Virgil Lee Howard, 83, of Frydek was called to Heaven on Dec. 18, 2019. Although he passed away unexpectedly, his family was able to be at his side.
Virgil was born at home in Frydek on June 20, 1936, to John and Olga (Kudlacek) Howard. He told us his mother came home from the cotton field at lunch, gave birth to a 14-pound baby, named him Virgil and then returned to the cotton field that afternoon to finish her work. He grew up and attended school for eight years in Frydek. He then finished his education in Sealy.
Virgil was later drafted into the United States Army on May 7, 1958, and served two years overseas. While stationed in Germany, he served alongside Elvis Presley. Virgil was a first-class artillery gunner. He also received the carbine sharpshooter award as well as the rifle expert award. He then spent the next two years in the Army Reserves.
During this time, he met the love of his life, Evelyn Zientek, at a dance at Riverside Hall in East Bernard, Texas. They were married on Oct. 28, 1961, at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in East Bernard by the Reverend Earl Mudd. After marrying Evelyn, Virgil became a devout Catholic. They made their home in Frydek where they raised their four children.
Virgil worked for Texas Metal for several years and then began working independently doing home remodeling, carpentry work and painting. When he wasn’t at home, you could find him seining bait and heading to the Brazos River. He loved to drop his boat in the river at his cousin Larry’s place and go down to the Cane Break to go fishing. He would come home with small fish and big fish tales, but he certainly took more than his fair share of catfish out the Brazos. He also enjoyed frog gigging, shooting pool, playing cards with his friends and family and teaching his son how to hunt.
In his later years, he preferred spending time at a crawfish hole instead of the Brazos. He spent countless hours teaching his great grandson Ethan, who was his best buddy, how to catch crawfish with a piece of bacon tied to a string and a sinker.
Virgil was preceded in death by his beloved wife Evelyn, his parents John and Olga Howard, brother Sidney Howard and wife Eva, and brother Delton Howard and wife Josephine. He is survived by his children, Sheila Gardner, Brenda Hajovsky and husband Ronnie, Curtis Howard and wife Nancy, Connie Sodolak and husband Kevin, and is survived by his brother Melvin Howard. He is also survived by his grandchildren Jennifer Stanley and husband J.D., Courtney Sodolak, Kyle Sodolak and wife Sierra, Cody Howard and wife Emily, Kelcee Zwahr, Hannah Howard and fiancee Tyler Mikes, Ellie Hajovsky and Ashlyn Bennett, and by his great-grandchildren Brandon Sodolak, Kameron Sodolak, Ethan Sodolak, Ashlynne Singleton, Jase Zwahr, Karson Sodolak and Charlee Howard along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
His love, laughter, stories and phone calls will be missed tremendously.
A visitation with the family will be held Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, from 4-6 p.m. with a rosary beginning at 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Frydek. Funeral Mass will be Monday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Interment followed the funeral mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Frydek.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Knesek Bros. Funeral Chapels, 748 Fourth St., Sealy, TX 77474; 979-885-3535; www.knesekfuneralhome.com.