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Charles ‘Charlie’ Joseph Svoboda
Charles “Charlie” Joseph Svoboda, a lifelong resident of Floresville, Texas, passed away Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at 6:58 a.m. in the Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio at the age of 88 years, 7 months, and 18 days. Charlie was born June 3, 1923, in Floresville, the son of Emil and Albina Jasek Svoboda.
He first attended Borrego school and then graduated from Floresville High School in 1941. Charlie then met Janelle Baker from Sutherland Springs and they were married two years later on April 22, 1944.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army and proudly served his country in the Rainbow division during World War II. Charlie was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded. Many people were fascinated by stories that Charlie shared about the war. One of his proudest memories was receiving a personal thank you, handshake, and salute from Major Gen. Jonathan Wainwright.
After the war ended, Charlie and Janelle began a 30-year career of dairy farming, first in Loma Vista, and then continuing in Floresville. Charlie served many families at Vinyard Funeral Home for more than 37 years. He liked to share the story of accidentally stepping on Lady Bird Johnson’s foot while assisting with Sam Fore’s funeral. Charlie later worked as a contractor. He spent many hours in his workshop building cabinets, tables, benches, shelves, or anything that was drawn for him. He also made replica dollhouses of some of Floresville’s historic homes, but he was probably most well-known for his swings. Charlie was an outdoorsman who enjoyed deer hunting with family, turkey hunting at the river, and dove hunting. Fishing was his favorite, though. He and Janelle loved to fish and vacation with their family in Rockport. For several years, Charlie made weekly trips to the coast to fish for the day.
He also tended to a huge garden for many years, sharing vegetables and fruit with family and friends. He picked and shelled many pecans in the back yard as well. Charlie was a wonderful cook; his homemade noodles and biscuits were his specialties. Helping prepare meals was a natural for him. Charlie was a humble man and he never complained. He loved to talk and was always eager to share his opinion. Listening to polka music kept his Czech heritage alive.
Later in life, he enjoyed working jigsaw puzzles, keeping the wild birds fed, and watching hummingbirds. Charlie entertained himself by taking long rides all over the countryside, especially to Loma Vista with “the girls,” his two little canine friends, Lucy and Peaches. He was a member of the VFW Post 8555, and a member of First Baptist Church in Floresville.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Edwin Svoboda.
Charlie is survived by his loving wife of more than 67 years, Janelle Baker Svoboda of Floresville; his children, Sandra Svoboda Roemer and husband Dwight of Floresville, Carroll Wayne Svoboda and wife Deborah of Floresville, and Jan Svoboda Johnson and husband Tommy of Floresville; his sister, Elenora Talley of Floresville; his grandchildren, Todd Roemer and wife Heather of League City, Braxton Roemer and wife Allison of Fredericksburg, Brandon Svoboda of Houston, Dustin Svoboda of Floresville, Tara Machost and husband Joel of Cibolo, and Kaly Johnson of Floresville; his great-grandchildren, Micaela, Peyton, and Kyler Roemer, all of League City, Kurt Roemer of Fredericksburg, and Mason and Addisyn Machost, both of Cibolo; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held Monday, Jan. 23, at 5 p.m. in the First Baptist Church in Floresville.
A funeral service was held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the church, with Brother Mike Clements officiating.
Musical selections provided by Allison Clements and Terry Smith included Charlie’s favorite hymn, “In the Garden,” along with “Ten Thousand Angels Cried” and “How Great Thou Art.”
Interment followed in the Sutherland Springs Cemetery in Wilson County.
Serving as pallbearers were Charlie’s grandsons, Todd Roemer, Braxton Roemer, Brandon Svoboda, and Dustin Svoboda; his grandson-in-law, Joel Machost; and his great-nephew, Jason Talley. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Stanford Talley, Robert Svoboda, Philip Vinyard, Edward Trevino, and Charlie’s three great-grandsons, Kyler Roemer, Kurt Roemer, and Mason Machost.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church, 1115 B Street, Floresville, TX 78114.
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