Wilbert Gene Leschper, 87, of Sealy, passed away Jan. 22, 2019 at Colonial Belle Nursing Home with his wife of 60 years by his side. He was born Aug. 5, 1931 in the Peters community to Walter, Sr. and Mary Ludwig Leschper. He attended Peters-Hacienda and Sealy schools.
When his older brother joined the Army, Wilbert dropped out of high school to help on the family farm. He later joined the Army, too, serving from 1954 to 1956.
Upon returning, he moved to Houston and worked at Mosher Steel. Friends introduced him to Gladys Franke at an ice cream parlor one day, and they married on September 20, 1958 at Industry Brethren Church.
In 1966 they moved back to Peters, where he worked for AL&M before opening a meat market in 1976. Gladys worked alongside of him, as did a sister and niece. Their children, Gene and Donna, were often pressed into service, especially during deer season.
Somehow, in between running his own business, raising cattle, and making hay, Wilbert found time to help his kids with their fair projects, draft house plans, bowl in a league, and serve on just about every committee there was at First United Methodist Church of Sealy, where he remained a member until his death. He was also a member and/or officer of Peters Hall, Sons of Hermann, Austin Co. Livestock Assn., Farm Bureau director, 4-H adult leader, and Soil & Water Conservation District.
He closed The Country Market in 1999 and later worked for Ranchers Meats in Bellville, retiring at the age of 81.
Wilbert loved to barbecue, play cards and dominoes, watch football (especially the Sealy Tigers and the Houston Texans), and spend time with his large extended family. For years, when the Leschpers gathered for a meal, it was tradition that he offered the blessing. He had a great smile that Parkinson’s robbed us of long ago.
Survivors include his wife Gladys; son, Gene Leschper; daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Alan Lehmann; grandchildren, Michael, Faith, and Samuel Lehmann; siblings and their spouses, Kenneth and Cleba Leschper, Adolph and Edna Leschper, Marilyn Prince, Doris and Clem Krolczyk, Nelda and Tommy Tamborello; sisters-in-law, Judy Leschper and Linda Ratjen; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Wilbert was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bennie and Sveedie Franke; siblings, Lee Roy Leschper, Sr., Florence Frank, Walter Leschper, Jr.; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Janie Leschper, Maggie Leschper, Leon Frank, Jerry Prince, Jesse Franke, Larry Ratjen; niece and nephews, Deborah Guerrero, Steven Krolczyk, Jeffery Franke; and great-niece, Jessica Hills.
Funeral services were held Jan. 28, 2019 at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Sealy, with the Rev. Eddie Hilliard officiating. Interment was in the Sealy Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Jeff Krolczyk, Andrew Leschper, Lee Leschper, Pat Lester, Mark Meloneck, and John Svec.
Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, Parkinson’s Foundation, Steven Krolczyk Memorial Scholarship Endowment at Blinn College, or the charity of your choice.
Funeral arrangements under the directions of Knesek Bros. Funeral Chapel, 768 Fourth St., Sealy, TX 77474, 979-885-3535, www.knesekfuneralhome.com.