Burton “Burt” Anson Utley, Jr.

Burton “Burt” Anson Utley, Jr.


Burt Utley, beloved husband, father and rancher, died on his ranch at the age of 74.  Burt was raised by his grandparents, Mae and Noble Renshaw on a ranch near Freer, Texas.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 at the age of 18, served a tour of duty in Vietnam in Reconnaissance, and also served with the Republic of Korean Marines in their Reconnaissance Force, the White Tigers in 1969.  After returning to the States, he was sent to Naval Justice School and was a certified stenographer and sent to work for the Judge Advocate General with Top Security Clearance.  He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of Sergeant in 1971, but his military brothers were never far from his thoughts.    

He went on to obtain his Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree from Texas A&I University in Kingsville.  In his early post-collegiate career, he was a high school teacher, coach and elementary principal.  He took particular joy in shaping young minds and often spoke of the children he helped become adults.  He believed in the power of education and wanted the very best for our children and the teachers who devoted their lives to their development, so he served two terms on the Pettus Independent School District Board and one term as President of the Board.

In 1970, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Mary Helen McNair.  Together, they raised one daughter, Sarah Jane, and spent a lifetime together – a union shaped through adventure, hard work, and thousands of ordinary days that turned into an extraordinary lifetime of profound togetherness.  Burt found God in nature and so they built a cattle ranch that raised award winning Registered Santa Gertrudis cattle.  While Sarah Jane was growing up, he found delight in lovingly devoting his time to her 4-H projects and showing Santa Gertrudis heifers across the country.  Burt had endless energy and unconventional pastimes.  He was adventurous and a risk-taker – he loved to technical ice climb and snow ski, often out of bounds.  He found freedom in flying his plane – and took mischievous joy in sometimes scaring his passengers with dramatic drops or rolls. He took pride in his marksmanship and recalled the best hunt he ever had – he bugled an elk for almost an hour and shot him at over 500 yards across a ravine with my grandfather’s old 30-06 rifle.  He will be remembered for his devotion to his family, loyalty to his fellow Marines and brothers in arms, and willingness to help a friend or neighbor. 

We give thanks for the gift of his life and take comfort that as Burt now goes to guard heaven’s gates, his leatherneck brothers await to welcome their loyal compatriot home.

Burt will be dearly missed by his wife of 54 years Mary Helen; daughter, Sarah Jane Utley and her soulmate Rudy Palomo of Houston; uncle, Henry R. Sling of Corpus Christi; aunt, Joyce Cole of Corpus Christi; sister, Cindy Thompson and her husband, Tim of Corpus Christi; and nieces, Toni Davis and her husband, James of Corpus Christi; Terri Faver, of Corpus Christi; and Kimberly Kelly and her husband Patrick of Tomball, as well as many other close friends.  He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Mae and Noble Renshaw and uncle, W.G. “Dub” Cole, Jr.

Memorial Services will be held Friday, March 1, 2024 at 10AM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel. Inurnment will follow in the Choate Cemetery in Choate, TX.

Memorial donations may be made in leu of flowers to St. Jude Children’s Network or the Salvation Army.

Dorothy Luckenbach

Dorothy Luckenbach age 95 of Tuleta, Texas passed away Sunday, February 25, 2024. Dorothy was born on April 14, 1928 in Skidmore, Texas to Frank and Lela (Hickman) Berthold. She was the eldest of their two children and preceded in death by her parents, Frank Oscar and Lela Mae Hickman Berthold, a brother, Jesse Berthold and a son, Albert A. Luckenbach, III.

Dorothy married A. A. Luckenbach, Jr., and the two enjoyed traveling the U.S. with his work. She was a loving mother, grandmother and friend. She was of the Christian faith and a member of the First Baptist Church of Tuleta, a Sunday School teacher, a kindergarten teacher at one time and a long-time homemaker.

She is survived by daughters, Carla Luckenbach Bailey and Melinda Luckenbach Cobb; son-in-law Gary Cobb; grandchildren, Lanette Bailey, Brian Cobb, Amanda Luckenbach; great-grandchildren, Madison Malaer, Ashlee Malaer, Jaxson Malaer, and Colton Malaer; Weston Cobb and Aaron and Piper Luckenbach

Family Visitation will be Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 9AM to 10:30 AM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel with Services starting at 10:30 AM with Pastor Glenn Killam officiating.  Interment will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery in Skidmore, TX.

Serving as Pallbearers are Gary Cobb, Brian Cobb, Jaxson Malaer, Hugo Carrillo, Jayce Constante, Michael James, Chris Gonzales and Cody Morales.

Thomas Rudolf Polasek

Thomas Rudolf Polasek age,93 of Hobson, Texas died February 21, 2024 in Floresville, TX. He was born Dec. 4, 1930 in Coy City to Tom and Alice Bordovsky Polasek.

Tom was preceded in death by wife of 57 years Dawn Bratulich Polasek, his parents Tom and Alice Polasek, brothers James Polasek, Rudolph Polasek, sisters Frances Zidek, sister-in-law’s Mary Polasek, June Polasek, brother-in-law’s Charlie Zidek, Nick Kroll, daughter in law Sandra E. Polasek and Grandson-in-law Ramon Castillo.

Tom is survived by his children Cynthia Gowen of Sallisaw, OK, Mike Polasek of Hobson, TX, Zac and Jan Polasek of Yukon, OK, Kathy Polasek of Sallisaw, OK, Fr. Jeff Polasek of Bixhy, OK, Angela and Gary Cox of Sallisaw, OK, Brother, Mike and Ruby Polasek of Coy City and a Sister Jo Ann Kroll of Kenedy. 13 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and 4 great, great grandchildren.

Tom was a US Navy veteran, worked for Union Carbide in Victoria, TX before moving his family to Oklahoma.  After moving to Oklahoma Tom managed a Truck Stop, worked for NAPA and ran a few cattle.

After retiring he and his wife moved to Hobson where he enjoyed working in his shop and working with old tractors and hit and miss engines.  Tom made many types of furniture and various metal crafts.  Mostly Tom enjoyed as he called it shooting the bull with people.  He loved a good joke and a cold beer shared with family and friends.

Pallbearers will be his grandsons Jimmy Gowen, Danny Gowen, Jason Polasek, Jake Polasek, Josh Polasek, Seth Polasek, Trevor Teague.

A Rosary will be recited Monday February 26, 2024 at 6:00 PM at the Eckols Chapel.  Mass will be held Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Hobson, TX at 10:00 AM with his son Fr. Jeff Polasek officiating.  Interment will be in the Hobson Catholic Cemetery.

Ubaldo G. “Chole” Sanchez

Ubaldo G. “Chole” Sanchez, Age 83 of Kenedy, TX passed away on February 20, 2024 in San Antonio, TX.  Chole was born on November 29, 1940 in Nordheim to the late Joe Richard Sanchez and Pilar Gonzales Saldana.  He was a master carpenter, loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and a member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church.

Chole is preceded in death by his parents, Joe Richard Sanchez and Pilar Gonzales Saldana; children, Augustina Sanchez, Diana Sanchez, and Joe Henry Sanchez.

Chole is survived by his children, Victoria Longoria and husband Sheddy of Kenedy, Ubaldo “BeBe” Sanchez and wife Mary Ann of Kenedy, Joe Richard “Jopy” Sanchez of Kenedy, JoAnn Sanchez Williams of Runge; grandchildren, Lionel Sanchez, Xaubrianna Barrientez, John Henry Sanchez, Roy Jaden Sanchez, Jake Garza, Larissa Williams, Justine Sanchez, Larry Williams, Jr.; great-grandchildren, Tristan Sanchez, Ayden Sanchez and a host of extended family members and friends.

A Holy Rosary will be recited Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 6PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel.  Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, February 23, 2024 at 10AM at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church with the Rev. Robert Ploch officiating.  Interment will follow in Loma Alta Cemetery in Kenedy, TX.

Alfredo “Fel” Cortez, Sr.

