Annie Gerla Hubenak
Born on Feb. 9, 1918
ANNIE GERLA HUBENAK
WHARTON - Annie Rosalie Ruth Gerla Hubenak was born to parents Adolph P. Gerla and Frances Podesva Gerla on a farm in East Bernard, Wharton County, Texas, on February 9, 1918. She died on Monday, January 21, 2013, in Wharton at age 94.
After growing up on farms in Taiton and Hillje, a teen-aged Annie began working as a governess in Houston and attending night school. After graduating from Smalley Commercial College, in the midst of World War II, she obtained U.S. Civil Service credentials and boarded a train to Washington, D.C., to work at the Department of Agriculture. She often recalled that her secretarial position required that she take dictation in shorthand and produce an original and ten yellow copies with carbon paper on a manual typewriter.
Annie's federal government career was cut short when her father fell ill and she returned home to Texas. After his death, she and her sister harvested one last cotton crop and moved their mother into town. Annie returned to Houston to work, and shortly thereafter, she met Arnold A. Hubenak, an employee of Brown & Root. After a short engagement, they married on January 9, 1945, at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Hillje. During their 55 years together, Annie and Arnold made homes for themselves and their two daughters in Pierce and, for the last 45 years, in Wharton.
Annie was known by all to be a talented homemaker. As a 4-H leader for many years, Annie and her husband were recognized as Friends of 4-H. She was also a member of Contemporary Extension Homemakers and the Altar Society (first joining in Hillje at age 12). In her later years, she routinely entered recipes and prepared dishes at the Rice Food Clinic, reveling in the blue ribbons she won. She was also known to be handy with a needle, sewing all of her daughters' clothes for many years and joining the Holy Family Quilters, who became dear friends.
True to her origins, Annie found joy in summoning life and beauty from the land. She was always proud of her flower beds, kitchen windowsill plants, and vegetable garden, even the skinny little asparagus she managed to coax from the corner of her yard. She dried and pressed flowers, mostly roses, often making potpourri and conducting potpourri demonstrations.
One cannot think of Annie without remembering her love of talking and laughing with family and friends. She enjoyed her large group of nieces and nephews and was always interested in keeping up with their lives and activities. But she also took great pleasure in the quiet exploration of different worlds she found in books, particularly historical novels set in foreign lands.
A lifelong Catholic, Annie was a charter member of the Court of Our Lady Queen of the Clergy Catholic Daughters.
Survivors include her daughter Carolyn Hubenak of Wharton; daughter Priscilla Hubenak, son-in-law Kent Filleman, and beloved grandson Samuel Filleman of Austin; and sister Emma Preuss and sister-in-law Mary Ann Gerla, both of El Campo. She was preceded in death by her dear husband Arnold Hubenak, two brothers Richard Gerla and Charles Gerla, and two sisters Mary Wendel and Agnes Socha.
Visitation will be 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at Holy Family Catholic Church with recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7 led by the Catholic Daughters of America. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at Holy Family Catholic Church with Celebrant Father Dominic Antwi-Boasiako. Rite of committal follows at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery.
Pall bearers are Sam Filleman, Anthony Gerla, Lawrence Gerla, Ray Gerla, Joy Pressler, Charles Preuss, and Jackie Wulf. Honorary pallbearers are Holy Family Quilters.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Family Fellowship or Holy Family Building Fund, or to a charity of your choice.