Born on July 28, 1924
HENRY JAMES SVATEK
WHARTON - Henry James Svatek, age 88, of Wharton, passed away on May 18, 2013, after a extended battle with cancer. He was born on July 28, 1924, in Shiner, Texas, to Jim Svatek and Emilia Kurtz. Henry lived with his parents, and moved with them to Boling and later to Bonus, Texas. He graduated from Crescent High School in 1942.
He met his endearing and lovely wife, Irene, in 1945, one week prior to leaving for active duty in the Pacific, as a Tec 4 Sergeant. He was stationed in Sapporo, Japan, just as the war ended and became a special diet cook until his return to the States in 1946.
After returning to the farm for one year, he married Irene M. Hubenak of El Campo in 1947, and has been a resident of Wharton for 65 years. Henry was a most gifted and talented carpenter, mentored by Albert Reber, and worked for C.E. Jopling for many years. He then had a successful career as a self- employed master craftsman and cabinet maker, as woodworking was his great love. He built many of the homes in Wharton and surrounding counties. After 30 years, he was hired by WISD to teach Occupational Education (CVAE) which he did for 20 years until his retirement in 1988.
Henry always worked hard his entire life. He had an incredible memory and had a reputation as a perfectionist in all his endeavors. He was a most loving, kind, and gentle husband and father and was devoted to his wife and four children. He loved sports and participated in Little League with his two sons, as well as enjoying beach weekends at the coast and teaching his daughters and sons how to fish. He loved dancing, playing dominoes, and cooking BBQ, a favorite time for the family. All this, plus his warm sense of humor, made him an irreplaceable treasure to his family who will miss him dearly.
From 1947 to 2010, Henry was very active and devoted to Holy Family Catholic Church. In 1948, he helped Father John Campbell construct and establish Holy Family Catholic School. He was always at Father's assistance. For many years, he belonged to the Holy Name Society and attended retreats every year. He was also active in church duties and served as Chairman of Lectors for 24 years, as well as volunteering at CCD classes.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Irene, and his children, daughter Teresa and husband Frank Nagy of Austin, son Steven and wife Jan of Rockport, daughter Kathy and husband Wes Jones of Wharton, and son, Dennis and wife, Laura of Jacksonville, Florida; six grandchildren, Kevin McConnell of Longmont, CO, Chase Springer of Prineville, OR, Jeffrey Svatek and wife, Stephanie, of Houston, Jill and husband, Will Paulsen of Houston, Andrew Svatek of Atlanta, and Grace Svatek of Florida; and step-granddaughters, Krisha Rodavich of Austin and Kyndal Nagy of Houston.
Other cherished survivors are his sisters Benita McBride of Alvin and Verna Hubenak of El Campo, brother Victor Svatek and wife Ethel of Livingston, and brother Paul Svatek of Wharton. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Albert Svatek.
Visitation will begin at 5 pm Tuesday May 21 at Holy Family Catholic Church with a Parish Rosary recited at 7 pm. The Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday at 10 am at Holy Family Catholic Church in Wharton with Father Dominic Antwi-Boasiako officiating. Burial will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery in Wharton.
Pallbearers will be Kevin McConnell, Mike McBride, Tommie Hubenak, Vic Alan Svatek, Dan Hubenak, Jr. and Carl Hubenak.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Holy Family Life Center, 2011 Briar Lane, Wharton, Texas 77488.
Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home, 979-532-3410.