Edna couple killed in wreck remembered for touching many lives
By BY JENNIFER PREYSS - JLPREYSS@VICAD.COM
March 5, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Updated March 5, 2013 at 9:06 p.m.
In a Memorial Hermann hospital room, Dorothy Hyek's four children leaned over their mother Tuesday morning and said their final goodbyes.
They'd already said goodbye to their father, Benjamin Frank Hyek, 82, who died at the scene of the same car wreck that put their mother in the hospital with critical injuries two days earlier.
And now it was time to do the same for their mother.
Dorothy Hyek, 76, of Edna, was driving the couple's 2007 Buick north on U.S. 59 about 11:50 a.m. Sunday when she attempted to cross over the lane to County Road 357. When she crossed the lane, the Buick was struck on the passenger side by an oncoming vehicle, according to Department of Public Safety accident report.
As the children - Pat, Chris and Michael Hyek, and the couple's only daughter, Monica Foster - surrounded Dorothy's bedside Tuesday morning, they knew the end was near.
They agreed as a family the night before to remove her from life support and allow Ben and Dorothy to die as they had lived - together.
"It may be a blessing. Dad was always worried about dying before mom. Sometimes, he would say, 'I'm in so much pain. I'm ready for the Lord to take me. But I worry abut your mother," Foster, of Orange Grove, recalled. "I think in some ways they prayed so much about their life together that God decided to take them together. ... In essence, they're together."
So it's fitting then, that a couple who shared more than 50 years - in what many family members noted as a seemingly effortless marriage - would find a way to exit this world by one another's side.
"I've shared a lot of time with them, and I've seen the true love they had for each other." said Foster.
"They lived their love. You could just see the love they had for each other in how they treated each other," added Chris Hyek, of Houston. "It's not fitting for us (because we'll miss them), but it is fitting for them."
Chris Hyek described his parents as loving and kind and deeply religious. Theirs, he said, will be a legacy of charity and right-doing.
"They touched a lot of people's lives without trying to do so just by being themselves," he said. "They were true to their principles, steadfast in their beliefs and they were just good people."
Foster described her parents as committed to family and community and their deep Czech heritage. The couple met while polka dancing at a dance hall before marrying in 1959.
In 1971, Ben built the couple's home on Sunny Lane Street where they've lived ever since.
Ben worked and retired from Alcoa. Dorothy was a homemaker.
"She made all of our clothes in the beginning; she enjoyed doing it. She also made all my prom dresses," Foster said.
"She loved making our clothes. It was part of her nature, and she believed, like dad, if she could do something, why ask someone else to do it," Chris Hyek added.
The Hyeks were the couple on the block who everyone seemed to gravitate to, the children said.
"They were always taking care of those in need. They were givers, never takers," said Foster, mentioning the couple's dedication to their church, St. Agnes Catholic Church in Edna, the Ganado American Legion and Dorothy's quilting club.
"Dad called it her gossip club," she said.
The children all agreed many lives will be less abundant without their parents around to share their hearts and willingness to serve others in need.
But they will be an example to the family, they said, of a strong role model for love, marriage and compassion.
"I've often looked at their marriage and thought it was such a strong example," Foster said. "They just cherished those moments with family."
Her brother agreed. And said their humility and kindness will never be forgotten.
"They just did what they thought they should do, and what was right ... and cared for everyone in the process," he said.