceded in death by: parents; husband, Eddie Zapalac; brother, Paul Drozd; sister, Martha Cernik; grandson, Kenneth Zapalac. 

Visitation will begin 1:30 p.m. today until 9 a.m. Wednesday at Kubena Funeral Home.  Wake services will be 7 p.m. tonight at the funeral home.  A rosary will be recited 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Church.  Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church, the Rev. Charles Sonnier officiating.  Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Hallettsville.Kubena Funeral Home, Hallettsville, (361) 798-3271.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Kubena Funeral Home

Mrs. Vlasta Vera Zapalac, 86, of Hallettsville, died December 16, 2006. She was born on April 23, 1920 to John & Annie Dubcak Klimicek of Fayette County, Texas. She married Charles John Zapalac on November 29, 1947 in Hallettsville. She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hallettsville. 

Vlasta is survived by son George Zapalac of Hallettsville.

Vlasta was preceded in death by: husband Charles; son Steve Charles Zapalac; parents John & Annie Dubcak Klimicek; 2 brothers, Daniel Thomas Klimicek and Johnnie Klimicek; and 2 sisters, Edith Dlabay and Lydia Urban. 

Graveside Service: 3 pm, Sunday, December 17, 2006. Burial: Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Officiate: Rev. John Peters.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Weimar Mercury, 5 Nov 1898, page 6

Halletsville Herald: Zarsky, the man who was thrown under a cotton wagon while on his way to Hackberry a few days ago, died. He was a very large man and the heavy load passing over him crushed him frightfully. Several physicians were sumoned, but to no avail.


Weimar Mercury, Friday, April 12, 1940

Mrs. Joe Zaruba Claimed by Death
(Hallettsville Herald)

Monday, April 8, at 1:50 a.m., the angel of death knocked at the home of Joe Zaruba, taking from the family their mother.  She had been ill about a month but in spite of loving care and medical skill it was impossible to restore her to health and her spirit slipped into the Great Unknown to meet the God who gave it.

Mrs. Zaruba was born in Colorado County near Weimar, her maiden name being Cejka.  Twenty-two years ago she was wooed and won by Joe Zaruba of Sublime.  The marriage took place on July 24.  To this union were born five children, the oldest of whom is 15, and the youngest 7.  Their names are Annie Mae, Robert, Helen, Joe Jr., and Frank.

Other survivors are three brothers, Frank and Fred of Sublime and Adolph of Columbus.  Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cejka, three brothers, Joe, John and Robert, and one sister, Mrs. Leonard (Martha) Heinsohn, preceded her in death.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


January 30, 1968 Hallettsville newspaper clipping

Mrs. Vinc Melnar
Mrs. Joe Zaruba

Joint services for Mrs. Joe Zaruba, sr, 92 and Mrs. Vinc Melnar, 79, who were sisters, were held Monday January 29th at 1:30 pm at Kubena Funeral Home in Hallettsville, and at 2 pm at Czech Moravian Brethern Church at Vsetin, near Hallettsville.

Mrs. Zaruba died at 8 am Sunday in a Yoakum Hospital and her sister Mrs. Melnar passed away Saturday at 12:25 am in the Youens Hospital in Weimar.

The Rev. F J Kostohryz officiated and burial was in Vsetin Cemetery.

Mrs. Melnar was born October 9, 1888 in Colorado County. She was a member of the SPJST Lodge No 16 and the CMB Church at Vsetin. Her husband died in 1958.

Surviving are two daughters: Mrs. Julius (Augusta Melnar) Pustejovsky of Port Lavaca and Mrs. Victor (Christina Melnar) Dusek of Hallettsville: two sons, Victor Melnar of Hallettsville and Clifton Melnar of Weimar; one sister, Mrs. Ed (Tracy Janus) Melnar of Hallettsville; a brother Frank Janus of Hallettsville, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Mrs. Zaruba, who was born January 19, 1876, in Colorado County, is survived by a daughter, Mrs. R J Walters of Yoakum: a step-son Anton Zaruba of Hallettsville; step-daughter Miss Bessie Zaruba; a sister Mrs. Edward Melnar; a brother, Frank Janus of Hallettsville; several grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

Pallbearers for the Funeral of Mrs Vinc Melnar were her grandsons, Larry Melnar, Victor Dusek JR, Marvin and Royce Dusek, and Leroy and Jimmy Pustejovsky.

Pallbearers for the funeral of Mrs. Annie Zaruba were August, Charlie and Henry Melnar, and Robert, Joe and Frank Zaruba.

Contributed by Darlene Baker


Victoria Advocate, The (TX) - Monday, September 29, 2008

YOAKUM - Flora D. Zaruba, age 60, died on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. She was born on June 29, 1948, in Gonzales to Clyde and Virgie Lee Ferrell Rutledge.

She was a retired English teacher for Yoakum I.S.D. She was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church and the Yoakum Retired Teachers Association.

Survivors: husband, Robert W. Zaruba; sons, Robert Scott Zaruba and wife Kristi of Yoakum, and Randall Drew Zaruba and wife Kim of Victoria; grandchildren, Robert Mason Zaruba, Connor Zaruba, Alexis Zaruba and Kyle Zaruba; brother, Larry Rutledge and wife Sandra of Rockport; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by: her parents.

Family visitation is on Monday from 6 till 8 p.m. at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home. Funeral service is at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church with the Rev. Gary Goodson officiating. Burial is at Yoakum Restland Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be given to: American Diabetes Association, Holy Cross Lutheran Church or American Heart Association.

Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home, 361-293-5656.


Hallettsville Herald, Friday, January 31, 1941

Bill Hora Farmer Shoots Wife Three Hours Later Commits Suicide

Jaro (Bob) Zaruba, 46-year-old Bila Hora farmer and garage owner, Tuesday shot and killed his thirty-five year old wife in a scuffle over possession of a shotgun. Three hrs. later when Sheriff A. P. McElroy and Dep. Theo. Long made their appearance on the farm, Zaruba went into the garage and shot himself with a 32 caliber automatic.

Zaruba and his wife have been having family trouble for some time.

