John Jurek, Jr., 85, of Gonzales, Texas, passed away Wednesday, November 10, 2021. John was born on April 26, 1936, in Waelder, Texas, to John Jurek, Sr. and Ada Lee Beale Jurek.
After attending Gonzales High School he began work as a truck driver for Iley & Sons and later commuted to Cuero to work at the Guadalupe Valley Cotton Mills. While working in Cuero, he met his “Honey”, Elnora Hadamek, and they were married September 24, 1955, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Cuero.
During the first few years of their marriage, John and Elnora lived in Cuero and were blessed with three daughters, Glenda, Janice, and Shirley. In 1959 they moved to San Antonio where John was employed at S. Simmons Inc., a grocery supply warehouse, and the family grew by two with the birth of another daughter, Jerrie and finally a son, John Edward. In June of 1965, John moved the family to Gonzales where he continued his truck driving career with W. L. DuBose Continental Produce. In 1968, he began driving a gravel truck for his uncle who was the owner of Bob Beale Trucking. Big John as some called him became known to other truckers and CB enthusiasts as “Honey Bear”. When Beale sold his trucking company, John went with the deal and became a driver for Central Concrete. He retired from driving upon the sale of Central Concrete to Alamo Cement.
In his younger days, John was a serious car guy, trading cars frequently and attending drag races. He even won a drag race driving the family sedan. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and taking Elnora dancing. He truly enjoyed music and although he was not a musician his love of music led him to purchase a reel- to-reel recorder. He would transfer music from his album collection to reels and enjoy playing them for hours. He also recorded the live performance of the music of the O’Neal Brothers Band, at least one of these recordings was converted to 8 track tapes.
He is survived by, sister Nelda Gandy of Gonzales, sister-in-law Helen Bulgerin (Jimmy) of Cuero, daughter Glenda Jurek-Rahe (Hardin) of San Marcos, daughter Janice Sutton-Brzozowski (Ronnie), daughter Shirley Schautteet (David, Sr.), daughter Jerrie Walshak (Mark), all of Gonzales and son John “Johnny – JJ” Jurek (Cindy Gibson) of Luling. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren; Michael Bailey, Jason Bailey, Nathan Bailey, Jasen Walshak, Austin Sutton, David Schautteet Jr., Jaren Walshak, Kim Martinez, Kaitlin Bailey, Jalen Walshak, and Jefry Walshak, and fifteen great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his wife Elnora Hadamek Jurek, his parents, brother Gray Udell Jurek, father and mother-in-law Sebuse Edward and Hattie Kroll Hadamek, sisters and brothers-in-law, Alice and Charlie Wiese, Dolores and Tillman Caraway; Shirley and Lonnie Koenning, Nellwyn and Albert Hadamek, and son-in-law Dicky Sutton.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the caregivers and staff of Texan Nursing & Rehab of Gonzales. A memorial service in his honor will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials honoring John be sent to the charity of your choice.