CORTEZ, Alfredo “Fel” S., Sr., age 74, of Kenedy, TX, passed away Monday, January 22, 2024.  Alfredo was a self-employed business owner, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend.  He was generous to many and a friend to everyone.  He enjoyed outings with his wife, gatherings with his family and working on projects around his home.  He is preceded in death by his parents Carlos Cortez, Sr. and Estella Salinas Cortez, and his siblings; Maria Louisa Cortez, Maria Alicia Cortez, Eduviles “Vic” Cortez and Oscar Cortez.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years Rosa Cortez, son Alfredo Cortez, Jr. (Mariel), daughters Alice Dennis (Michael) and Amanda Martin (Joshua), grandson Tyler Dennis, granddaughters Amber Martin, Ashley Martin, Taylor Cortez, and Bella Cortez, brother Carlos Cortez, Jr. (Maria Elena), sister Gloria Cortez.  Private funeral services were held on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Clyde Stewart Eckols, Jr.

Clyde Stewart Eckols, Jr., 61 of Corpus Christi passed away February 10, 2024 after a lengthy illness.  Stewart was born to Clyde “Sonny” and Dorisann Gross Eckols in San Antonio, Texas and grew up in Kenedy.  He graduated from Kenedy High School in 1981.

Before graduation he was working at Velvet Dip and playing bass for Country Sound Recording Studio.  He then worked for Chevron Resources before moving to Missouri where he played for the Tommy Kelley Organization.

Stewart joined the Army in 1990 and he was stationed for expended periods in England.  After his experience in the Army Rangers, he began working in the private sector of the military, until his retirement when he returned to his hometown.

Stewart took great pleasure in picking up his bass and playing for the last year with the out to Pasture Band at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his children, Alexandra (Justin) Blaze and Trey, on granddaughter, his mother, his sister Sunny (Jerry) Pruski, his brother Steve (Frances) Eckols and Betsy Fullerton Eckols and numerous nephews, nieces, and great nephews and nieces.

Graveside services will be held Monday, February 19, 2024 at the Kenedy Cemetery at 2:00 PM with Rev. Wally Schievelbein officiating.

Isidro E. Amaya, Sr.

Isidro E. Amaya, Sr., Age 73 of Kenedy, TX passed away on February 4, 2024 in San Antonio surrounded by his loving family. Isidro was born on July 14, 1950 in Runge, TX to the late Juan, Sr. and Angelita Escobedo Amaya.  He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, a retired farmer of the catholic faith and a jack of all trades.

He is preceded in death by his parents Jaun, Sr. and Angelita Escobedo Amaya.

He is survived by his loving wife San Juanita DeLeon Amaya of 47 years of Kenedy; daughters, Sona Hernandez of Kenedy, Mikaela  Nofchessey of San Antonio, Isabel Zapata of Victoria, Raquella Amaya of Kenedy, Rebecca Amaya of Kenedy; sons, Benito Amaya of Kenedy, Erasmo Amaya of Falfurrias, Esteban Amaya of Kenedy, Isidro Amaya, Jr. of San Antonio; sisters, Maria Amaya Inez of Floresville, Petra Ramirez of Runge; brothers, Juan Amaya, Jr. of Kenedy, David Amaya of Kenedy, Martin Amaya of Kenedy, 31 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and dear friends.

Family Visitation will be held Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 1PM to 7PM with a Prayer Service to begin at 7PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel.  Private Inurnment will take place at a later date.

Geronimo Gonzales, Jr.

Geronimo Gonzales, Jr., died Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at the age of 65.

He was born on March 17, 1958 to the late

Geronimo Gonzales Sr. and Maria Gonzales.

Jerry was a wonderful son, brother and


Jerry is preceded in death by his father and sister, Lisa.

He leaves behind his mother, sister Grace and many, many family members whom he loved dearly.

A rosary prayer service will be recited on Friday, February 16, at 9:30 am at Our Lady of Peace Church, in Kenedy with Mass following at 10:00 am.

Interment will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Kenedy.

Lois Norene Baker

Lois Norene Baker, 92, of Kenedy, Texas, passed away on January 27, 2024.  She was born in Karnes County, near Overby, Texas, on July 10, 1931, to Jake Raymond and Lorene Gorman Rice.  She was called Loisene by her family and friends.  

Loisene attended Nell, Choate, and Kenedy schools, graduating in 1948.    She met Jay E. Baker at Baker’s store in the Choate community, and they started dating after she graduated from high school.