Neighbors heard loud quarreling since early in the morning, but didn’t investigate until they saw Zaruba running bareheaded down the road away from the house. Arriving on the scene and finding Mrs. Zaruba mortally wounded, they phoned the Bucek & Son store, to send out a doctor. Dr. Harvey Renger was immediately notified. Cancelling all previous engagements Dr. Renger raced to the scene, but Mrs. Zaruba was beyond all medical aid.

The Fierce Struggle

The interior of the home gave mute evidence of the fierce struggle carried on there. A big console model radio which usually stood in the living room was out on the back porch, wrecked beyond repair.

“What did you shoot her with?” Zaruba was asked.

“With a shot gun,” he said. “We were fighting for possession of the gun, after she grabbed it and threatened me, when the gun went off.”

When told that he should come to town and surrender himself, Zaruba seemed willing to do so.

A Shot Was Heard.

Immediately after the doctor was notified, Sheriff McElroy and Deputy Long left the scene of the tragedy. Zaruba was standing near the house with a neighbor, Fr. Cejka, who is also the Justice of Peace, Precinct 8. When the Sheriff and the Deputy drove up. Bob Zaruba is said to have walked towards the garage, telling Cejka he wanted to close the door. Both officers seeing him walk towards the garage followed him. As Zaruba stepped into the garage and closed the door, a shot was heard. The officers as well as Doctor Renger rushed there and found him dying with a bullet hole in his forehead.

Both bodies were brought here, Mrs. Zaruba to the Kubena Funeral Home and her husband to the Gieger-Beck Mortuary, where the inquest was held by the local Justice of Peace, Oscar Shoemake.

Bob Zaruba was a veteran of the first World’s War, being a member of the local American Legion Post.

The time fixed for Mrs. Zaruba’s death was 9 o’clock and that of her husband at 12:15 Tuesday morning.

At Close Range.

Zaruba’s version of the killing seemed plausible, the wound indicating that it was made at very close range, as the left side of her face was badly powder burned and the course of the shot was upward. The dead man and his wife were making their home on the farm of her mother, known as the Schumacher farm.


Funeral services for Bob Zaruba were held under the auspices of the American Legion. The cortege left the Gieger-Beck Funeral Parlor at 10:00 a.m. Thursday. The body was laid to rest in the City Cemetery, with Rev. L. A. McDaniel performing the last rites.

Born in Czechoslovakia March 24, 1895, Bob came to this country with his parents who settled near Sublime, making this his home except for the time when he served in the army of his new adopted country. He leaves to mourn his passing two brothers, Joe of Sublime and Anton of here, who is associated in the automobile business; two sisters Miss Bessie of Sublime and Miss Vlasta of Houston; and his step-mother Mrs. Annie Zaruba. R.I.P.

Pallbearers for Bob Zaruba’s funeral were Charles Holly, Adolf Melner, Fred Cejka, Charlie Galetka, O. J. Woytek and A. H. Kersch.


The cortege of Mrs. Robert Zaruba (nee Emma Schumacher) left the Kubena Funeral Home at 1:00 p.m. in interment in the Geiger Cemetery with Rev. Zimmerman of the Lutheran church officiating.

Mrs. Zaruba was born at Sublime in 1906. January 24, 1929 she was married to Robert Zaruba, living in the Sublime community all her life. She is survived by her mother, Mrs. Annie Schumacher, one brother Eddie Schumacher, and two sisters Mrs. Ernest Tesch and Mrs. Willie Tesch. R.I.P.

Transcribed by Sandra Long Anders


Weimar Mercury, Friday, February 7, 1941

Murder and Suicide Verdict Returned In Bila Hora Tragedy

Hallettsville, Texas, Jan. 31.—Justice Frank Cejka of Sublime returned a verdict of murder and suicide in the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Zaruba of the Bila Hora community. Funeral services for both were held here Thursday. The double slaying followed a domestic argument in which Mrs. Zaruba was killed with a charge from a shotgun and Mr. Zaruba shot and killed himself some time later in the workshop at the rear of their home, the justice ruled.

Joe Zaruba, brother of Bob, had notified the sheriff and deputy that Mrs. Zaruba had been shot and Sheriff A. P. McElroy and Deputy Theo. Long had driven out to the home of theZarubas and were only about 20 feet from Mr. Zaruba when he grabbed a .32 automatic pistol and shot himself between the eyes, dying instantly, officers reported.

 Contributed by Matt Cross



Victoria Advocate, 10 Jun 2001


SHINER—Mildred Novak Zaruba, 75, of Shiner, died Friday, June 8, 2001.  She was born Feb. 8, 1926, in Shiner, to the late Frank J. and Annie Hajek Novak. She was a member of KJZT, Altar Society and Catholic Daughters. She was a homemaker.  Survivors: son, Paul Novak of Nashville, Tenn.; sisters, Adel Henkhaus and Emma Westphal, both of Shiner, and Edity Studeny of Humble; and brother, George A. Novak of Houston.  A rosary will be recited 7:30 p.m. tonight at Buffington Funeral Home chapel in Shiner. A KJZT, Catholic Daughters and Altar Society rosary will be recited 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church.  Services will be 11 a.m. Monday at the church, the Rev. Gerry Cernoch officiating.  Burial will be at Shiner Catholic Cemetery. Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, 361-594-3352.

Contributed by Matt Cross


San Antonio Express, Saturday, June 17, 1950

HALLETTSVILLE – Funeral services with military honors were held here Wednesday for Joe Zatopek, 37, World War II veteran who died Tuesday at the home of his brother, EmilZatopek, at Koerth.

The Rev. John Hart officiated at rites held from Kubena Funeral Home and the Hallettsville City Cemetery, where the services included rituals read by American Legion Chaplain E. J. Schindler and sounding of taps by bugler Herbert Rother.

Other survivors, include his mother, Mrs. Frances Zatopek of Koerth; his brother, Emil Zatopek, of Koerth; four sisters, Mrs. Ben Waclawzyk and Mrs. Lucy Zarsky, both of San Antonio, Miss Stazie Zatopek and Mrs. Jack Hairell, of Koerth.

