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Charles William Afflerbach

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Charles William Afflerbach Charles William Afflerbach, a longtime Austin resident and AT&T retiree, died Sunday evening, February 13, at St. David s Hospital, after suffering a stroke. He was 78. His wife of 55 years, Betty Lee, and seven of his eight children were with him. His youngest child, Rev. Mother Maria of Divine Mercy, prayed with him by telephone from her Carmelite monastery in Wahpeton, N.D. Mr. Afflerbach was born October 2, 1926, in Yoakum, Tex., the fourth of seven children of Walter Oscar and Hildegard Mary Afflerbach. He attended St. Joseph s Catholic School in Yoakum and St. Edward s University in Austin, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1944 at age 17. He served in Panama as a signalman through the end of World War II. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, then went to work in 1947, for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. and was based in South Texas. He and Betty Lee Witte married in 1949. They moved to Del Rio in 1951. Southwestern Bell awarded him its prestigious Vail medal for helping restore telephone service to Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, during the flood of 1953. The family lived in Corpus Christi from 1954 until he was relocated to Austin in 1968. He retired in 1985. His career spanned the telecommunications era; he went from stringing wire on telephone poles to installing high speed data connections at state and federal agencies in Austin. He took to heart the call for social justice, especially regarding workers rights. He was a member of the Communications Workers of America, and in the 1960s edited the local union newspaper in Corpus Christi from his kitchen table. He was a lifelong Democrat and a precinct election official in Corpus Christi. His family was the center of his life. Through spontaneous day trips he taught his children Texas history and geography. He was always available for pickup baseball or friendly golf games. He was a master camper. He shared his love of language through the poetry and letters he wrote throughout his years. He was clever with words and loved sly jokes and puns. He did not make a big display but played his part quietly in the world. He is survived by his wife, Betty Lee of Austin; children, Elizabeth (Libby) Afflerbach of Willow Park, Tex.; Claire Poole of Thorndale, Tex.; Charles Stephen Afflerbach of Oakland, Calif.; Thomas Edward Afflerbach of Austin; Frederick Allen Afflerbach of Cedar Park, Tex.; David Gerard Afflerbach of Richland Hills, Tex.; Jennifer Ann Afflerbach of Dallas; Rev. Mother Maria of Divine Mercy (Joan Ellen Afflerbach), O.Carm., Wahpeton, N.D.; 13 grandchildren; sisters Walterlee Yemma of Champaign. Ill.; Mary Margaret McQuillen of Yoakum, and Sheila Dennis of Seattle; and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, February 17, at Cook-Walden Funeral Home in Pflugerville, with Rosary at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, February 18, at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 1101 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park, with interment at Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville. Memorials may be made to Carmel of Mary monastery, 17765 78th St. Southeast, Wahpeton, N.D. 58075.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Feb. 16, 2005
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