Loisene was employed by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for over 30 years, starting as a switchboard operator and retiring as a plant assignor,    

She married Jay E. Baker on Veterans Day, November 11,1950, just before he joined the U.S. Army and deployed to Korea during the Korean War. When Jay E. returned, they settled in Choate, working in Baker’s Store and on their farm.  Later, they moved to Farmington, New Mexico, where they started a family and then returned home to Texas.  They had two sons, Jay Collie and Joe E., during their 73-year marriage.

 Loisene and Jay E. operated a cattle ranch in Dripping Springs for many years. After retirement, they moved back to Kenedy and operated a cattle ranch in Choate for over 30 years, and they shared their love of the ranch with their family and grandchildren.  Grandmommy, as she was known to her grandchildren, was an amazing homemaker and cook.  She was known for her hot chocolate, divinity, fudge, biscuits and gravy and other specialties that she and Grandaddy made often.  Grandmommy was loving, generous, and quick to help others, as well as dedicated and supportive.  She dearly loved her family and watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow.

Loisene is preceded in death by her parents, Jake and Lorene Rice, and brothers, Lloyd Raymond (Oleta and Angela) Rice, Jake William (Pat) Rice and Charles Gorman (Cecilia) Rice.

Loisene is survived by her husband, Jay E. Baker, sons Jay Collie (Denise) Baker and Joe E. (Pamela) Baker, grandchildren Jason (Eleanor) Baker, Jennifer (Marlon) Fowler, William (Hayleigh) Baker, Molly Baker, Andrew Baker and Ada Baker, and great grandchildren Helen Baker, Kaleb Fowler, Collie Baker and Kori Fowler.

Visitation will be held on Friday, February 9, 6-8 pm at Eckols Funeral Home in Kenedy, Texas. Funeral services will be on Saturday, February 10, 10 am at Eckols Funeral Home in Kenedy, with interment following at Choate Cemetery in Choate, Texas.

Brother Terry Smith will officiate. Pallbearers will be Jason Baker, William Baker, Marlon Fowler, Thomas Jimerson, David Morgan and Gary Morgan.

Donations can be made to Choate Baptist Cemetery Trust, PO Box 56, Kenedy, TX 78119.

Gene Allen Wheeler

Gene Allen Wheeler, 76, died Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Family Visitation will be held Sunday, February 11, 2024 from 5PM to 7PM in the Eckols Funeral Home Chapel, 420 West Liveoak Street, Kenedy, TX 78119. Services will be Monday, February 12, 2024 at 10AM at The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 590 West State Hwy 72, Kenedy, TX 78119 with the Rev. Walter Schievelbein officiating. Interment with Military Honors will follow in the Pawnee Cemetery.

Gene was born on July 17, 1947, in San Angelo, TX, the son of Charles M. Wheeler and Lena L. Musgrove Wheeler. He spent most of his childhood in San Angelo, moving to Dallas as a young teenager and graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School. He was always busy and enjoyed racing motorcycles in his teen years.

“Wheeler”, as he was referred to by friends, served his country during the Vietnam War by enlisting in the US Navy. He completed electrical school while in the Navy. He served for four years, earning an honorable discharge. After discharge he began his career as a telephone lineman with Southwestern Bell Telephone.  He worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for over 25 years.

Gene loved hunting, farming, animals, and boating. He loved participating in boat races on Town Lake in Austin during his early adult years. He was a friend to all and enjoyed his time with those he held dear. Most recently he was enjoying his retirement tending to the cows and hay fields on the family farm in Kenedy with his wife Jamie.

He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jimmy Wheeler. Survivors include his wife, Jamie Wheeler of Kenedy; Son Ryan Jenschke of Fredericksburg; four daughters, Kelsey Jenschke of Buda, Codie Prinz of Salado, Brodi Volek of Round Rock, and Jodi Shannon of Buda; 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren; one sister, Trish Hutto of San Antonio.

Serving as pallbearers will be Ryan Jenschke, Nathan Pickell, Ronnie Dee Lieke, David Randig, Robert Hutto, Bryan Hutto, Troy Clark and Tommy Prinz. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Norman Johnson and Linda Wheeler.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations go to the University Health Transplant Institute, 4502 Medical Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229.