Pallbearers were American Legion members Julius Mikulenka, Emil Polasek, S. S. Chetta, Eddie Wall, Theo Long and Charles Strauss.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, February 6, 1980

HALLETTSVILLE – Joe Zatopek, 62, of Houston, died at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday in a Weimar hospital.

He was born April 16, 1917, in Fayette County and married Mildred Trlica in Moravia on Sept. 5, 1939.  Mr. Zatopek was preceded in death by his parents and a son.  He was a member of Moravia Catholic Church.

Rosary will be recited Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Kubena Funeral Home in Hallettsville.

The body will be taken to Moravia Catholic Church at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Benton Thrumond officiating.

Burial will be in Moravia Catholic Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Mildred Zatopek; two sons, Everett and Alan Zatopek, all of Houston; three brothers, August Zatopek of Witting and Eddie and Charlie Zatopek of Moulton, and two grandchildren.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


 The Victoria Advocate, September 25, 2012

HALLETTSVILLE - Lillie Trojcak Zatopek, 98, of Hallettsville, passed away Sept. 22, 2012.

She was born on Sept. 5, 1914 to Joe F. & Agnes Drozd Trojcak in the Moravia Community in Lavaca County. She married August Zatopek on Oct. 30, 1934 in Hallettsville. She loved to quilt, cook, make kolaches, can vegetables, play dominoes, and listen to polka music. She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church of Moulton.

Lillie is survived by: daughter Delores Shely & husband Warren; son Marvin Zatopek & wife Nancy; sister Helen Noack; 6 grandchildren; 5 step grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; 11 step great grandchildren; 10 great great grandchildren; and 17 step great great grandchildren.

Lillie was preceded in death by: husband August; parents; 2 sisters Carrie Padilla and Viola Heiman; 2 brothers, Willie at infancy and Charles Trojcak; and 1 step great greatgrandson Cameron.

Funeral Service: 11 am, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at Zion Lutheran Church of Moulton.

Visitation: 4 pm, Tuesday at Kubena Funeral Home.

Prayer Service: 7 pm, Tuesday at Kubena Funeral Home.

Officiate: Rev. Herb Beyer.

Burial: Moulton City Cemetery.

Memorials (in lieu of flowers): Zion Lutheran Church of Moulton (P.O. Box 176, Moulton, TX 77975), American Heart Association, or American Cancer Society.

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at

 Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Colorado County Citizen, December 16, 1976

Charley Zavesky Sr., 76, father of Mrs. Marshall (Mary) Windham of Columbus, died Dec. 7 in Renger Memorial Hospital in Hallettsville.  He had been ill for some time. 

Services were held at Sacred Heart Church Dec. 8 with The Rev. Stanley Petru officiating.  Interment was in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.  Kubena Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. 

Rosary was recited at the Kubena Funeral Home Dec. 7, by the parish and in the Sacred Heart Church Wednesday, Dec. 8 by the societies. 

Mr. Zavesky, who had retired some time ago, had been a barber for almost half century.  He owned Charlie’s Barber Shop.  He was a member of the Hallettsville Knights of Columbus and the SPJST Lodge. 

He was born Oct. 28, 1900 in Moulton and married Miss Pauline Maresh June 12, 1922.  He also was a sign painter and loved baseball. 

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife; a son, Charles J. Zavesky of Hallettsville; his mother,f Mrs. Rose Zavesky of Hallettsville; 3 brothers, Joe and Johnnie Zaveskyof Runge and Victor Zavesky of Bishop; 3 sisters, Mrs. Mary Videk of Floresville, Mrs. Beth Posse of San Marcos and Mrs. Stella Migl of San Antonio; 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. 

Pallbearers were Danny Zavesky, Randy Zavesky, Ricky Zavesky, Terrel Windham, Henry Schneider and Larry Solansky.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Eagle Lake Headlight, Thurs., June 26, 1975

Father of Byron Zavesky Passes Away

Frank Zavesky, well known Hallettsville barber, died unexpectedly Tuesday, June 17 at 11:55 a.m. in Renger Memorial Hospital.  Minutes before he had suffered a heart attack at his barber shop on the north side of the square.  He was 60 years of age.

Funeral services were held Thursday, June 19th at 2 p.m. at the Kubena Funeral Home with the Rev. A. D. Klages of Victoria officiating.  Interment was in the Hallettsville City Cemetery.

Survivors include his wife, Elberta; his mother, Mrs. Rosie Zavesky, both of Hallettsville; two sons, Frank Jr. of Houston and Byron of Eagle Lake; five brothers and three sisters.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, Thursday, June 19, 1975

HALLETTSVILLE – Funeral services will be Thursday at 2 p.m. from Kubena Funeral Home for Frank Zavesky Sr., 66, of Hallettsville, with the Rev. A. E. Klages officiating.

Burial will be in City Cemetery. 

Mr. Zavesky died Tuesday morning after a brief illness. 

He was born in Moulton Dec. 6, 1908, and married the former Berd Randow May 11, 1936 in Hallettsville.  He was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and the American Lutheran Church and the American Legion, and was a veteran of World War II.  He owned a barber shop for many years. 

Survivors include the wife; his mother, Mrs. Rose Zavesky, both of Hallettsville; two sons, Frank Jr. of Houston and Byron of Eagle Lake; five brothers, Charlie of Hallettsville, Joe and Johnny of Runge, Victor of Bishop, and Adolph of Goliad; three sisters, Mrs. Mary Zidek of Floresville, Mrs. Bessie Posey of San Marcos, and Mrs. Stella Migl of San Antonio. 

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, The (TX) - Wednesday, May 12, 1999

HALLETTSVILLE -- Pauline ''Tootsie'' Zavesky, 72, of Hallettsville, died Monday, May 10, 1999.

She was born April 3, 1927, in Hallettsville, to the late Peter Louis and Julia Uherek Netardus. She was a member of Sacred Heart Church and the church choir, KJZT and Ladies Golf Association.

