obit: Maurice H. and Evelyn W. Tomek Phears
Maurice H. and Evelyn W. Phears
They had retired to Elkins Lake in Huntsville, Texas, in 1991, where they treasured their friendships at Elkins Lake Baptist Church and in the community. Maurice enjoyed playing golf at Elkins Lake until age 94, and Evelyn continued her loving tradition of homemaking and entertaining family and friends.
Born Sept. 30, 1910, in Dime Box, Texas, to father William Henry Phears and mother Calpurnia Tennessee Phears, Maurice had four brothers (Elmer, Don, Gerald, and Bert), one sister ( Lula Mae), three stepbrothers (Will, Pleasant, and Claude), and four stepsisters (Ada, Emily, Callie Maud, and Kate), all of whom preceded him in death. When Maurice was three years old, his father died: and when he was ten his mother moved the children to Houston to look for work. As a teenager, Maurice delivered groceries on his bicycle for a store in the Heights to help support his family. He later became a career man with Texaco, working forty-one years and retiring in 1965 from the Producing Department.
Born Feb. 18, 1912, in Nacogdoches, Texas, to father Frank Paul Tomek and mother Carrie Moser Tomek, Evelyn had three brothers (Frank, John, and Jimmy) and three sisters (Alberta, Lillian, and Carolyn), all of whom preceded her in death. When Evelyn was a child, the family moved to Houston and enjoyed a pleasant and active family life in the Heights area. As the oldest girl, Evelyn was a "second mother" to her younger brothers and sisters while they were growing up, and Maurice's family were her next-door neighbors during her teenage years.
In 1932, Evelyn married Earl Arnold Froelich and the couple had two daughters, Beverly Carol and Earlyn. They lived in Houston in Garden Villas and were members of Garden Villas Methodist Church. After Earl was untimely killed in an auto accident in 1955, Evelyn raised her two daughters alone by working as a secretary at Garden Villas Elementary School and catering weddings on weekends. Evelyn saw her two daughters happily married, Beverly to Thomas L. Priddy, and Earlyn to Howell A. Tompkins.
In 1935, Maurice married Alberta Rosalie Tomek, Evelyn's sister, and the couple had two daughters, Wanda Lyn and Donna Jean. They lived in Houston in Southside Place and were members of South Main Baptist Church. After seeing their daughters happily married, Wanda to Louis Albert Waters and Donna to Richard Eugene Welch, Alberta passed away at age fifty-three from a lifelong heart condition.
Both widowed and following the custom of celebrating family holiday parties together with their four daughters as cousins and best friends, Maurice and Evelyn were married in 1969 in a happy event which brought their four daughters together now as sisters. A sweet and gentle man, Maurice lived a successful life with no regrets. His daughters remember that he never told a lie, cheated anyone, talked negatively about others, or made an enemy. Dedicated to her family and friends, Evelyn was a role model for being a perfect mother and instilling values of family love and loyalty in her children and their children. She hosted a Christmas Eve party for the families of her children and their grandchildren, and great-grandchildren until the ninth decade of her life, a tradition that will be remembered as a treasure by her descendants.
Maurice and Evelyn are survived by all four daughters and their husbands, nine grandchildren, and their spouses (Carol and Alan Morrison, Kendra and Van Martin, Louis Jr. and Geraldine Waters, Laurel Waters and fiance Robert Sullivan, Kristy and Mike Outhier, Dr. Kent and Kimberly Tompkins, Kurt and Shelley Tompkins, Deborah and Kevin Vannatta, Darla and Christian Fontana), twenty great grandchildren (Jonathan, Thomas, Andrew, and Hannah Morrison; Katelyn, Claire, and Christy Martin; Sacha, Nathalie, and Luke Waters; Madison Outhier; Riley, Reid, and Reagan Tompkins; Hannah Tompkins; Keaton, Konnor, and Karson Vannatta; Colton and Callie Fontana).
Joint funeral services for Maurice and Evelyn will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at Elkins Lake Baptist Church in Huntsville. Burial and graveside services will follow the same day at 3 p.m. at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.
Memorial donations may be made to the Elkins Lake Baptist Church Building Fund, 206 State Highway 19, Huntsville, Texas 77340.
Memorial condolences may be made online at www.mem.com.
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