Weldon Wayne Drapela

Weldon Wayne Drapela passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and children on Nov. 6, 2021. Weldon was first and foremost a man of faith and family. He was born in Garwood on Nov. 20, 1936, to Bohumil and Victoria Drapela. Some of his favorite stories about growing up involved raising animals for FFA, sports, fishing and learning to swim in the Colorado River.

He graduated from Garwood High School, where he met the love of his life, Alice Marie Korenek. He attended Wharton County Junior College and Texas A&I University in Kingsville where he graduated with a degree in agricultural education. Weldon and Alice were married in 1957 and started their life together in Kingsville. His first job was as an ag teacher in Orange Grove. While visiting friends in Lake Jackson, Weldon heard of a job opportunity at Dow, applied and began his 33-year Dow career. He started as a research operator and then moved on to several other positions including the Instrument Department, Marine Department, Computer Repair Department, Diamond Services, Barge Project and TOPLAN group. He retired in 1993, but he didn’t slow down. He spent time helping family and friends, volunteering at church, baking his famous bread, and tackling countless other projects. He once remarked that “I don’t know how I ever had time to go to work.”

Weldon was always curious about how things worked and could fix anything. He was a master craftsman when it came to woodworking and was always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who needed help with a project. He was known for guiding Boy Scouts in building their cars for the Pinewood Derby. He taught his sons and several other boys the principles of aerodynamics and friction reduction resulting in many winning cars. Weldon also had a major role in “Camp Nana and Pa” every year, coming up with woodworking projects to pass his love of them onto his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Another one of his passions was his ham radio hobby. Most every morning started with “K5QQI” signing on to the radio to visit with his friends. Weldon also enjoyed his time as a member of the Knights of Columbus, the No Name Dinner Club and the Wednesday Domino Club.

Weldon leaves behind a legacy of a life that was definitely “Well Done.” He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Alice Drapela; his children and their spouses, Peggy and Gary Trochta, Russell and Lisa Drapela, Wanda and Darrell Ricketson, Gary and Janet Drapela and Mark and Wendy Drapela; his grandchildren, Nicole Coy and husband Jacey, Brad Trochta and wife Allison, Travis Trochta, Reed Drapela, Torrie Drapela, Emily Ricketson, Ashley Ricketson, Kelsey Johnson and husband Joshua, Taylor Drapela, Cody Drapela, Dylan Drapela, Aric Green and wife Megan, and Kasey Drapela; great-grandchildren, Carly, Jack and Max Coy, Caroline and Lillian Trochta, Kolbe and Luka Johnson, and Kaysen and Willow Green; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Weldon was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Madlyne Sides and husband Joe and Karen McCall.

Services celebrating the life of Weldon will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Lake Jackson. Visitation followed by a Rosary will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9. The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 with Father Greg Korenek officiating. Following the luncheon after mass, Weldon will be escorted to his final resting place at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Nada. Graveside services will be held at 3:30 p.m.

Serving as pallbearers are Weldon’s grandsons, Brad Trochta, Travis Trochta, Reed Drapela, Cody Drapela, Dylan Drapela and Aric Green.

Memorial donations in Weldon’s memory can be made to either St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Lake Jackson or St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Nada.

Arrangements are under the direction of Stroud Funeral Home, Clute.

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