Flossie Dolezalek Tesar
Flossie was born May 24, 1913, near Ennis, Texas. Her parents were Louis and Emma Jaresh Dolezalek. She had four brothers and sisters: Bill, Emma, Edward, and Mildred.
In 1916, the Dolezalek family moved to a farm west of Dorchester. When Flossie was old enough, she attended the two-room Sperry School, where she read books in a language that at first she didn't understand. The family spoke Czech at home. After completing the ninth grade, Flossie had to stay at home to work in the fields and house.
While Flossie was quite young, she looked after her younger brother Edward, sometimes endangering him in the process. Such as the time she was sawing wood and sat Edward on the end of the log that fell off, not realizing he would fall too. By the time she was 10 or 12, she was milking cows and hoeing crops. But she always had time to put down her hoe or cotton sack to pin curl a friend's hair right there in the field or make a dress for them.
At 20, Flossie went to Dallas to work as a cook and housekeeper, earning about a $1 a day. On her days off, Flossie took violin lessons, went to dances, or came home to Dorchester on the Interurban. She also managed to break her arm while roller-skating in the backyard at night much to the chagrin of the neighborhood doctor who had to get up in the middle of the night to set her arm.
On December 21, 1942, Flossie married Army Pvt. Fred Tesar, the adopted son of neighbors Gabriel and Emilie Skrhak Horak. Shortly aftr their marriage, Fred was shipped overseas. About a year later, Flossie went to work at the North American airplane plant in Grand Prairie. There she "bucked rivets" for 2½ years, making a then-phenomenal wage of $65 a week. She lived in Urbandale with her sister and brother-in-law, Emma and Joe Ruzicka and rode to work with Joe on his motorcycle.
During the 2½ years Fred was overseas, Flossie and Fred saved their wages and when Fred came home in 1945, they bought the Rifenberg farm near Southmayd. The dilapidated old farmhouse didn't have running water or electricity, and younger family members said the house "leaned". But, in time, improvements were made and it became the home where they raised their two daughters with affection and gentle discipline.
Flossie's almost boundless energy suited her life as a farm wife. She fed her family with food from the farm - chicken, beef, pork, duck, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit, vegetables, milk, cream, and butter. She dressed her family in homemade clothes, sewing everything from pajamas and underclothes to Sunday dresses and swimsuits.
After a drought in the mid 1950s, it was obvious that one bale of cotton wouldn't cover the family's expenses for the coming year and Flossie began working outside the home. At first she worked seasonally at Bryce's Pickle Plant but later found permanent work painting fishing lures at Whopper Stopper. Although the work was strenuous, exacting, and dirty, she took pride in her ability to mix paint and match colors. She worked there until she retired in 1983 at the age of 70.
When Fred died unexpectedly in 1972, she sold the cattle and farm equipment but refused to leave the country home she had shared with Fred. Although she oversaw the farms, kept a garden, mowed her large yard, and even traveled a bit; her real love was quilting.
She often embroidered the date and the phrase "remember me" on her quilts. When she could no longer quilt, she liked to imagine that her friends and family would indeed remember her by celebrating her life rather than mourning her death. She died February 26, 2005 in Richardson, Texas.Czech-American
Elaine Nall Bay