Elenore Ehrig, 95, of Gonzales, passed to Heaven on June 18, 2022, following an orthopedic surgery in Austin.
Elenore was born September 8, 1926, to Susie and Louis Kosarek on their small farm in Wrightsboro. The youngest of 6 children, she was the “baby” of the family and spoiled by them all, especially her daddy. She attended school in Wrightsboro, and was often transported by a Shetland pony that loved nothing more than to bite her legs. Even as a small girl, Elenore felt compassion for the pony left to stand and wait all day as she finished class. Her time on the farm instilled a lifelong love of animals, including cows, cats, and birds.
A polka-dancing, music-loving Czech girl at heart, Elenore was raised with Czech as her first language and the only language spoken at home. During her high school years, her daddy would occasionally take Elenore to polka dances, and she continued to enjoy dancing throughout her life. Following her graduation from Gonzales High School, she worked as a telephone operator and lived in Temple for a short time with her sister, Mickie. She was employed by Wiley’s Grocery in Gonzales for several years before enjoying long-term employment at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital in Ottine before retiring.
Elenore was introduced to her handsome soldier boy, Hugo Ehrig, while walking in downtown Gonzales with her friend (and his sister), Gertrude. On June 9, 1945, she traveled alone by train to marry Hugo in Mineral Wells while he was serving in the army during World War II. After the brief ceremony he returned to his army post and Elenore rode the train back home to Gonzales. Raised Catholic, she converted to Methodist in keeping with the Ehrig family’s faith tradition and became an active member of the Methodist Church. When the war ended, Hugo came home and together they raised two daughters, Joan and Jackie. In 1995, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the American Legion Hall in Gonzales, hosted by their daughters and joined by family and dear friends for barbecue and dancing.
Both Elenore and Hugo came from large farming families and were blessed with many nieces and nephews. Annual Kosarek and Ehrig reunions and other family gatherings were among their most treasured moments.
Elenore’s favorite times were spent with family and friends. She loved being Mimi to her grandchildren, annual summer trips to Port Aransas with Hugo, Joan and Jackie and later with their grandchildren, Hugo’s army reunions, playing cards and dominoes with friends, holidays and get-togethers with the Chessers, traveling to Hawaii in 1988 with their children and grandchildren, and bus trips with local churches and friends to Branson and other beautiful places. Later in life she enjoyed watching Polka Party on RFD TV on Saturday nights, and snuggling and caring for her precious cats, Nooner, Gabby, Ling and Trixie, who brought her great friendship and comfort.
Elenore was preceded in death by her husband, Hugo; her parents and siblings, Frances, Alben, Stazie, Mickie and Louis; and, her great-grandson, Ezra. She is survived by her daughters, Joan and husband, Bob Chesser of Angleton and Jackie and husband, Melvin Hodgkiss of Austin, and sister-in-law, Gertrude Iley. Also left to cherish her memory are grandchildren, Kimberly Chesser; Blaine Chesser and wife, Stacy; Devin Highsmith; Miranda and husband David Magdangal; Michael Hodgkiss and wife Cristina; and, great-grandchildren, Peyton and Cade Chesser, Mia and Ethan Hodgkiss, and Dylan and Colby Douget. Her extended family and beloved friends include Patricia and Bill Chesser and their children, Laurie Kelley, Beth Newman, and caregiver and friend, Carmen Rodriguez.
In the coming days, a private memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, Gonzales. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in Elenore’s memory to First United Methodist Church or Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter.