Lawrence Emil Socha was born to Wilma Hoffman and Rudy Socha in Nada Texas Sept. 8, 1937. He passed away on Sept. 6, 2020. He grew up in the Garwood/Nada area. Lawrence served in the Army and National Guard 1958 - 1961.
He married Lillian Stavinoha on Dec. 27, 1960; they would have been married 60 years this year. They built their life and raised their family in El Campo.
From a young age, Lawrence was a true entrepreneur. When he was a young teenager, with no running water or electricity, he started his first business raising pigeons. In order to raise money for school, he worked the summers for the Steinke family at the Garwood Telephone Company. He put himself through Wharton County Junior College and then went on to The University of Texas where he received a BBA in business in 1960. He was the first Socha in his family to graduate from college.
Throughout his life, he owned several businesses. Among these were a land survey business while in college, a venetian blind business, and his most successful businesses – Vend A Meal, Robo Car Wash, El Campo Spraying Service partnered with Ed Strnadel and Socha’s Car Wash with his sons, Kenneth and Marc.
Lawrence and Lillian traveled all over the world. They loved cruises and casinos. Lawrence never met a stranger. He and his friends were the first winners of the Wharton County Youth Fair BBQ Cook-off in 1976 and represented Wharton County at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo BBQ Cook-off. He had a green thumb, loved working in his garden, enjoyed playing cards with his friends at Tuesday night poker and he loved the outdoors – hunting and fishing with friend Richard Staha.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Patsy Socha Krauskopf.
He is survived by wife Lillian; sons, Kenneth (Leeanna) and Marc (Kelly); grandchildren, Sommer Leonard (Tom) and Garret Pool (Ashley); great-grandchildren, Aubin and Charlie Leonard and Brooklyn and Brynlee Pool.
He was a member of the El Campo Knights of Columbus 2490, KJT, Elks Lodge 1749 and the NRA.
Visitation will be 5 - 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 at Triska Funeral Home. A KC Rosary will be recited 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at St. Philip Catholic Church with funeral Mass to follow at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. Michael Rother officiating. Entombment with military honors under the auspices of the American Legion Post 251 will follow at Holy Cross Memorial Park.
Due to the CDC guidelines for the pandemic, masks are required at the funeral home and church, and seating will be limited.
Pallbearers will be Garret Pool, Tom Leonard, Ed Campbell, John Robert Duncan, Mike Carville, Randy Turner, David Saucedo and Darby Hoffman.
Honorary pallbearers are Lisa Richter, Russell Abshire, Charles Maerz, Elmer Rod, Billy Bode, Clyde Reynolds, Rudy Mahala, Eddie Weinheimer, Cecil Davis, Butch Medford and Ed Strnadel.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the El Campo Fire Department, El Campo Memorial Hospital Foundation, St. Philip Catholic Church or St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.triskafuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Triska Funeral Home, El Campo.