Clema Jean Burger of Schulenburg, formerly of Houston, went to be with Jesus on Monday, January 29, 2018, at Schulenburg Regency Nursing Center with children by her side. Services for Clema Jean Burger were held on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Swiss Alp. A visitation with the family started at noon with the service following at 1 p.m. Interment took place at the Burger Family Cemetery in Cat Spring, Texas.
Pallbearers for Clema Jean were her son, Richard Gene Burger; grandson, Donnie Vanicek; grandson, Reece Kunschick; great grandson, Tanner Janak; nephew, Vincent Hanak; and nephew, Richard Ward. Honorary Pallbearers for Clema Jean were Donald Vanicek, Byron Wagner, Emil Kunschick, John Walker, and Adrian Harding. Memorials were asked by the family to be made to the American Diabetes Association, Hospice of South Texas, United Evangelical Lutheran Church, Swiss Alp, or the charity of one’s choice.
Clema Jean Belote was born Sept. 27, 1940 to Lem Yeates Belote and Ruth E. Belote. Clema Jean was born into a military family; and therefore traveled and lived in several states. When she was 10, she moved to West Columbia, Texas. She lived there with her mom and grandmother on the Crouch Ranch outside of West Columbia. She and her sisters helped their grandmother raise the cattle and milk the milk cows and she was always willing to help with the chores. Clema Jean loved it at the Crouch Ranch. She and her sisters also spent a lot of time with their Nanny, Etta Belote, in Huntington, Texas. “Jeannie” was the apple of her Nanny Etta’s eye. She and her sisters helped their Nanny tend to her garden by shelling peas and they also helped her with canning. Clema Jean loved her Nanny and her Grandmother Crouch very much and talked about them often. During her childhood, she was member of First Baptist Church in West Columbia. She went to school in West Columbia and then she eventually moved to Sealy and started attending Sealy High School. She was very good at sports with tennis being one of her favorites, and she excelled at any sport she tried. While in high school, she met and later married Donnie Eugene Cowling. They had three children together: Glenda, Chuck, and Dusty. Later on, she then married Fred W. Burger, Jr., November 2, 1963. Together they also had three children: Richard, Julie, and Patti. Fred and Clema Jean made their home in the Houston area until 2015 when they moved closer to their children due their health issues. They have been happily married for 54 years. Clema Jean was a stay-at-home mom and also sold for Avon and Fuller Brush over the years. She also was a Christian teacher for a few years at Heritage Independent Baptist Church in Houston back in the ‘80s. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren whenever she got the chance. Clema Jean was a woman of style, grace, and beauty. You rarely saw her without a full face of makeup and styled hair with beautiful jewelry. She loved purses, jewelry, new clothes, perfume, and sewing and knitting when she had time. Clema Jean loved playing the piano and singing hymns whenever she got the chance. She loved the Lord and mentioned Him often. Even when things in life got tough, her faith never wavered. She was a prankster and loved to joke around and play with her grandchildren and loved to give her son-in-law’s a hard time. She had a wonderful sense of humor. She was an awesome mom, grandmother, sister, and caregiver and had a sweet heart and a kind, gentle soul. Preceding her in death is her husband, Fred W. Burger, Jr., who just passed away on Jan. 15, 2018, and Clema Jean was ready to follow him Home.
Her parents Lem Yeates Belote and Ruth E. Schlihab and other extended family also preceded her death. She is survived by her children, Glenda Vanicek and her husband Donald, Julie Kunschick and her husband Emil, and Patricia “Patti” Burger-Wagner, all of Weimar, Charles Cowling of Victoria, Dusty Wagner and her husband Byron of Schulenburg, and Richard Gene Burger of Bellville. She is also survived by her stepmother, Earlene Belote; sister JoAnn Walker and her husband John of Richmond, sister Patricia Hanak and “Gator”, and sister Nannette “Tootsie” McCord, and one brother, Kenneth Belote and his wife Beverly of Wimberley. Granddaughters, Cassey Lynn Bentley and her wife Brittney of Houston, Rikki Lynn Burger of Bellville, Emilie Faye Kunschick and Ashlie Hazel Kunschick of Weimar, Heather Janak and her husband Bryan of Weimar, Karissa Kleiber and her husband Ryan of LaGrange, Keely Brower and her husband Jeff of Schulenburg, Kami Stone and her husband Jacob of Austin, Audie Cowling of Weimar; and grandsons, Reece William Kunschick of Weimar, C.J. Cowling and his wife Jessica of Katy, Donnie Vanicek and his wife Jessica of Shiner, and great grandchildren Tayden Reid Burger; Ty, Tanner, Tori, and Tucker Janak; Harley and Toland Thornhill; Kayla, Justin, and Jacob Cowling; Mason, Malee, Maddox and Maggie Kleiber; Hagen and Hollis Brower; and Jackson WagnerStone. Clema Jean lit up a room when she walked in. Her beauty and style and her beautiful heart touched the lives of so many over the years. She never knew a stranger and would end many phone calls with “Have a blessed day.” We were all truly blessed to have her in our lives. We all have gained a beautiful guardian angel to watch over us.