Arturo Torres De Los Santos, Jr.

Arturo Torres De Los Santos, Jr., Age 50 of Kenedy, TX passed away on October 22, 2023 in Karnes City, TX.  Arturo was born on June 25, 1973 in Kenedy to Arturo De Los Santos, Sr. and Josefina Torres De Los Santos.  Arturo was a loving son, brother, uncle and a member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church.

Arturo is preceded in death by his father Arturo De Los Santos, Sr.

Arturo is survived by his loving mother, Josefina Torres De Los Santos of Kenedy; sisters, Jessica Cruces and husband Moises of Kenedy, Janie De Los Santos of Kenedy; brothers, Bobby De Los Santos and wife Brenda of San Antonio, Tommy De Los Santos and wife Carla of Kenedy numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.

A Holy Rosary will be recited Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 7PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel.  Funeral Mass will be held Monday, October 30, 2023 at 9:30AM at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church with the Rev. Robert Ploch officiating. Interment will follow in the Loma Alta Cemetery in Kenedy, TX.

Ralph Glen Gustafson

Ralph Glen Gustafson, age 62, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on October 21, 2023.  He was born on October 2, 1961 to Theadore “Bo” and Elvenia “Beanie” Gustafson in Corpus Christi, TX.  He was raised in Corpus Christi where he graduated from Mary Carroll High School.  He then went on to Del Mar College where he earned a Certificate in Diesel Mechanics.

Ralph loved spending time at his Grandparents Farms where he spent most of his summers during his youth.  Over the next few years he held several jobs and even moved to Georgia, with his wife, for a few years.  After moving back to Texas he bought a house near Orange Grove, TX and got a job with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) where he was Crew Chief on a road crew laying asphalt on newly built roads and repairing sections of roadway that were bad.  He retired from TxDOT after 30 years of service.  He enjoyed spending time outdoors tending to his garden, tinkering on anything he could get his hands on and welding old horseshoes together to make Crosses.  Since his retirement he became very active within his Church and helped with Mission Robstown, for a year.

Ralph was a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, willing to help whom ever needed his help.  He is survived by his wife, of 33 years, Debra White of Orange Grove, TX; his parents, Theadore and Elvenia Gustafson of Corpus Christi, TX;  two sisters, Karen (David) Perring of Robstown, TX and Janet (Allen) Ray of Corpus Christi, TX; a sister-in-law, Sherri McQueen of Rock Hill, SC;  a niece, Ariel (Ric) Burger (Corpus Christi, TX); six nephews, Brad Perring (Mesa, AZ), Wes (Sabrina) Perring (Robstown, TX), Kelly (Tyanna) Perring (Odem, TX), Shawn (Kate) Ray (San Francisco, CA), Cody Ray (Ashley Beyer) (Taft, TX) and Sean McQueen (Rock Hill, SC) and numerous great-nieces and nephews.  Ralph will be deeply missed by many family and friends.

Funeral Services will be held on October 27, 2023 at Eckols Funeral Home (420 W. Live Oak St., Kenedy, TX).  Visitation will begin at 1pm with funeral services beginning at 2pm, Pastor Calistro Cavasos officiating.  Interment will be held at the Pawnee Cemetery (Hwy 72) immediately following services.  Family visitation and refreshments following at the Gustafson Home (1201 CR 176, Kenedy, TX).

Serving as Pallbearers:  Wes Perring, Kelly Perring, Cody Ray, Ric Burger, Jerry Nesloney and William Chesser.

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:  Banquete Baptist Church (PO Box 430, Banquete, TX 78339) in his honor.

Kenneth “Ken” Welkener

December 1, 1935 – October 15, 2023

Kenneth Welkener of San Antonio, TX, passed away on Sunday, October 15, 2023 at the age of 87, surrounded by his family.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, October 28, 2023 at Eckols Funeral Home in Kenedy, TX with Pastor Daniel Ruiz presiding with a short graveside service after at the Pawnee Cemetery.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home.  Lunch and fellowship will follow at Candlewood Suites (304 Business Park Dr, Kenedy, TX 78119).  A memorial service will be held at a later date at Faith Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.

Kenneth Charles Welkener was born on December 1, 1935 in Pawnee, TX, the son of Alfred Gotlieb Welkener and Cora Bertha (Zamzow) Welkener.  He was baptized and confirmed at Elim Lutheran Church.  Kenneth graduated from Pawnee High School, home of the Fighting Indians.  He played quarterback on the 6-man football team and loved going rabbit hunting after games with his friends.  After graduating in 1954, and a senior trip to Mexico with classmates, Kenneth enrolled at Texas A&M University in College Station but after 2 weeks of missing his sweetheart and long-time girlfriend Joycie Marguerite Voges, the homesick college boy hitchhiked home to chart a different course for his life.  After doing odd jobs around the Bee County area he began working, doing carpentry work for a family friend in San Antonio.  He would work all week and come home to Pawnee for weekends with Joycie.  They became engaged in late 1954 and were married April 2, 1955 and made their home in San Antonio. Kenneth started work with Turner Concrete around 1958 and worked for ~42 years seeing Turner become McDonough Brothers, Redland Worth Corporation, Redland and then Martin Marietta Materials.  He loved playing dominoes with anyone and his favorite card game, skat, with all of his German friends. After retiring from Martin Marietta, Kenneth enjoyed working at the farm and hunting.  He enjoyed bird and deer hunting and loved making homemade smoked venison sausage in the backyard smokehouse and sharing “nickels” cut from the links.  He also loved working, plowing, shredding and tinkering at the farm.  Kenneth will be remembered for his strong Christian family values and hard work ethic. He and Joycie’s frugal lifestyle is a depression era example of how to spend less than you make. Kenneth is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Joycie Welkener of San Antonio, TX; children Scott (Joann) Welkener of Helotes TX, Kenton (Olivia) Welkener of Allen, TX, Wade (Pam) Welkener of Fulshear, TX; grandchildren Nicole Welkener, Melissa (Chris) Vanlandingham, Craig (Diana) Welkener, John (Jazel) Welkener, Vivian (Eric) Sexton, Abigail (Enoc) Medina, Timothy (Toria) Welkener, Olivia Joyce Welkener, Joseph (Bri) Welkener, Corrie (Brian) Jensen, Daniel Welkener, Randy Welkener, Kendra Welkener, Madison (Sam) Frederes, Victoria Welkener, Gabrielle Welkener, Sophia Welkener; great-grandchildren Brady Waggoner, Matthew Sexton, Clark Sexton, Zoe Sexton, Kenzi Welkener, Viviana Welkener, Lewis Welkener,Titus Welkener, Elena Medina, Josiah Welkener and Jack Vanlandingham; sister-in-law Wilma “Pokie” Brabec;  many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.

Valerie Ann Duenes Castillo

Valerie Ann Duenes Castillo, Age 47 of Pawnee, TX went home to her Lord and Savior on October 14, 2023.  Valerie was born on October 6, 1976 to Pedro Duenes, Jr and the Late Clara Gonzales Duenes.  She was a medical assistant for Dr. Roberto Ramirez’s Family Practice in Kenedy, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, dear friend to many, married Joseph Lee Castillo on May 20, 2023 and a devout Christian.

Valerie is preceded in death by her mother Clara Gonzales Duenes.

Valerie is survived by her loving husband Joseph Lee Castillo of Pawnee; father, Pedro Duenes, Jr of Pawnee, daughters; Jaslyn Asevedo, Isabel Hernandez, Carly Cardenas all of Pawnee; sister, Veronica Duenes Cruz of Karnes City; grandchildren, Jaxson Coffman, Syilas Coffman, Aliyah Coffman; nieces, Lauren Cruz, Skylar Cruz; nephew, Anthony Joseph Cruz and a host of dear family and friends.

Family Visitation will be held Thursday, October 19, 2023 from 4PM to 6PM with a Prayer Service at 6PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Steve Santa Cruz officiating.  Funeral Services will be held Friday, October 20, 2023 at 11AM at the First Baptist Church with the Rev. Matt Singleton officiating.  Interment will follow in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Cemetery in Pawnee, TX.

Serving as Pallbearers: Marcos Soliz, Jacob Coffman, Patrick Lopez, Jose Cardenas, Luis Gonzales and Leonel Gonzales. Honorary Pallbearers are Timothy Autry and Ramiro Tapia.

Kimberly Rose Arenal

Kimberly Rose Arenal, Age 43, A.K.A Bob of Kenedy, TX passed away on October 9, 2023 in Kenedy, TX.  Kimberly was born on March 23, 1980 in Karnes City, TX to Richard and Valerie Arenal.  She managed the Chruch’s Fried Chicken in Kenedy, was a graduate of Kenedy High School Class of 1999 and a 2004 graduate of Coastal Bend College in Beeville, TX. Kimberly was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousina dear friend to many and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Kimberly is preceded in death by her brother, 2 nephews, 2 uncles, 2 aunts, maternal grandmother Louise Mapes and her beloved paternal grandfather Jose Arenal.

Kimberly is survived by her parents Richard and Valerie Arenal, companion Elias Perez; sister, Stephanie Arenal; brother, Joe Arenal;  nephew, William Cortez; best friend Faith Beltran and  her beloved dogs Jelly Bean and Baby Girl.

Family Visitation will be held Thursday, October 12, 2023 from 6PM to 9PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel.  Services will be Friday, October 13, 2023 at 11AM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel with President George Worden officiating.  Interment will follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Kenedy, TX.

Serving As Pallbearers will be: Jacob Kennedy, Ryan Brandon, Larry Williams, Harold Guerra, Anthony Diaz, and Jake Garza.

Honorary Pallbearers: Cameron Burrage and William Cortez.

Edward Carl Monson

Edward Carl Monson

January 6,1943 – September 30, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Edward Carl Monson. He succumbed to his battle with cancer at home on September 30, 2023 with his family by his side. 

Ed was born on January 6, 1943. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hilmer Monson and Elsie Eklund Monson, brothers Lawrence and Mauritz Monson, sister Dorothy Monson Hahler, stepson Clint Maddox, nephew Ted Hahler, niece Katherine Hahler Duclos and great nieces Emily and Shalene Monson. 

He is survived by his wife Janet Monson, stepson Jason Maddox (Jana), step daughter-in-law Stacie Maddox, grandchildren Ashley Maddox Waller (Matt), Logan Childs Maddox, Noah Maddox, Ella Maddox, Hunter Maddox, Peyton Maddox, great granddaughter Willow Waller, sister-in-law Diana Monson, nieces Patricia Hahler, Marie Hahler, Donna Monson Diaz, nephew Philip Monson and many great nieces and nephews.  

Ed was born and raised in Kenedy, Texas. After graduating from Kenedy High School in 1961, he attended Texas Lutheran College and earned his degree. Ed began a 38 year teaching career as an elementary PE teacher in Kenedy. He then taught at Pettus schools as a math and Texas history teacher. Besides teaching, Ed drove a school bus for many years.

Ed was introduced to farming by his father. Working in the fields growing flax, cotton and wheat was a way of life for their family. However, Ed lost his father when he was 9 years old. Soon after, his Uncle Carl Eklund came to live with them and help with the farm. Carl later introduced Ed to cattle ranching which he continued all of his adult life.

Ed just loved to be outside. He was happiest when he was hunting, checking fences, looking at his cows, watching nature and seeing the first Scissor-tail or Purple Martin in the Spring. Riding on the tractor was his heavy thinking time. Lots of problems were solved and even more jokes were thought of.

He was active in the Karnes County and Bee County Livestock Shows. He helped raise money in both counties to buy the projects of students for many years. He was instrumental in the planning and building of the Karnes County Show Barn along with his brother Mauritz.

Ed’s commitment to and love for community was shown in how he lived his life. He served the community in many ways including Kenedy ISD School Board, Rotary, Karnes County Coop, Farm Bureau Board, Church Council at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Elim Cemetery Association and Texas Lutheran University Corporate Board. He was honored to receive the Citizen of the Year from Kenedy Chamber of Commerce and Friend of the Show from Karnes County Youth Show.

Not only was Ed committed to his community, but also to his family and friends. He was trustworthy, honest, loyal and had a sense of humor that could fill a room with love and laughter.

He met and married the love of his life, Janet Lee. Their marriage brought a new beginning for both of them. They lived a full and meaningful life together for 30 years. During this time they both were committed to each other’s families and ultimately brought two families together. Ed instilled his values in us as a family. 

We are all better for being his family, his friends, and his community.

A visitation will be held Saturday October 7, 2023 from 4:00-6:00 PM at Eckols Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held Sunday October 8, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church with interment to follow at Elim Cemetery.

Memorial donations can be made to the Elim Cemetery Maintenance Fund and the Kenedy Education Foundation.

Pall Bearers

Philip Monson

Maurice Diaz

David Kirk-Hahler

Carl Kirk-Hahler

Brad Merriman

Kevin Austin

Donald Smart

Ben Ross Alexander

Honorary Pall Bearers

Lynn Broadway

Charles Hubbard

Causey Smart

Lee Hammock

CJ Merritt

Arnold Dollase

Louie Pryor

Robert Beck

Jim Fox 

Johnny Proffitt

Richard Rabe

Kody Kanak

David Stewart

Roger Gaskamp