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Hallettsville's polka man dies at 58

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Dec. 5, 2013 at 6:05 a.m.

Bobby Pavliska

To contact family

Funeral services for Robert Pavliska were Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hallettsville. To contact the family or to share a memory, contact kubenafuneralhome.com.

He was known to many in Hallettsville and surrounding areas as simply The Polka Man.

For others, he was Justice of the Peace Pavliska from Precinct 3.

However he was labeled, he was regarded as one the friendliest community activists in town.

On Saturday, longtime Justice of the Peace Robert "Bobby" Pavliska, of Wied, died of acute adrenal failure after battling health issues for many years.

He was 58.

"He never met a stranger. He always talked to everyone. He was a jovial, big man, you know, and when he would laugh, his Santa Claus belly would jiggle," said his sister-in-law, Linda Pavliska, of Hallettsville. "He had a great sense of humor, and he loved to have fun."

Pavliska's popular catchphrase, "I'm from Wied," was often repeated in jest among those who listened to his popular KHLT polka radio show or attended his many broadcasts at area football games and other sporting events.

He was an avid sports fan, especially supportive of his local teams, Linda Pavliska said.

"He liked sports, and he liked watching the kids participate. That was his joy," she said. "He wasn't able to do his broadcasts at the games the last few years because of his health, but that didn't stop him from going to the games."

Pavliska served 23 years in Precinct 3, a post he enjoyed because it allowed him to share sacred and special moments with the community.

"He saw a lot of (tragedy), you know, because he would have to go out if there was a fatality," Linda said. "Those were hard for him, especially when he had to perform an inquest for a friend when someone he knew died. But he did his job, and he enjoyed it."

Pat Fawbush, another Hallettsville relative, said the moments he enjoyed most as a justice of the peace were performing marriage ceremonies.

"That's why he loved it. For those moments he shared with people," Fawbush said.

Pavliska was active with the Knights of Columbus.

He was a third-degree member of Knights of Columbus Council 2433 and fourth-degree with Knights of Columbus Assembly 1128.

He served with the Catholic Union of Texas and Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Hallettsville.

"He was very involved with raising money for schools and athletics, whatever he could do to help the kids," Fawbush said.

Agnes Darilek, Pavliska's sister, said Pavliska died in his sleep just before 1 p.m. Saturday.

"He went peacefully. It was a beautiful way to die," she said.

Pavliska's legacy in Hallettsville will be one of selfless service and a desire to spread joy to all who called him friend.

He had a good life. "He got to do what he enjoyed most, which was to be around the community, serve people and serve God - on his own terms," Fawbush said. "He was able to bring a lot of joy into people's lives."

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