obit: Lillian Agnes Laas - mom Navjar
Lillian Agnes Laas, 81, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, passed away at home on July 23, 2006. She was born October 4, 1924 in Hallettsville, TX to Joseph Frank Gerlich and Agnes Magdeline Navjar Gerlich.
Lillian was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Ben Gerlich, Vladislaw “Sonny” Gerlich, Dan Gerlich, and Stanley Gerlich; husband, Vernon Reaves; infant son, Warren Laas; husband, Perry Laas; and daughter, Phyllis Laas. She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Phillip and Cindy Laas, and Russell and Anne-Marie Laas; sisters, Alice Kainer, Leona Buzek and husband Victor, Mary Mladenka and husband Charles, and Bernadette Twardowski; brother, Joseph Gerlich and wife Frances; grandchildren, Cody Laas and wife Tracey, Travis Laas, Chance Laas and wife Amanda, Ticy Joris, and Christine Laas; great-grandchildren, McKenzie Laas, Aubrie Laas, and Camryn Laas; and numerous other relatives including cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Lillian, the fifth of ten children, was born and raised in Hallettsville, TX. In 1947 she married Vernon “Scrap-Iron” Reaves, who was the Sheriff of Lavaca County. Sadly, they were only married a short time due to his untimely death in a tragic car accident in 1949.
Lillian obtained her beautician’s license and worked as a hair stylist until she married Perry James Laas in 1955 and moved to Houston. She and Perry lived in West University for nearly 30 years, aside from the few years Perry’s engineering position took them to Bogota Columbia, South America where Lillian acquired a fluency in Spanish to add to her fluency in the Czech language.
While in Houston, Lillian raised her three children, worked at Rice University’s Memorial Student Center, and made countless life-long friends. In 1986, she and Perry moved to Kerrville where she cultivated her love for the Hill Country, bridge, and dominoes. Following Perry’s death in 1996, Lillian remained in Kerrville until 2000, when she decided to move back to Hallettsville to be closer to her family.
Lillian was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Catholic Daughters of America, and KJZT Czechoslovakian-Catholic Women’s Association of Texas. She was also an avid sports fan who was especially devoted to the Astros, Owls, Aggies, and Longhorns. She cherished her many vacations to the beach, loved to take road trips through the country, and visit her many relatives. In 2003, her dream of owning property in the Hill Country was realized when she and her two sons purchased a ranch in Edwards County. She traveled there as often as she could to enjoy the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and of course, time with her family.
Lillian will always be remembered for her selfless and loving devotion to her family and friends. She literally extended an “open-door” to everyone, and her heart held room enough for all. Despite the hardships she endured, she always exuded a positive outlook that was adorned with sincerity, warmth, kindness, and graciousness. Lillian was also truly blessed with charm and wit—she could be the voice of encouragement or the ready listener, and still make people laugh with her hilarious comments and clever perspective on life. Lillian was one of those rare individuals who made everyone feel special, and all who knew her have certainly learned from and been inspired by her example. She brightened many lives with her generous spirit, and the memories of this wonderful lady are the gifts that are ours to keep.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, with a reception following at the Sacred Heart Family Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Sacred Heart Catholic School.
Special thanks and appreciation are extended to Hospice of South Texas, Dr. Justin Powell, Estella Caesar, Minnie Delgado, Frances Michalec, Alice Kainer, Leona Buzek, Mary Mladenka, Bernadette Twardowski, Joseph (Butch) Gerlich, Betty Woytek, and last but not least, Kathleen and Mike Chovanetz.
Kubena Funeral Home - Hallettsville