Jerome Kucera

Jerome Charles Kucera “Kutch”, 70, of East Bernard, was called to be with Jesus on Feb. 17, 2021. Peter Joseph and Celestine Victoria Kucera gave birth to their fourth child on Aug. 26, 1950.

Jerome attended Holy Cross Catholic School grades one through eight and graduated from East Bernard High School in 1970, where he had developed an interest in welding from his ag teacher Daniel Orsak. After high school, Jerome worked a number of jobs as a farmhand. For example, he helped his dad on the family farm. After working with dad, Jerome was a farmer’s helper for Tilfred Sulak, Paul Kulhanek and Paul Krenek. During this time, he bought a grain truck and hauled milo for area farmers for extra money. He then worked for Allied Concrete Company delivering concrete all over the Rosenberg/Richmond area for several years. He then changed jobs and was hired at Hudson Engineering in Kendleton as a welder’s assistant. Here Jerome was given an opportunity to receive additional training to become a certified welder. He then changed for a job at Woods & Copeland Tractor Company in Wharton as a welder, but he realized that being a welder was unhealthy for him and that he needed a job with more benefits as time progressed. Fortunately a job came open at Wharton County Precinct 2 where he drove trucks, shredded roadsides and other miscellaneous jobs for 22 years from which he retired. In the last few years, Kutch was in partnership with Jesse Tovar in a hay operation on the family farm.

Jerome had a number of hobbies during different parts of his life. First, he loved to go fishing. Some of his fishing buddies were Uncle Oscar Litvik, Mr. Alfred Headge, David Korenek, Paul Kulhanek, David Stade and Frankie Rejsek. Second, Kutch was a good cook. He fixed an old Coke bottle cooler into a barbecue pit. The original “Coca-Cola Cowboy” was born and the barbecue team was called, of course, The Coca-Cola Cookers who were together for four or five years and competed in East Bernard area cook-offs. Members included David Stade, David Korenek, Frankie Rejsek and Kutch.

Additionally for about 10 years, Kutch enjoyed his time at Broyles Lake near Eagle Lake where a crowd would gather for good times that usually included eating Kutch’s barbecue. Another important part of his social life was “Kutch’s Cantina.” Kutch loved to cook barbecue, stew and noodle soup for family and friend gatherings in Kutch’s Cantina filled with all of his collections and gadgets. Jerome was very proud of this social gathering place. The morning group enjoyed coffee and the afternoon group enjoyed other “refreshments.” Members included Jessie Tovar, David Stade, Ronnie Wicke, Ricky Fiala, Joe Mulle and Cecil Wondrash.

Third, in his younger years Kutch enjoyed hunting at the New Ulm hunting camp with Ed Schneider and David Stade for four to five years. Kutch participated in another hunting camp near Hallettsville for almost 10 years with varying members during that time. The original camp was run by E.J. “Tony” Motl, and hunters included his wife Emily, son Pat, Larry Stelzel and Tim Otto. As some members dropped off, Robert Mathis and Jesse Tovar joined the group. Last, Kutch had a love for gardening and plants, especially the rooster comb plants. During the past few years Kutch spent many hours as the designated driver and he did crop checking with Jesse Tovar and Cecil Wondrash. Of course a good meal was had on the trip.

Kutch enjoyed volunteering for the Holy Cross Catholic Church Bazaar. He was a diligent participant in the Klobasa Kolache Festival from its inception. He enjoyed being a part of the cooking crew preparing the sausage.

Jerome was a tender, gentle soul and loved all animals. In his last few weeks, his only companion due to COVID isolation was his loyal dog “Bear,” his best friend. His last thoughts in the hospital were for the protection and feeding of his furry companion throughout the “Big Freeze.”

Jerome was a good brother and a good uncle. He loved his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Jerome was preceded in death by his parents, Peter Joseph and Celestine Victoria Kucera; his sister, Evelyn Marie Kucera and brother, Tom Kucera.

Jerome is survived by his siblings, Pete Kucera (Beth), Victor Kucera (Kathy), Theresa Kettler (Kenneth) and Mary Ann Wade (Zan). Jerome’s nephews and nieces are: Joe Kucera (Gina), Mary Frances Kucera, Kaye Kucera, Jeff Kettler (Lana), Judy Early (Brook), Evelyn Mamerow (Donald, Bubba), Zan Wade (Brianna Hodges) Annie Taylor (Shawn). Great-nieces and nephews are: Meghan Kucera, Wyatt Kettler, Bryce Early, Trey Mamerow, Avery Mamerow, Rose Taylor, Damon Taylor, Devin Taylor, Dillion Taylor and Derek Wade.

All services will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in East Bernard. Schedule is as follows: Visitation at 8 a.m.; Eulogy at 8:50 a.m.; Rosary at 9:30 a.m. and Mass at 10 a.m. Interment will follow Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery Mosuleum number 2.

Pallbearers will be Brook Early, Jeff Kettler, Joe Kucera, Donald {Bubba) Mamerow, Shawn Taylor and Zan Wade. Honorary pallbearers are his nieces, Judy Early, Lana Kettler, Gina Kucera, Mary Frances Kucera, Kaye Kucera, Evelyn Mamerow, Annie Taylor and Brianna Hodges. Also, Ricky Fiala, Paul Kulhanek, Joe Mulle, Daniel Orsak, Frankie Rejsek, David Stade, Jesse Tovar, Ronnie Wicke, other friends not mentioned and the coffee bunch in town.

The Kucera family is extremely grateful to Dr. Larry Penick, who diagnosed all of Jerome’s medical conditions and counseled us through his last two months of life. Dr. Penick’s caring support through daily phone texts and calls will never be forgotten.

Arrangements are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home.

Condolences and memorials can be shared online at

Donations/memorials may be made to: Holy Cross Catholic Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1325, East Bernard, Texas 77435 or to a charity of your choice.

Because the family doesn’t want anyone to catch COVID at Kutch’s service, please wear masks and practice social distancing. Consequently, no traditional meal will be served following the funeral.

To plant a tree in memory of Jerome Kucera as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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