Melvin Otto Grauke, 75, of Harwood, passed away Saturday, Dec. 22. Melvin was born in the family home on Oct. 4, 1943 to Walter and Annie Wilke Grauke.
He graduated from Gonzales High School with the Class of 1961 and honorably served his country through his enlistment in the U.S. Army. Melvin married Linda Marie Gray on Dec. 19, 1964 in Gonzales.
He was a member and deacon of Memorial Heights Baptist Church where he also served on the church’s financial committee. Melvin had been an active member of the Texas Young Farmer’s Association and had served as the State Chairperson in 1982. He had been a member of the Ottine Volunteer Fire Department and had served on its board of directors.
Growing up on the family farm near Harwood, Melvin discovered at a very young age that he enjoyed raising and showing hogs. He developed this interest into a successful farrowing and feeder hog operation. Melvin broadened his scope in ranching by expanding into cow/calf, broiler chickens, and feeder calf markets along with establishing his own feed mill. His was a life of early mornings and late evenings of steady and sometimes very hard work. His large calloused hands and long lean body were endlessly busy tending to chores stopping only to worship on Sundays attend football games to watch his son Donnie play on the field or his daughter Rynda cheer from the sidelines or support the civic and farming organizations he so believed in. Later it was his grandchildren’s extracurricular activities that called him away from his work, all temporary breaks from his labor that he dearly loved.
Melvin loved family and dearly loved family gatherings. He was a loving father and dedicated to his family. He wasn’t always about work, he delighted in having fun with his children. Melvin lived an example of the benefits of hard work, faith in God and attending worship services. He was a devout Christian and with his faith was brave in the face of his illness and ultimate end of life on this earth. “Blessed are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Melvin Otto Grauke is survived by his loving family, daughter and son-law, Rynda Gaile and Chris Wardlaw of Dripping Springs, son and daughter-in-law, Donald Wayne Sr. and Karen Grauke of Harwood, brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Brenda Grauke of Harwood, grandchildren, Donald Wayne Grauke Jr., Matthew Grauke and Tanner Wardlaw and a great-granddaughter, Weslyn Marie Grauke. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and his sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Daniel Dolezal.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home with Rev. Clint Lowery officiating. Interment will follow in Woodmen of the World Cemetery. Pallbearers: Donnie Grauke, Jr., Matthew Grauke, Tanner Wardlaw, Steven Dolezal, Scott Dolezal and Michael Dolezal. Honorary pallbearers: Jimmy Barnick, Herman Grauke, Billy Bob Low, Darwin Ward and Robert Worrell. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday evening in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Hospice Austin, 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78759 or Memorial Heights Baptist Church 1330 N. College Street, Gonzales, TX 78629. Friends may leave their condolences by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.