Joe Edward Matejcek, 82, of Gonzales passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home Monday, June 12, 2023. He was born April 14, 1941 in Lexington, TX. He was the son of Joseph Matejcek and Antonia (Plasek) Matejcek. Growing up, most of his friends and family referred to him as “Joe-Man”. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church in Lexington. He grew up during hard times and started working at a very young age. There was always plenty of work to do on the farm like feeding the animals or picking cotton with his older sisters. Although it was hard work, there was a little fun mixed in, as many stories have been shared about fishing in the creek, finding honey combs, and catching a rabbit in the cotton patch.
Joe attended school in Lexington and Giddings where he excelled at speaking competitions and track and field events. He was a member of the graduating class of Giddings High School in 1959.
Joe met the love of his life, Mary Lou Selzer, on June 13, 1959 when they were in a wedding together. Although it was love at first sight, Mary Lou’s father wouldn’t allow her to go on a date with him because she was only sixteen. They wrote letters to each other every week and he would come visit her in Gonzales until she was old enough to date. They were married November 19, 1961 at Zion Lutheran Church in Moulton, Texas. They moved to Houston and rented a small duplex in the Heights (not the Heights as we know it Today), but they were happy and living on love. He started working in construction part time when he was in high school and continued that trade in Houston. Yet, Joe was a simple man and loved the country. So in 1975, he moved his family to Gonzales to be closer to family and get out of the city.
Joe started raising broiler chickens for Holly Farms (which was later sold to Tyson). He has one of the longest running farms in the county that has remained under the same name. Last week he sold his 191st run. Joe has raised over 20 million birds in those 48 years with little or no outside help, as he’d rather do it himself because that is just the type of man he was. Joe still continued his construction work while he was raising chickens. He loved working with wood and cabinet making became his specialty.
Joe lived an example of love and faith and made sure his children went to church. He was a member of the First Lutheran Church, serving on the Church Council, and teaching Sunday School in past years. He was also a member of the Property Board when the Church built the Fellowship Hall.
Joe loved his family more than anything. Family vacations were usually spent going to see more family, going to the beach, or fishing (even though he didn’t get to fish much when the whole family went because he spent most of his time untangling lines). He was a quiet, patient man and he was always there to encourage his children and grandchildren. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, whether it was helping them build something in his workshop, driving through the pasture to feed cows, teaching them about the birds that came to the bird feeder, or going fishing and teaching them how to tie a new knot. He taught them many life lessons. Later in life, his face lit up anytime he was with his great-grandchildren.
In his spare time, he enjoyed playing his guitar and fiddle, gardening, reading, fishing and a little hunting. He enjoyed watching the wildlife more than hunting it and taught his children and grandchildren to appreciate and love nature. He and Mary would enjoy trips to the casino when they got a chance to make the trip.
Joe is survived by his devoted wife, Mary Lou, and loving family, daughter Tammy Hillman (Wayne) of Gonzales, son Joseph Matejcek (Geralyn) of Rockport, grandchildren Elizabeth Mikesh (Blake), Maggie Matejcek, Matthew Hillman (Kaily), and Mason Matejcek, great-grandchildren Emelia Mary Mihesh, Matthew Jake Hillman, and Hallie Shay Hillman, sister Julia Spitzenberger of Lexington, brothers Robert Matejcek (Terry) of Giddings and Billy Matejcek (Emma) of Giddings. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters Alice Lynch and Betty Pampell.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 20, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. until service time at 10:00 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church of Gonzales. Interment will follow at the Denton Creek Cemetery. Pallbearers include: Matthew Hillman, Mason Matejcek, Blake Mikesh, Leslie Spitzenberger, Ronald Lynch, James Pampell, John Matejcek and Bradley Matejcek. Memorials may be made in memory of Joe to the First Lutheran Church, Denton Creek Cemetery or The Dementia Society. The family would like to thank all his caregivers and the Care Team for their care and support.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, Gonzales.