Elda Gajeske, 89, widow of Bennie Gajeske, passed away April 9, 2013 in Brenham Rest Home. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Eben-Ezer Lutheran Church of Berlin, with Pastor Ken Weiss officiating. Burial will follow in Prairie Lea Cemetery. The family will receive friends and relatives from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Monday evening at Memorial Oaks Chapel.
Elda was born July 12, 1923 in Welcome, Texas to Edwin and Hilda (Bender) Mertz. Baptized December 17, 1923 at Salem Lutheran Church of Welcome, she was confirmed there March 2, 1937. She was married to Bennie Gajeske on December 15, 1951, also in Salem Lutheran Church of Welcome. Elda created a loving and nurturing home for her family in Brenham. A member of Eben-Ezer Lutheran Church from 1951 until her death, she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School there until the mid 1960's.
A talented seamstress, Elda sewed custom dresses for ladies in Brenham for many years. She was able to create her own patterns if none were provided to her. In the 60's and 70's, she sewed outfits for several Maifest Kings and Queens, as well as for other Maifest participants. Also a skillful quilter, she created beautiful, colorful quilts for her family, including a special quilt for Aaron, her only grandson, when he "graduated" from a crib to a full-size bed.
A tremendous cook, Elda cooked scrumptious meals for family and friends. Everyone who came into her home for lunch or dinner was treated to a full course meal, including dessert. Homemade ice cream, especially strawberry, was a special treat she prepared for events at her church. Home-baked cookies and cakes, including her famous fruit cakes, were in demand at church functions and family gatherings. After retirement, she baked a lot of chocolate chip cookies, even though these were not her favorite. The freezer always contained several packages of these cookies for family members to take with them.
An avid gardener, she was well-known for the vibrant, red geraniums which grew in her yard, prompting visitors to stop and ask for her gardening advice. Potatoes, green beans, okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables from her garden supplied her household with fresh produce.
Positive and hardworking, she overcame many physical health issues during her lifetime. An avid Astros fan, Elda never missed a game on TV, finally being able to attend a game in person in 2012 at Minute Maid Park. Elda was a loving, nurturing mother, a wonderful listener, insisting that her children were taught respect and discipline.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Ronnie and Cheryl Gajeske of Houston; daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and James Korth of Brenham; grandson, Aaron W. Gajeske of Port Orange, Florida, and sister Myrtle Winkelmann and brother-in-law Delphine Schilling, both of Brenham. She had a close and loving relationship with her sisters, and they were able to celebrate many birthdays, Easter and Christmas holidays for the family over the years, providing many special memories for the entire family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Edwin and Hilda Mertz; husband, Bennie Gasjeske; brother-in-law Reinhardt Winkelmann, and a sister, Gladys Schilling.
Serving as pallbearers are Norman Winkelmann, Donald Winkelmann, Larry Schilling, Glen Schilling, Michael Gajeske, and Robert Gajeske.
Memorials may be directed to Eben-Ezer Lutheran Church of Berlin.
Funeral arrangements for Elda Gajeske are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 W. Main, Brenham. To post a tribute to the family, visit www.memorialoakschapel.com.
Read Elda Gajeske's Obituary and Guestbook on www.memorialoakschapel.com.