Obituary of Libbie Svoboda Bayer
Wilson County News Online
31 Dec 2003
Libbie S. Bayer
Our loving mother, Libbie (Libuse) Svoboda Bayer, formerly of San
Antonio, Texas, and Elgin, Texas, went to be with the Lord on
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003, at the age of 95 years and 7 days.
She was born on Dec. 9, 1908, to John and Mary Merecka Svoboda on a
farm west of Floresville, Texas, called Camp Ranch. She was the
eldest of four children, her siblings being Anton, Mary, and John
Libbie grew up and attended school in Wilson County. She was baptized
at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Floresville and made her first
Holy Communion here. Libbie was a good daughter and sister, helping
with the household and field chores. She picked cotton, hoed weeds,
shucked corn, preserved food, cooked, and sewed clothes for the
family. She participated in the SOKOL, a Czech gymnastics
organization, and was a life-long member of the SPJST Fraternal Lodge
107 in Floresville.
Through these organizations she met Joseph Bayer Sr., who courted her
for a time until they married at Sacred Heart on Sept. 29, 1931. This
was the time during the Great Depression. Having little money, they
stayed and worked on their parents' farms off and on for almost 10
years, until they moved to San Antonio in 1942.
The couple had six children: Joseph Bayer Jr., Lawrence, Alois John,
Libbie Ann, Charles, and Thomas; 14 grandchildren, 20 great-
grandchildren;, and one great-great-grandson. Libbie was a loving
wife, mother, and homemaker. She loved life and nature, was cheerful
and full of fun. There were struggles and hard times, but her
children and grandchildren adored her and admired her for her zest
for life, strength of character, and good nature. She helped others
willingly and thought little of herself.
Libbie's spiritual strength and relationship with God were synonymous
with her life. She prayed the rosary often, having learned the
prayers in Czech first. She told her children that at times when she
may not have had her rosary with her, she would use her 10 fingers to
complete her prayers. Libbie was away from Sacred Heart Catholic
Church in Floresville for 60 years. However, wherever she lived, she
always sought out her church and registered in the parish. After
leaving Floresville, she attended the Little Flower Shrine (now a
basilica) and Queen of the Holy Rosary in San Antonio, Our Lady of
Lourdes in Montclair, Calif., and Sacred Heart Church in Elgin.
Sewing must have come naturally to Libbie. She not only sewed for her
parents, but continued to sew for her own family. As the children
grew up, she eventually went to work for a commercial canvas company,
sewing tents, awnings, boat covers, and tarps until she retired at
the age of 62. In between everything else, she pieced and quilted bed
covers as often as she could, giving them to her children and
Libbie loved to visit family and friends, eventually seeking out and
meeting distant relatives in the Czech Republic, whom she visited
several times. Family dinners were a must every Sunday, and seeing
the grandparents, along with enjoying lots of homemade chicken noodle
soup, meat, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut sweet rice, and kolaches.
Libbie always loved children, and when it was too quiet around the
house for her, she would seek out her young grandchildren and take
them back to her house to liven up the day. She loved to play games
with the children and dominoes. She taught them nursery rhymes both
in Czech and English.
Libbie and her husband moved to Elgin in 1980 to be near and help
care for their two youngest grandsons, David and Kevin, while their
parents were at work. And when these two youngsters grew up, Libbie
was sought after by other parents to baby-sit their children. She
loved doing this!
Libbie had a long, vigorous, and productive life. She is loved by
everyone whose life she touched, and she will be deeply missed by
all. Her journey is now complete.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Joseph Bayer
Sr., who passed away in December 1991; brothers Anton and John
Svoboda Jr.; brothers-in-law William Vaclavik, Val Bayer Sr., and
Bruce McCloskey; and sisters-in-law Julia Vaclavic, Anita Bayer, and
Helen Bayer, all of Floresville.
Surviving her are sister Mary McCloskey; sister-in-law Mary Svoboda;
and brother-in-law, Jesse Bayer, all of Floresville.
She also is survived by her children, Joseph Bayer Jr. and wife Diane
of Kemah, Texas, and Lawrence Bayer and wife Betty Jo, Alois John
Bayer and wife Glenda, and Thomas Bayer, all of San Antonio, Libbie
Ann Kolenda and husband Joe Kolenda Sr. of Floresville and Charles
Bayer and wife Eva of Elgin; grandchildren Joey Bayer III and wife
Brenda of Dickinson, Texas, Cindy Wildman and husband Kevin of League
City, Texas, Janell Mathews and husband Hans of Plantation, Fla., and
Larry Bayer, Bobby Bayer, Cheryl Bayer and husband Bill Nielson, Ron
Bayer and wife Susie, all of San Antonio, Debbie Bayer of Phoenix,
Ariz., Joseph Kolenda Jr. and wife Terry of Floresville, Tim Kolenda
and wife Lida of Austin, Texas, Pennie Moczygemba and husband
Clarence of Kosciusko, Texas, David and Kevin Bayer of Elgin, and
Sarah Bayer of Schertz, Texas; great-grandchildren Morgan Bayer of
Dickinson, Tommy and Gabriel Bayer of League City, Katie Mathews of
Plantation, Lauren, Megan, Ryan, Aaron and Denise Bayer, Christian
and Cassy Nielson, all of San Antonio, Jacob and Justin Patino of
Austin and San Antonio, Joseph Kolenda III and wife Minh, and Anthony
Kolenda, all of San Antonio, Jonathan and Miranda Kolenda of
Floresville, and Scott, Travis, and Ashleigh Moczygemba, all of
Kosciusko; great-grandson Vincent Kolenda of San Antonio; and a host
of other loving family members and friends.
The family received visitors on Friday, Dec. 19, from 4-7 p.m. in the
Mission Park Funeral Chapels South in San Antonio. A eulogy was given
by Charles Bayer, followed by the rosary, which was led by Franklin
A funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Sacred
Heart Catholic Church in Floresville with Father Stefan Wiera as
celebrant and Ashleigh Moczygemba as altar server. Music was provided
by Peter Kane and Carol Zidek. The readings were given by Aaron
Bayer, Travis Moczygemba, and Justin Patino. Intercessions were made
by Pennie Moczygemba, and the offering of the gifts was made by
Ronny, Susie, and Denise Bayer. The eulogy was given by Charles Bayer.
Interment followed the services in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in
Floresville, followed by a reception with the family in the Sacred
Heart Parish Hall.
Pallbearers were grandsons Joseph Bayer III, Larry Bayer, Joseph
Kolenda Jr., Ronny Bayer, David Bayer, and Kevin Bayer. Honorary
pallbearers were Clarence Moczygemba, Bill Nielsen, Tim Kolenda,
Kevin Wildman, Hans Mathews, Bobby Bayer, and Sarah Bayer.