Survivors: husband, Charles J. Zavesky; sons, Daniel Paul Zavesky and Eric ''Ricky'' Zavesky, both of Hallettsville and Randy James Zavesky of Manville; sister, Mary Tinari of Florida; and four grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: brother, Paul Henry Netardus; half sister, Helen Riley; and half brothers, Charles Mrazek and Leon Pete Mrazek.

Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. today until 1 p.m. Thursday at Kubena Funeral Home chapel.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. today at the funeral home and at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Church.

Services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, at the church, the Rev. John Peters officiating.

Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery. Kubena Funeral Home, Hallettsville, 798-3271.

Contributed by Matt Cross 


Kubena Funeral Home - Hallettsville

Randall “Randy” Zavesky, 58, of Manvel, Texas, died Oct. 3, 2008. 
He was born on Dec. 3, 1949 to Charles & Pauline “Tootsie” Netardus Zavesky in Hallettsville. He married Rita Henneke Zavesky on May 26, 1990 at Appelt’s Hill Hall near Hallettsville. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alvin. 
Randy and his wife have resided in Manvel, Texas for the last 15 years and have their country home east of Hallettsville. Randy’s hobbies were always hunting, fishing, and golf since he was a young boy. 

Randy is survived by: his wife Rita of Manvel; daughter Carrie McDonald of Austin; 2 brothers, Daniel Paul Zavesky & wife Billye of Hallettsville, and Ricky Zavesky & wife Karen; nieces & nephews, Wendy Vacek, Clay Zavesky, Kim Rose, and Russell Zavesky. 

Randy was preceded in death by his parents. 

Service: 11 am, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hallettsville. Visitation: 2 pm, Sunday at Kubena Funeral Home. Rosaries: 6 pm, Sunday at Kubena Funeral Home; and 10:30 am, Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Pallbearers: Dennis “Shorty” Repka, Glenn Drozd, Ed “Spyder” Kucera, Jaime Johnson, Bobby Brown, and Clarenc “Boy” Myers. Officiate: Rev. John Peters. Burial: Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Memorials: American Cancer Society or M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Buffington Funeral Home

Mr. Albert Jerry Zbranek age 97 passed away Friday, April 19, 2013 at his residence in Lolita, Texas.  Funeral Services are under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home in Shiner, Texas and will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at the Buffington Funeral Home Chapel in Shiner, Texas with Brother Lyman Merenes officiating. 

Albert was born on January 6, 1916 in Sweet Home, Texas. He was the son of John and Mary (Kuehanek) Zbranek. Albert enlisted in the Civilian Corps before joining the Army in 1941 to 1945, and during that time he spent 2 years as a P.O.W. in Germany, Italy in the Northern Area. He was one of the last survivors of the Death March and spent time in prison and the stockade. He was a prisoner of the Germans and the Russians and he escaped and was on the run when Armistice was declared. Albert was a Disabled Veteran due to the treatment he was subjected to as a P.O.W. 

He is preceded in death by parents and one brother-Bohumil "Tom" Zbranek. 

Albert is survived by his family Lillie Mae and R.L. Shafer, Linda and Fred Valenta, Tyann and Danny Fowles, Timothy and Karen Shafer, Lamar and Susan Shafer, Cousins and friends. Albert also loves the outdoor and his cherished hobby was taking pictures of flowers and nature. Albert loved to be with his family. 

Pallbearers will be; Timothy Shafer, Lamar Shafer, Dalton Shafer, Danny Fowler, Frank Gaydos, and Robert Fuselier. 

In lieu of flower, donation may be made the Crown Hospice and the Lolita Volunteer Fire Department. 

To join the family in celebrating Albert's life, please go to:

 Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, Friday, March 3, 1972

SHINER – Mrs. Janie Zbranek, 93, of Shiner, died at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday in a Hallettsville Hospital.

Her husband, Peter F. Zbranek, died Dec. 5, 1953.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Shiner Catholic Church with burial in Shiner Catholic Cemetery.

The body will lie in state at Huffington Funeral Home until 9 a.m. Friday.

A Rosary was recited Thursday night.

Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Chumchal of Yoakum and Mrs. Louise Pechacek of Longview; three sons, Laddie Zbranek of Shiner, Ed Zbranek of Hallettsville and George Zbranek of Ganado; a sister, Mrs. Tracy Peterek of Gonzales and two half-sisters, Mrs. Clement Kurtz and Mrs. Joe Vanek of Shiner.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


The Victoria Advocate, June 5, 2012

SHINER - Laddie L. Zbranek, Jr., age 63 passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2012. 

He was born on June 11, 1948 in Shiner to Laddie Zbranek, Sr. and Henrietta Valenta Zbranek.  He was a carpenter and a Catholic.

Survivors: father, Laddie Zbranek, Sr. of Shiner; daughters, Stephanie Ramirez of Yoakum, Desiree Pekar of Houston and Candice Loos of Yoakum; sons, Jody Zbranek of Yoakum and Jan Michael Zbranek of Beeville; sisters, Linda Rothbauer of Yoakum and Connie Zbranek of Shiner; brother, Freddy Zbranek of Shiner and two grandchildren.

Preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Zbranek.

Rosary on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home.  Graveside service on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at Shiner Catholic Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be given to the donor's choice.

On-line guest book may be signed at  Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum 361-293-5656.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Buffington Funeral Home

Mr. Laddie Louis Zbranek age 97 of Shiner passed away May 10, 2014.

Laddie was born December 7, 1916 in Sweet Home to Pete and Johanna (Gillia Zbranek). He was a farmer and member of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church. Laddie is preceded in death by his wife Henrietta Valenta Zbranek in 1994, one daughter; Sidonia Zbranek, one son;Laddie Zbranek Jr., 3 brothers; Pete, George and Ed Zbranek and two sisters; Louise P. and Margaret Chumchal.

Survivors: two daughters; Linda Rothbauer and Connie Zbranek both of Yoakum, one son; Freddie Zbranek of Shiner, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be: Jim Loos, Nicholas Pardo, Jody Zbranek, Michael Valenta, Charles Tousek Jr. and Sheldon Carroll.

