Alton Oncken


Alton Oncken, 82, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Alton was born Jan. 29, 1931 in Monthalia to Harry Gerhart Oncken and Ella Nora Rokohl Oncken. Alton was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Methodist Men. He had been active through the years helping with various church functions and fund raisers.  

Alton attended school in the Needa Country School. He honorably served his country through the USAR where he was activated and served in Korea. Alton started his career working at Dawe Feeds before accepting a job with Alcoa in Port Lavaca. He later went to work for the Texas State Highway Department where he worked until his retirement in 1993.  

Alton was a wonderful husband and father; he provided well for his family and early on often took extra jobs working nights and weekends and would personally do without luxuries to assure that his family did not want for anything.

Alton loved hunting deer, enjoyed gardening everything from rose bushes to vegetables and fruit trees. He took great pride in his garden tomatoes and typically harvested spring and fall tomato crops, the latter of which he stored for use during winter months.  

As a father he was a great listener, truly hearing and understanding the trials of his children before he offered his advice, which was often straightforward in speaking and always sound guidance.  

He was “Grandpa” to his grandchildren and any rough edges that existed in his manner as a father clearly didn’t survive the transition to grandfather. He was loving, doting and sweet to his grandchildren, and he visibly and verbally expressed his loved to them freely.  

Alton Oncken was a good man, and his memory will be cherished by his family and the many who called him friend.        

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Rhodes Oncken of Gonzales; daughter and son-in-law, Nancy Kay and Bart Stephenson; grandchildren, Kailey Marissa Stephenson and McKenzie Elizabeth Stephenson all of Houston; sisters, Ruth Barker of Austin and Julia Oakes and husband Jerry of Gonzales; brothers, Paul Oncken and wife Vickie of Leesville and Alvin Oncken and wife Helen of Houston; and sister-in-law, Nora Oncken of Monthalia. He was preceded in death by his parents; sons Alton Oncken, Jr. and Richard Rhodes Oncken; and a brother Benno Oncken.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 in the First United Methodist Church in Gonzales with Pastor Andy Smith and Rev. Warren Hornung officiating.  Interment will follow in Gonzales Memorial Park. Pallbearers are Michael Oakes, Scott Oakes, Kevin Oakes, Robert Oncken, Kent Oncken, Gary Oncken and Keith Barker.  Honorary pallbearers are James Lehnart, Herman Grauke and Ray Cowey.  

The family received friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday in the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Gonzales First United Methodist Church, 522 St. Lawrence St., Gonzales, TX 78629 or Accolade Hospice, 222 West Grande Ave., Yoakum, TX 77995.  Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home in Gonzales.