obit: Ethel Schwanz Tomanek
On February 19, 2013 the Good shepherd called Ethel home. Her 92 years here on earth were filled with the bounty of a large immediate and extended family. As a wife and mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, sister, aunt and great-aunt, Ethel looked forward to all family activities. Ethel was a wonderful cook and loved to bake for any who would visit. There were always fresh M&M cookies in the jar for the grandchildren. Ethel spent years creating and decorating special birthday cakes for all. She was so proud of her initials "E.T." after the movie of the same name made it popular and loved nicknames that were derived from it. Her birthdate of 9/11 resulted in being sent several birthday cards from the President, especially since reaching her later years.
As the youngest daughter of Henry and Emma Schwanz, growing up on the family farm in the '20s offered both rewards and challenges. We heard many stories about those years. Having survived the depression, she set her goals to make sure her family had a better life. After moving to the big city as a young adult, Ethel worked at the ammunition plant during WWII.
When James Tomanek returned from service, Jim and Ethel married on November 25, 1945. They spent over 35 years together, and had 2 daughters, Cheryl and Jamie. For many years, Ethel was a cashier and bakery manager for Red Owl grocery stores. Following retirement, Ethel was active in VFW auxiliary #295, the South St. Paul Senior Center, and the Holy Trinity Catholic parish. Ethel was known to have a mischievous side, and to enjoy whatever she was doing. She had a zest for life that kept her going through thick and thin.
Although Ethel lived the past 8 months in Texas, she spent most of her adult years in the South St. Paul, Minnesota area. Most weeks found Ethel playing cards or visiting the local casinos. She had been recognized for outstanding community service, and was a valued member of a championship cribbage team. Because both of her daughters and their families lived out of state, Ethel was a frequent traveler. Her trips to Florida and Texas leave us with many wonderful memories!
Ethel was preceded in death by her husband James J. Tomanek, and most recently by son-in-law, Gary Tatro, and nephew/godson Karl Schreck, Jr. Ethel was the last member of her family to stay on earth; her brothers: Elmer, Earl and Lawrence and sister, Lillian Schreck had all passed before her.
She is survived by her dear friend Bill Grimes of St. Paul, Minnesota; daughters, Cheryl Tatro of Liberty Hill, Texas and Jamie Krebs and husband Leo of Palm Bay, Florida. She is also survived by 6 grandchildren: Todd Tatro and wife Brenda; Tammy Lensing and husband Ray; Annette Santini and husband Quinton; Brenda Ross and husband Jim; Amy Hoppe; Terri Hoppe. There are 15 great-grandchildren; and she looked forward to the arrival of the 16th in April. There are many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews and their families who remember her fondly.
A Memorial Mass will be held at two o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, March 15, 2013 at Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Andice, Texas. Inurnment and another Memorial Mass in South St. Paul, Minnesota will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a charity of choice.
Arrangements by Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home, 2900 Williams Drive, Georgetown, Texas 78628 (512)863-2564.
Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home