BALLINGER - Ervin John Schraer, our devoted, strong and faithful Dad, a lifelong farmer and member of this community, passed away on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, three days after his 92nd birthday.
The Guest Book is expired.
A rosary service will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rowena, Texas, with Deacon Stanley Lange officiating. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 2, also at St. Joseph with Father Ariel Lagunilla celebrating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Rowena, Texas.
Grandsons and nephews will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearer will be his nephew, Eugene Schraer, who frequently spent many hours on the phone visiting with Ervin.
Ervin was born Nov. 26, 1921, in Shiner, Texas, in Lavaca County to Henry and Mary Mueller Schraer. Ervin grew up in Moulton, Texas, and moved with his family to West Texas in 1926, at the age of 5, after his dad was told he needed to move to a drier climate for his health. Their belongings were shipped by the railroad to Rowena, Texas.
They lived east of Rowena until they bought a 200-acre farm near Sweethome School. This location was near a creek and the Flood of 1936 washed it away. His dad, Henry Schraer, rebuilt the house on the highest point of the same property. On their farm, all of the family worked hard with chores, selling goods, and trying to survive financially.
It was on this farm that he learned to milk, plow, plant, ride, hunt and fish. This is what led him to learn the value of hard work at an early age. Ervin attended school in Sweethome, St. Joseph's, Miles and Ballinger. Ervin was one of the seven former students that attended the Rededication of the Sweet Home School marker in July 2009.
Ervin finished the ninth grade before he had to quit school to work full-time on the family farm. He rarely used a calculator because he could figure math quicker in his head. He once found an error on an investment statement, notified that office and was told that the computers bookkeeping was superior to his. That company called later to let him know they had found the error he had pointed out to them. Ervin learned from the Depression not to waste anything, especially food, money or time.
Ervin and his family attended and were active members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, where his daughters also attended and graduated from St. Joseph's Catholic School. Ervin went to the Marines when he was 21, serving from Dec. 8, 1942 to Feb. 11, 1946, and went to boot camp in San Diego, Calif. He was assigned to New Zealand in July 1943, for additional training. He participated in the Pacific Campaign and Occupation of China. Invasion of Saipan, Tinian, Marianas Islands on June 15, 1944. Only five of his company survived.
After recovering from an injury, he was assigned to the motor transportation company. Ervin was in numerous invasions including Guam and Okinawa as a Marine in the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, E Company. Ervin left China to come home on Jan. 18, 1946, with an honorable discharge on Feb. 11, 1946. It took until 1993, to get his medals, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal with two Bronze Stars; Navy Occupation SVC Metal with Asia clasp; Marine Corps Expert Rifle Marksman Badge; World War II Victory Medal; Honorable Service; Marine Corps Honorable Discharge and China Service Medal, except for his Purple Heart.
He was wounded twice in World War II, but the ship with his military medical records on it was sunk by the Japanese, therefore, he could not prove his injuries.
In 2006, Ervin wrote his autobiography, and in 2008, he was interviewed by Baylor University for his World War II memories. Both of these books may be found in the Tom Green County Library. He loved the American flag and flew it on any and every occasion he could. Ervin was a member of the local VFW post in Rowena.
Ervin was also a member of the Crossroads Shooting Club, where he excelled in competition. He also served as a director for the Runnels County Farm Bureau and the Miles Co-Op Gin.
Ervin wrote letters to Felda Jansa during the war, and when he returned they dated steady and on Nov. 20, 1946, they were married at St. Joseph's Church in Rowena, Texas. During their entire marriage, they lived west of Miles where they farmed and raised their family. Ervin also worked for Amerada Hess in the seismic field. During the drought in 1950, Ervin worked in San Angelo at any trade that he could find a job.
Ervin made clothesline posts when he got home to supplement his income. His primary trade was that of a carpenter and he worked for James Hill for 17 years and also for Charlie Barta. In the early 80's, he drove a dump truck part-time for his son-in-law, Raymond. Both Ervin and Raymond enjoyed their working time together.
Ervin and Felda raised three girls on their farm and instilled in them their hard work ethics and family values. The girls worked alongside them (not always willingly), which including chopping cotton, maize, herding sheep, cows, etc. Ervin and Felda enjoyed bus tours starting in the early 80's, they took about 20 tours and toured almost every state. Ervin and Felda donated blood as frequently as they could, with both of them donating over four gallons.
Ervin also enjoyed deer hunting at Raymond and Donna's ranch near Bronte.
Ervin was preceded in death by his wife, Felda; parents Henry and Mary Schraer; brothers Frank and Arnold; sister Elizabeth Gerngross; brothers-in-law Alton Seidel and Rudy Gerngross; and sisters-in-law Lily Schraer and Minnie Schraer. He is survived and loving remembered by his family: daughter Patricia (Pat) and husband Jim Hudgins of Hermleigh, Texas, Donna and husband Raymond Rutledge of Bronte, Texas, and Rhonda Schraer of Kingwood, Texas; brother Henry of Fort Worth; and sister Madeline Seidel of San Angelo. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him Papa or Papa Ervin.
They are Dr. Jack and Stephanie Hudgins and daughter Adalyn of Sachse, Texas, Josh and Amber Hudgins of Plano, Texas, Chad and Kristin Rutledge of San Angelo, children Mason and Morgan and Valarie and husband Dr. Travis Whitney of San Angelo and children Lane and Lance.
The family would like to thank Dr. Chris Barnett and his staff for their many years of compassion and care. Also the wonderful staff of Bronte Health & Rehab Center, where Daddy had resided since February, for their daily doses of tender loving care. The family can't say enough good things about the staff at Bronte Health and Rehab, they truly spoiled Daddy during his time with them. The family also appreciates the care and support given by Odyssey Hospice.
Thanks also to Daddy's many friends and neighbors who frequently helped him, which allowed him to live on his farm until he was 91. Our sincere thanks to Cecil and Gayle Kalina, Curtis and Donna Kalina and Curtis and Connie Pelzel and their families who Daddy called on frequently for help. Ervin enjoyed going to Miles, almost daily to eat with his friends at the Miles Senior Citizens Center, visiting, playing dominoes, bingo etc.
Memorials made be made to
. POEM: May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sun shine be warm upon your face May the rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Published in GoSanAngelo from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, 2013