Visitation will began at 10:00 am Tuesday May 13, 2014 and a rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm at the Buffington Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 10:00 am at the St. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church with Father Kirby Hlavaty officiating. Burial will follow at the Shiner Catholic Cemetery.

Words of comfort to the family can be expressed at

 Contributed by Matt Cross


Weimar Mercury
September 16, 1893, page 2.

San Antonio Express Specials: Yoakum, Tex., Sept. 10—Mrs. Zedler, an aged lady, died here at an early hour this morning.  She leaves a great many children and grandchildren here. She will be buried in the West Hillside cemetery this evening.

Transcribed by Sharon Sutton


March 21, 2005 newspaper clipping

PORT LAVACA - Earl Joseph Zeller, 96, of Port Lavaca died Saturday, March 19, 2005. He was born in New Orleans on August 10, 1908, to Joseph A. Zeller and Isabelle Barbara Whitmer Zeller. Visitation: 6 to 8pm Monday at Richardson-Colonial Funeral Home, Port Lavaca, with funeral services at 10:00am Tuesday at Christ Community Church, 1101 Calhoun Street, Port Lavaca with Rev. Dean Holford officiating, and burial at 3pm in City Cemetery, Hallettsville. Pallbearers will be all of Earl's grandsons and Butch Marshall. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Sybil Roden Zeller and brothers, Joseph R. Zeller and George Zeller and sister, Pearl Wilson. Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Myrtle Zeller of Port Lavaca, sons, Earl Roden Zeller and wife Karen of Cut-N-Shoot, Ty Zeller and wife Lynette of Port Lavaca, nine grandchildren: Castle Towery and husband Shane, Earl Ryan Zeller, Summer Edwards, Stormy Mitchell and husband Todd, Kelsey Zeller, Joshua Zeller and fiancée Sarah Hester, Benjamin Zeller, Lacie Zeller, Aaron Zeller.

He is also survived by three great-grand children, Peyton and Cayden Towery, and Sky Edwards.

Earl played baseball in Louisiana for a minor league team, the New Orleans Pelicans, and was an avid baseball fan all his life. He was a police officer in New Orleans before joining the US Marine Corps for four years, whereupon he transferred to the US Navy where he was a special investigator for twelve years for the Central Intelligence Division under Admiral "Bull" Halsey during World War II. After moving to Houston he was a private investigator, owning his own private investigation business. He then went to work for Sears and Roebuck Co. as head of Security for 20 years until retirement. After retirement Earl moved to the Victoria/Port Lavaca area were he worked at the Port Lavaca Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce for several years. He was a member of Christ Community Church. Grandad was known for his wit and sense of humor, always making others laugh, but mostly he was know as a man of faith who loved his family and his Lord, Jesus Christ above all else. He will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Calhoun County Senior Citizens Association, 234 E. Main, Port Lavaca, Texas 77979

Contributed by Nena Smothers


Victoria Advocate, Sunday, August 29, 1976

Mrs. Zeman

Advocate News Service

HALLETTSVILLE - Mrs. Frances L. Zeman, 83, of Houston died Friday afternoon in a Houston nursing home.

Mrs. Zeman, born in Lavaca County April 1, 1893, was a member of St. Andrews Catholic Church in Houston.

She married Charles Zeman in 1912 at St. Johns. He preceded her in death in 1938.

Rosary will be said at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Kubena Funeral Home here.

The body will lie in state at the funeral home until 8:30 a.m. Monday, when it will be taken to Moravia Catholic Church for services at 10 a.m. The Rev. Roger Robbins will officiate, with burial in SPJST Cemetery at Moravia.

Pallbearers are George Konarik, Victor Harvey, Earl  Cobden, Gary Cobden and Leo Hromadka.

Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Mary Konarik of Houston; a sister, Mrs. Carrie Halata of Schulenburg; eight grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by three brothers and four sisters.

Contributed by Matt Cross 



Victoria Advocate, Tuesday, April 30, 1974

Mrs. Robert Ziegler

Advocate News Service

HALLETTSVILLE – Mrs. Robert Ziegler, 78, of Hallettsville, died at 7:15 a.m. Monday in a local hospital.

She was born March 27, 1896 in Lavaca County, and was married to Robert H. Ziegler Dec. 29, 19133. She was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW.

The body will lie in state at Kubena Funeral Home until 1 p.m. Wednesday when it will be taken to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church for funeral services at 2 p.m.

The Rev. Raymond Wolf will officiate, with burial in City Cemetery.

Survivors include her husband; a son, Lester; a brother, Alexander Berkovsky, all of Hallettsville; three sisters, Mrs. Viola Kassler of LaSalle, Mrs. Annie Sevcik and Miss Tracy Berkovsky, both of Hallettsville.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


The Victoria Advocate, 7 Dec 2006 - Victoria, TX

Shirley I. Zila, 82, of Yoakum, passed away Tuesday, December 5, 2006. 

She was born January 27, 1924, in Americus, Kansas to William Houk and Ruth Grey Houk; a member of the First United Methodist Church and former owner of Handy Stop and Nursery; a member of Sweet Home American Legion Auxiliary, Eastern Star, Yoakum Literary Club, Yoakum Garden Club and Victoria Gem and Mineral Society. 

She is survived by daughters Betty Verunac and husband Jimmy; Shirley Sommer and husband Alan of Yoakum; son Gary Zilaand friend Paula Hollas of Schuleburg; one brother, Don Houk and wife Ruth of Sugarland; six grand children; Jessica Harris and husband Clayvon, Robyn Carroll and husband Jeff, Katie Verunac, Landon Sommer, Cody Sommer and Brandon Sommer; one great-grandchild, Caden Harris. 

Preceded in death by parents and husband Leonard Zila; sister Agnes Phillips and three brothers, William, Kenneth and Laverne Houk. 

