Virgil Joseph Svajda, 90, of El Campo, peacefully passed away at his home on Friday, May 15, 2020, with family at his side. He was one of two children (sons) born Sept. 23, 1929 to Mary (Pechacek) and Vladimir (Ladgie) Svajda, where he was raised and went to Catholic and public school. He served in the U.S. Army as Corporal at Ft. Sam Houston from March 1951 to March 1953 as a clerical records typist during the Korean war. He attended Blinn Jr. College and Prairie View A&M University, receiving his BBA from Sam Houston State University, and his Master’s degree of Administration from University of Houston in 1955.
Virgil married Bernadette Jurecek, also from Sealy, on Nov. 26, 1953, Thanksgiving Day, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sealy. Their wedding was the last one in the old painted church, before it was removed to build the new parish church.
Mr. Svajda was an educator at El Campo High School for 34 years (1953 - 1987). For the first 13 years he taught bookkeeping and typing, as well as coaching girls’ tennis. During these years he drove the school bus before and after school, as well as to football games, and helped his friend Anton Sevcik during the summers in building maintenance. From 1967 to 1975 he served as director, teaching Office Education (VOE/OEA), and his last 13 years were spent as the administrator of the Vocational School, after which he retired in 1987. Mr. Svajda taught at least 2,200 students over the years, remaining lifetime friends with many of them, some of which he considered his adopted children. His students placed in district, state and national contests multiple times in every area of his career: bookkeeping, typing, tennis and office education.
He also was a life insurance agent in El Campo for American Amicable/American General from 1962-2006, where he worked hard to make at least one whole life policy sale every week for 19 years. All of his life, he felt that providing financial security for family was a top priority for his friends in the community.
He served on the supervisory committee of Wharton County Teachers Credit Union from 1964-2004, and was a member and president of Wharton County Retired Teachers Association. He was a faithful and loyal member of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church since 1953, where he served as Lector and Eucharistic Minister for 40 years and was a member of the Knights of Columbus No. 2490.
His hobbies included vegetable and flower gardening, sometimes having four gardens at once in the El Campo area, including one at his acreage at Pin Oak. Everything was always started from seed and he always shared his plants and crops with family and friends. He enjoyed a lifetime of fishing with his dad and best friends, making barbecue, listening to his favorite music and woodworking.
He was a loving and dedicated father to his three children, Donna (Thomas) Kaspar, Ginger (Christian) Butler and Mark Svajda. He leaves two grandchildren, Christopher Tzitzis and Carolynn Butler.
Mr. Svajda was preceded in death by his wife and parents; brother, Ladgie Svajda and his wife Jean and in-laws, Henry and Helen Jurecek.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Virgil’s caregivers, Belinda Elledge and Veva Hernandez, for their dedicated long-term loving care. Special thanks to the nurses, doctors and staff at El Campo Memorial Hospital and Hospice Inc., El Campo.
Visitation will be 4 - 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, at Triska Funeral Home with a Parish Rosary being offered at 6 p.m. The funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Thursday, May 21, at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church with the Rev. Michael Rother officiating. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Memorial Park.
Please note that due to CDC guidelines, there will be a limited amount of people allowed to attend the Rosary and Mass. Visitors are kindly asked to wear a mask both at the funeral home and church.
Pallbearers will be Christopher Tzitzis, Ricardo Sosa, Jeff Svajda, Donald Sevcik, Craig Wright and Bill Goerig. Honorary pallbearers are his former ECHS students.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church or to Hospice Inc-El Campo.
Memories and Condolences may be left for the family at www.triskafuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Triska Funeral Home, El Campo.