Willie Mae Wondrash, age 97, from Bellville passed away May 26, 2012 in Columbus.
Willie Mae Wondrash was born in Caldwell to William and Justina Beran Hudec on Feb. 22, 1915. She was baptized in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Caldwell.
Willie Mae was the eldest of five children. Her brothers were Alvin, Stanley, Daniel, and sister Helen. She attended Caldwell public schools but her greatest memory was attending the Red Hollow School where she, along with her brothers, walked several miles each day to attend. As a young girl, she was completely devoted to helping her parents on their farm picking cotton for hours during the hottest times of the day, and afterwards taking care of her younger siblings.
She was a telephone operator in Caldwell for several years before meeting the love of her life, Cecil Edward Wondrash, St. On Nov. 17, 1937, Cecil and Willie Mae were married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Cecil was employed by Wondrash Abstract Company and Willie Mae became a devoted wife, homemaker, and mother.
On Feb. 20, 1939, Cecil Edward Wondrash, Jr. was born. On March 8, 1941, their daughter, Mary Frances was born. The youngest of the children is Beverly Jo, born on June 24, 1951.
Cecil and Willie Mae relocated to Bellville when he began working for Santa Fe Railroad in 1942. Willie Mae became a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church where she was a member of the Altar Society. When Fr. Sylvester Fuchs became pastor in 1959, be began Sts. Peter and Paul Junior Sodality comprised of the younger girls who were members of the church. Beverly became a member at age eight and Willie Mae was asked to be a leader. She, along with several other mothers, sewed blue capes and mantillas for all of the members to wear on designated Sundays.
Willie Mae loved gardening and flowers. Cecil and Willie Mae traveled and collected rocks from all over the United States. Countless times, they were honored by the Bellville Garden Club with their yard selected as “Yard of the Month.” Each holiday, their yard was decorated for the occasion. They started an Easter tradition for their grandchildren by displaying numerous inflatable bunnies, Easter baskets and nests, and large colorful Easter eggs. Willie Mae loved birds. Throughout the years, she raised canaries inside their home and outside her windows, bird feeders were plentiful.
She was blessed with a talent for oil painting. Her pictures were true to life and her greatest happiness was when she could donate them to the church bazaar. She made dolls and dressed them beautifully for her granddaughter’s and great granddaughter’s Christmas presents.
She was especially proud of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who affectionately knew her as “Mema.” Cecil and Willie Mae never missed Saturday evening Mass and later when they were unable to drive to church, they looked forward to Holy Communion in their home where they visited with the Eucharistic Ministers.
Willie Mae prayed her rosary numerous times each day and night. Whenever a child, grandchild, or friend came to her sharing a request or problem, she would tell them, “I will pray for you,” which she did.
On Nov. 17, 2007, Cecil and Willie Mae celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and when he passed away, Feb. 18, 2008, she missed him dearly.
Willie Mae is survived by her son Cecil Edward Wondrash Jr. and wife Catherine of East Bernard; daughter Mary Frances McCulloch and husband Don of Coldspring; daughter Beverly Jo Greene and husband Richard of Columbus; grandchildren Kelley Kerlick and husband Ray of Katy; David Wondrash and wife Christi of East Bernard; John David McCulloch and wife Kerri of Dallas; Stephen Schubert of Round Rock; Melissa Kuper and husband Mark of Benbrook; great grandchildren Carly and Kasey Kerlick, Jacob and Allison Wondrash, Liam and Alex McCulloch and Jonathan, Andrew, Matthew and Nicholas Kuper.
Funeral services for Willie Mae was held on Friday, June 1, 2012 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with Rev. Tim Bucek officiating. Interment was in Oak Knoll Cemetery.
Knesek Funeral Home in Bellville in charge of arrangements: www.knesekfuenralhome.com and at www.facebook.com/knesekfuneralhome
Posted by Joy Neely