Visitation: Friday, December 8, from 6-8 P.M. at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home. Services will be Saturday, December 9, at First United Methodist Church with Dr. Thomas Loftin officiating. Pallbearers: E. J. Bloschke, Craig Carter, Dale Farnsworth, RonnieLeck, Ronald Ressler and Jim Witte. Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery. Memorials may be given to Sweet Home American Legion Auxiliary, First United Methodist Church or donor's choice

Contributed by Matt Cross



The Lavaca County Tribune-Herald, December 8, 1992, Page 2

Emil Zimmermann

Emil Eddie Zimmermann, 87, of Moulton died Friday, Dec. 4, 1992.

He was born Feb. 24, 1905, in Moulton, son of Ernest and Minnie Kuehn Zimmermann and was a self-employed farmer and a road construction worker employed by Lavaca County. He married Erna Pilsner Zimmermann in 1922 and was a member of Zion Lutheran Church of Moulton.

Survivors include a daughter, Gladys Meyer of Cuero; a son, Harry Zimmermann of Yoakum; brother, Bill Zimmermann of Moulton; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, on Feb. 10, 1987; his parents, Ernest and Minnie Zimmermann; four sisters, Minnie Lockstedt, Tillie Lockstedt, Lillian Moeller and Annie Stock; five brothers, Henry Zimmermann, Charlie Zimmermann, Ernest Zimmermann, August Zimmermann and Otto Zimmermann; and a granddaughter, Shirley Alex.

Services were conducted at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 7 at Smith Funeral Home, Moulton. The Rev. Clarence Hagens officiated.

Burial followed in the Moulton City Cemetery, under the direction of Smith Funeral Home, Moulton.

Pallbearers were: Harry Zimmermann Jr., Robert Zimmermann, Donald Zimmermann, Richard Zimmermann, Mark Zimmermann and Kim Kelley.

Transcribed by Sandra Long Anders


The Lavaca County Tribune, Friday, June 10, 1960

Death Claims Shiner Man

A native of Shiner and a farmer all his life, E. Zimmermann, 71, passed away at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Winkenwerder, Shiner, Rt. 2, Tuesday, May 31. His funeral was held Thursday June 2, the Rev. Edwin J. Oehlke officiating.

Besides his daughter and son-in-law and their family, surviving are also two brothers, Willie of Shiner, Henry of San Antonio; three sisters, Mrs. Christian (Alma) Tuch of New Braunfels, Mrs. Fritz (Annie) Tieken of Floresville, Mrs. Ernest (Lena) Thiede of Cost.

Submitted by Sandra Long Anders


The Lavaca County Tribune, Friday, August 21, 1959

Mrs. Zimmermann Passes Away

Sunday, Mrs. Emil (Frieda) Zimmermann, 65, of Shiner passed away in the Wagner Hospital. Her funeral followed Tuesday the Rev. Edwin J. Oehlke officiating. She has been in ill health for years.

The deceased was a native of Weimar, nee Frieda Brunkenhoefer. In 1905 the family moved to Wied in Lavaca Co. Six years later they settled in the Menger School community. There she was married to Emil Zimmermann.

Surviving besides her husband, is only her one daughter, Mrs. Dietrich Brunkenhoefer of Moulton, 3 brothers – Herman Brunkenhoefer of Yoakum, Adolph of Shiner and Walter, Moulton; 2 sisters – Mrs. Fritz (Erna) Meinke, Yoakum and Mrs. Otto (Ella) Gerloff, Moulton.

Submitted by Sandra Long Anders. Submitter’s Note: Mrs. Dietrich Brunkenhoefer was Frieda’s mother, not her daughter. Her daughter was Mrs. Edna Winkenwerder.


Schulenburg Sticker, 9 Nov 1899

Mrs. Andreas Zinke, who lived on Mixon creek, about eight miles from town, died about 10 o’clock Tuesday night in childbirth. The deceased was a most estimable lady, had only been married about two years, and enjoyed the respect and esteem of the entire community in which she lived. She was the daughter of Mr. Wm. Heinson [sic.], an old and highly respected citizen of Lavaca county. – Halletsville Herald

Contributed by Matt Cross


The Victoria Advocate, 12 February 2008


SHINER - Irene Minnie (Addicks) Zissa, 81, of Shiner, passed away on Feb. 11, 2008 in Shiner. She was born on Feb. 13, 1923, in Weimar, to the late Louis and Minnie (Konarek) Addicks. She was married to the late John A. Zissa.

She leaves behind her son, Jeffrey Zissa of Plano; daughters, Shirley Meyers of Spring Branch, and Evelyn Granahan of Clear Lake; sister, Verna Addicks; as well as her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, with a rosary at 7 p.m., at Buffington Funeral Home in Shiner.

Funeral Mass will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at SS. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner.

Burial will follow at Shiner Catholic Cemetery.

Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner.

Contributed by Jeanne Walshak Boothe


The Victoria Advocate, Tuesday, 4 August 2009


YOAKUM - Joe Albin Zissa, age 88, died on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009. He was born in DeWitt County on Feb. 5, 1921, to John and Frances Caka Zissa.

He was a retired lumber yard clerk and a Catholic. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp during WWII. He was a member of the V.F.W. and the American Legion.

Survivors: daughter, Jolene Graem and husband Fred of Garland; son, Robert Zissa and companion Gail Allen of Yoakum; sisters, Amalia Kneifel and husband Edwin of Pipe Creek and Helen Plasczyk and husband Raymond of Terrytown, La.; brothers, Alfonse Zissa and wife Angelina of Houston and Lambert Zissa of Oklahoma; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; six step-grandchildren; and 13 step-great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: wife, Lucile Zissa, and brother, John Zissa.

A rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. today at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home.

Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Rev. Matthew Huehlefeld officiating. Entombment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Mausoleum.

Pallbearers: Robbie Zissa, Jason Zissa, Josh Zissa, Zachary Mott, Levi Mott, and Joey Kurtz.

Honorary pallbearers: grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be given to St. Joseph School Endowment Fund.

Funeral arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home.

Contributed by Jeanne Walshak Boothe




The Moulton Eagle, Thursday, April 8, 1999


Julius William Zissa, 93, of Shiner, died Monday, March 29, 1999.

He was born Nov. 1, 1905 in Dreyer to Hynek and Frances Holub Zissa.

