Helen Theresa Hubenak, 74, of Friendswood passed away at home and into God’s hands on Friday, May 3, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with a devastating spinal cord injury due to an accidental fall. She died peacefully and surrounded by family. Helen was born on March 12, 1945 in Nada, to Richard and Adela (Pavlu) Korenek.
Helen touched many lives during her life here on earth. She graduated from Garwood High School in Garwood in 1963. On Aug. 12, 1967, Helen married the love of her life, Edmund Hubenak Jr., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Nada and they shared a beautiful life together in Friendswood ever since then. In August of 1992, they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by renewing their marriage vows at the same church, followed by a trip with their son Kenneth to the Hawaiian Islands. In August of 2017, family members honored them with a surprise 50th wedding anniversary celebration at the Dragonfly Cafe in Wharton. Helen was very devoted to family members, always putting them first before herself – especially her two grandkids. Helen enjoyed spending time with her husband and other family members. Over the years, she especially enjoyed traveling with her husband and her brother Richard to Catholic church picnics, eating delicious Czech food, and listening and dancing to polka music. She also enjoyed the ski trips with her husband and other family members to ski resorts in New Mexico, Colorado and Montana.
In honoring Helen’s Czech heritage, she was an amazing kolache baker. On Sept. 9, 2006, she won a state grand championship trophy with $300 cash for her pineapple kolache and a state reserve grand championship trophy with $100 cash for her cheese kolache. Both awards were received in the non-professional state division of the 2006 State of Texas Kolache Bake Show at the 22nd annual Kolache Festival held in Caldwell. Caldwell declares itself as the “Kolache Capital of Texas” and the Kolache Festival is held annually on the second Saturday of September to celebrate Czech cultural heritage with a kolache bake show, arts and crafts booths, food, ethnic demonstrations, polka music and dancing. Beginning in 2002, Helen competed every year as a kolache baker in the non-professional state division at the Kolache Festival. In 2004, she won a first place rosette in the poppyseed class, and in 2005, she won a first place rosette in the cheese combination class with a cheese and cherry kolache.
Helen could light up a room with her bright smile and beautiful blue eyes. It is not at all surprising why she was given the nickname “Smiley.” Her smile grew any time she would talk about her youngest granddaughter Brooke, whom she loved deeply. Helen was employed by Salem Square Apartments since May of 1972 – a span of 47 years. During this time, she for the most part served in a managerial capacity as either property manager or assistant property manager. She held the position of property manager for over 31 years. Helen loved her job. The residents in Salem Square Apartments became her extended family. Her service to this apartment community was truly a gratifying experience and held a special place in her heart. There are countless stories that could be told about the wonderful times Helen spent with her beloved Salem Square Apartments family, including the pet squirrels that roamed the property. She treasured the many pleasant memories of her employment at Salem Square Apartments – especially the interpersonal relationships with the people she worked with and the many individuals and families who chose to make this apartment community their home.
Helen was preceded in death by her son, Kenneth Hubenak; her parents, Richard Korenek and Adela (Pavlu) Korenek; father-in-law, Edmund Hubenak Sr.,and mother-in-law, Bessie (Krenek) Hubenak.
Helen is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Edmund Hubenak Jr.; granddaughter, Brooke Hubenak; Brooke’s mother, Jennifer Hubenak, all of Friendswood, and step-granddaughter, Heather Woods of Webster; sisters, Dorothy Merta and husband Frank of Louise, Dolores Stavena and husband Ronald of Wharton, Beatrice Rachunek of Wharton and Janice Korenek of El Campo ; brothers, John Korenek and wife Virginia of Garwood, Richard Korenek of Garwood, James Korenek and wife Jackie of El Campo, Lawrence Korenek and wife Jennifer of Garwood, Dennis Korenek and wife Susie of Nada and Wayne Korenek of El Campo; sister-in-law, Donna Hollis and husband Milton of Wharton and brothers-in-law, David Hubenak and wife Barbara of Wallis, Robert Hubenak and wife Pam, Eugene Hubenak and wife Margie and Michael Hubenak and wife Brenda, all of Wharton. Helen has numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews that will miss her dearly.
Friends are cordially invited to attend a visitation with the family on Friday, May 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Jeter Memorial Funeral Home, 311 North Friendswood Drive, Friendswood. Recitation of the Rosary and celebration of a funeral Mass will also be held on Friday, May 10, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Mary Queen Catholic Church, 606 Cedarwood Drive, Friendswood. Immediately following the funeral Mass, the family welcomes everyone to a reception in the Main Hall of the Parish Center at Mary Queen Catholic Church. The reception will last until 3 p.m. and will include a catered meal. Following the reception, Helen will depart from Friendswood at about 3 p.m. and make her last journey home to Nada where she will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery around 5 p.m. Pall bearers are Richard Korenek, James Korenek, David Hubenak, Eugene Hubenak, Michael Hubenak and Milton Hollis. Condolences may be sent to the Hubenak family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneral home.com.