He was a farmer, member of Sts. Cyril and Medhodius Church in Shiner, and the KJT and Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include two daughters, Betty Kotzebue of Gonzales and Benita Roller of Shiner; a son, Daniel Zissa of Houston; a sister, Agnes Roberts of Fresno, California; 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary Zissa on March 18, 1999; a daughter, Agnes Zissa; four sisters, Emma Horak, Annie Jiral, Albina Janecek and Julie Krajca; five brothers, August Zissa, Jim Zissa, John Zissa, Louis Zissa and Emil Zissa, and one grandson.

Rosary/wake service were conducted at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 at Buffington Funeral Home Chapel, Shiner.

Rosary by the KJT and Knights of Columbus was recited at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 31 at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic church, Shiner.

Services were conducted at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church. The Rev. Gerry Cernoch officiated.

Burial followed in the Shiner Catholic Cemetery, under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner.

Pallbearers were Greg Zissa, Richard Zissa, Douglas Kotzebue, David Kotzebue, Pat Roller and Kenneth Roller.

Contributed by Jeanne Walshak Boothe


The Victoria Advocate, 1 February 2008


YOAKUM - Lucile L. Zissa, age 85, died on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008. She was born on Jan. 20, 1923, in Dreyer Community, DeWitt County, to Rudolph and Louise Kuchar Hybner.

She was a homemaker and a Catholic.

Survivors: husband, Joe A. Zissa of Yoakum; daughter, Jolene Graem and husband Fred of Garland; son, Robert Zissa and wife Gail Allen of Yoakum; seven grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren; sister, Martha Kahanek of Yoakum; and brother, Jerry Hybner of Kentucky.

Visitation will be at 7 p.m. today at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at St Joseph Catholic Church with the Rev. Matthew Huehlefeld officiating. Entombment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Mausoleum.

Memorials may be given to Accolade Hospice or American Cancer Society.

Arrangements with Thiele-Cooper funeral Home, Yoakum.

Contributed by Jeanne Walshak Boothe


Shiner Gazette, March 1999


Mary Zissa of Shiner passed away Thursday, March 18, 1999 at the age of 94 years, 9 months and 14 days.

A rosary/wake was held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20 at the Buffington Funeral Home Chapel in Shiner.

Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21 at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church with the Rev. Gerry Cernoch officiating.

Burial was at the Catholic Cemetery in Shiner, under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner.

The pallbearers were Greg Zissa, Richard Zissa, Douglas Kotzebue, David Kotzebue, Pat Roller and Kenneth Roller.

She was born June 4, 1904, in Flatonia, to the late Albert and Mary Hundl Caka. She was a homemaker and was a Catholic. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Altar Society and KJZT.

Mrs. Zissa is survived by her husband, Julius W. Zissa; two daughters, Benita Roller of Shiner and Betty Kotzebue of Gonzales; one son, Daniel Zissa of Houston; 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Agnes Zissa; her father, July 9, 1935; her mother, April 30, 1954; one sister, Christina Matula, Feb. 11, 1984; five half sisters, Theresa Matula, Anna Berckenhoff, Oct. 8, 1947, Frances Zissa, July 5, 1964 and two infants; four brothers, Frank Caka, at the age of nine, Joseph B. "Joe" Caka, June 10, 1979, Albert George "Pete" Caka, Jr., Nov. 2, 1984 and Ludwig F. Caka, Dec 9, 1991 and five half brothers, John A. Caka, Dec. 5, 1966, Jim Caka, Oct. 30, 1971, Herman Caka, March 31, 1991 and two infants.

Contributed by Jeanne Walshak Boothe


The Victoria Advocate, 7 Nov 2009


YOAKUM - Mary Rosie Sandelovic Zissa, age 87, passed away on Friday, Nov. 6, 2009. She was born in Pilot Grove, on Oct. 13, 1922, to John and Albina Rohan Sandelovic. She was a homemaker and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Survivors: husband, Julius P. Zissa; daughters, Janie Fitzgerald and husband Mike of Telferner and Joyce Bludau and husband David of Victoria; grandchildren, Heather Williams and husband Jason of Victoria, Spc. Mike Fitzgerald Jr. of the U.S. Army, Afghanistan, Tiffany Bludau of Portland, Brandon Bludau of Arlington, Va., and Vanessa Bludau of Dallas; great-grandchildren, Lilly Williams and Penny Williams; sister, Julia McKay of Houston; brothers, Adolph Sandelovic of Leander and Felix Sandelovic of Yoakum.

Preceded in death by: parents; sisters, Elizabeth Cretors, Annie Heiman and Albina Sandelovic; brothers, Emil Sandelovic and Rudy Sandelovic.

Rosary will be at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home.

Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Interment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials may be given to Accolade Hospice or St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Online guest book may be signed at

Arrangements with Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum, 361-293-5656.

Contributed by Jeanne Walshak Boothe


Cuero Record, Sunday, May 15, 1966

Funeral services for Vincent Zissa, 74, of Rt. 2, Shiner, were held Friday morning at Buffington Funeral Home and Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church at Shiner.  The Rev. John Hanacek officiated and burial was in the Catholic Cemetery at Shiner.

Mr. Zissa was a brother to Louis Zissa of Westhoff.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Otilia Hanjzelka Zissa; his mother, Mrs. Frances Zissa of Shiner; two daughters, four sons, four sisters, and four other brothers. Eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren also survive.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Abilene Reporter News, Saturday, May 21, 1955

SWEETWATER. May 21 – Funeral services for Emil Zmeskal, 31, resident of Roscoe for the last three years who died in Young Medical Center Friday, will be held  Monday in Moulton. Burial will be in the Moulton Cemetery.

The body was taken to Moulton Saturday morning by the Patterson Funeral Home of Sweetwater.

Mr. Zmeskal was born July 31, 1923, in Lavaca County. On Nov. 18, 1941 he married Sadie Hoepfl of Moulton.

Survivors include his wife, four sons,  Emil Jr., David, Anthony and Daniel, and two daughters, Iris and Judith, all of Roscoe; his mother, Mrs. Frank Zmeskal of Moulton four sisters, Mrs.Elo Muehlstein of Moulton, Mrs. Bill Orsak of Roscoe, Mrs. Florence Foster of Hallettsville, Tex., Mrs. August Philip of Cuero; three brothers, Fritz of Tibola, Tex., Victor of Cuero, and Eddie of Gonzales.

 Contributed by Matt Cross


Weimar Mercury, December 21, 1928


A deplorable tragedy occurred Wednesday at 7 o'clock p. m. at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Zmeskal, who reside on Fritz Sebestian's farm in the Breslau section.

Fritz Zmeskal, aged about 16 years, upon returning home from hunting placed his gun outside. Victor, his 10-year-old brother, was ordered to carry it into the house and not knowing that the gun was loaded, he aimed at his 7-year-old brother, Will. The gun discharged, blowing off the top of Will's head.

Will is survived by his parents, five brothers and four sisters.

The funeral took place yesterday morning at 10 o'clock at Moravia, Rev. Jos. Pustka officiating.

Mr. and Mrs. Zmeskal have experienced many hardships, prior to this tragedy.  Last summer several of their children were sick with typhoid fever.  In their bereavement they have the sympathy of the Herald, joined by the entire community. — Hallettsville Herald.

Contributed by Matt Cross 


Victoria Advocate, October 26, 2012


SHINER - Cheryl Mladenka Zoch, age 66, passed away on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.

She was born on March 24, 1946 in Yoakum to Ernest and Mary Louise Mladenka. She was a homemaker.

Survivors: husband, Martin Zoch; daughter, Lisa Dishon and husband Nolan of Dayton; sons, Michael Kelly and wife Andrea of West Columbia and Ryan Stevens and wife Farhana of Katy; 4 grandchildren; step-daughter, Angelia Munoz and husband Anthony of College Station; step-son, Curtis Zoch and wife Sherry of Bryan; 4 step-grandchildren; sisters, Mary Lynn Cerny of New Mexico and Lisa Clark and husband Davy of England and a brother, Randy Mladenka and wife Debbie of Corpus Christi.

Family visitation on Saturday from 4 p.m. till 6 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral service on Sunday at 2 p.m. at United Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Shiner with Pastor Elaine Gomulka officiating.

Memorial contributions may be given to the donor's choice.
On-line guest book may be signed at
Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum 361-293-5656.

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis


Halletsville Herald, 14 Jan 1892

Mrs. E. A. Zumwalt died at the residence of Mrs. P. C. Allen in this city on Friday evening, January 8, and the remains were followed to their [last] resting place in the city cemetery on Saturday afternoon. A large number of friends paid a tribute to her memory by attending the funeral service. Mrs. Zumwalt had attained the venerable age of 78 years. The condolence of the entire community is with the surviving relatives in their affliction.

Eleanor Zumwalt, 8 Jul 1813-8 Jan 1892, wife of Gabriel Zumwalt, is buried in the Hallettsville City Cemetery.


Colorado Citizen, May 6, 1886, page 2


[Hallettsville Herald and Planter.]

At about the hour of midnight on last Thursday night, the soul of Nancy Zumwalt was summoned to the mansion of Bliss Eternal. After long and patient suffering, tired nature sank to sleep and rest, to awake in a fairer, purer, better home, where sin and sorrow never come.

Deceased had reached the venerable, patriarchal age of 81 years and about three months. She came to Texas from Missouri, in 1836, and lost her husband the following year. She has resided since then in this county—was among the first settlers. Few could recount the vicissitudes of the pioneer days. No one can imagine what a widow with three small children had to endure. Her two sons and daughter, were then beginning to assume the responsibilities of life, exhibiting a degree of training and culture worthy of the thoughtful mother, especially when we consider the disadvantages they labored under, the county being at that time a wilderness. One son with his wife, whose orphan children are a credit to our town, preceded her to the Better Land. Miss Cora, now of Edna, took sole charge of her younger sister from childhood, trained and educated her. The surviving son is a respected citizen of Colorado county. Her daughter, Mrs. DeBord, and granddaughter Ada, are of our town. Their attachment and devotion to her is beyond our power [to] describe. It was apparent to all who watched by the dying bed of dear Aunt Nancy, that she passed triumphantly through the dark valley of the shadow of death, leaning on the arm of her beloved, into the rest prepared for the people of God. Only those who have experienced the pain, can tell how great the trial, when, as in this instance, the Angel of the House has departed, leaving a vacant place none can fill. She has gone, but left a spotless character behind her. She wore a smile of angelic sweetness, a mirror of her pure and pious spirit. Aunt Nancy was never heard to utter an unkind word about anyone. Her cheerful welcome was the same for all. The aged mother is now at peace and she will be waiting for you at the gates of the Celestial city. May we all endeavor to imitate the virtues of this sweet, pious sister, so that when the Master shall summon us, we shall be ready to pass over the River and join the loved ones "who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb" and are in glory. To sum up her many qualities would be a task we dare not undertake; suffice it to say, that she died as she had lived, an exemplary Christian, full of faith and hope, beloved by all. A large concourse of relatives and friends attended the funeral services at the M. E. Church, and escorted her remains to the city cemetery,* where she was laid away to rest. We tender our sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the surviving children and grand-children.

*The city cemetery at the time of Nancy Zumwalt's death is now known as the Hallettsville Memorial Garden, but there is no marker for her there. She was married to Noah Zumwalt.


Weimar Mercury
June 17, 1893, page 2

Sunday Mr. R. D. Zumwalt took his 3-year-old son to San Antonio for treatment. The little fellow is in a precarious condition, suffering from an affliction of the stomach.

Later.—The child died and the remains were brought home yesterday evening and buried at 5 o'clock. The bereaved parents have our sympathy.

Willie Lee Zumwalt, 2 Apr 1890-12 Jan 1893, is buried in the Hallettsville Ctiy Cemetery. Obituary transcribed by Sharon Sutton.

There are over 4,000 obituaries of Central Texans with Czech roots at Steve Alvarez's TXBHS web site. These include many people from Lavaca County and some with German surnames.