Obituaries

October 2021

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Published October 10, 2021


William Michael “Mike” Ledbetter

William Michael “Mike” Ledbetter

If you asked a hundred people who William Michael “Mike” Ledbetter was, they would all give you a different answer. A father.  A grandfather. A brother. An uncle.  A friend. A jokester.  Questionable sense of humor kind of guy.  A sports fanatic.  Loyal. A preacher. A rebel. A principal. A teacher. A coach.  Lucky, especially when it came to scratchers. A fighter – in every sense of that word.  A trouble maker. A storyteller. A die-hard Longhorns and Cowboys fan. But the most important – a child of God.

Mike never met a stranger. He considered all people friends he just didn’t know the names of yet. He never had a problem starting up a conversation with someone, or making you feel comfortable if you just sat there and grinned at each other for no reason and then burst out in laughter. Mike loved a good banana pudding, his mother’s recipe was his favorite, and he was never late to the dinner table for good food, great company, and belly laughs from his stories.

Mike was born in the summer of 1945 and awoke in the arms of Jesus on Monday, September 20, 2021. He leaves behind (for now) his three children and their spouses, four grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, three sisters, a brother, and a football stadium full of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Mike’s Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at Heritage Baptist Church in Georgetown at 11 a.m.  All who knew him are welcome.

 

 



Lyndel “Wayne” Long

Lyndel “Wayne” Long

Lyndel “Wayne” Long, beloved husband, father, and Papaw, died Wednesday, October 6, 2021. He was born April 3, 1929, in El Reno, Oklahoma. He was a proud member of the U.S. Air Force. In 1951 he married Catherine Slater, also of El Reno. After he completed his military service, he went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration. He used the GI Bill to attend Oklahoma City University and graduated in 1956, with a degree in Electronic Engineering. By this time he had three small daughters, a few years later another daughter, then a son came along. Wayne received his private pilot’s license in 1966 and flew privately for 20 years. He had a 35 year career with the FAA and retired as Sector Manager for the Austin Area in 1985. The last 30 years you could probably find him in his beloved garden, tilling, planting and harvesting the vegetables he so loved to grow.

In May 2021, he celebrated his 70th wedding anniversary with his wife, Catherine, who survives him.

He is also survived by his five children and their spouses, Denise Conner and husband, Paul of Hudson Oaks, Texas; Cathy Meyer and husband Ernest of Burnet; Brenda Richards and husband Lee of Liberty Hill; Christy Holquin and husband David of Coldspring, Texas; and son Tim Long and wife Dee Dee of Georgetown.

Wayne was a well loved “Papaw” to 14 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.

Honored to be pallbearers are Austin Long, Brandon Leath, Matt Meyer, Matt Burleson, Phillip Hurlbut, and Kris Guillot.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Vic Smith, Harold Harvell, Harold Webster, Louis Slater, and Buddy Kruse.

Services for Wayne Long were scheduled for October 9 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 1333 West University Avenue in Georgetown. Burial will be at Liberty Hill Cemetery in Liberty Hill. 

Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warriors Project.


Ramsey Funeral Home and Crematorium




Ashley Dawn Randall

40, of Killeen, memorial services will be held on Friday, October, 8, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Florence, Texas.

 


Published October 6, 2021


Kenneth Ray Steffek, Jr.

Kenneth Ray Steffek, Jr.

Kenneth Ray Steffek, Jr., 51, passed away peacefully in Austin on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Ken was born in Grand Prairie, Texas, on June 23, 1970, to Ken and Pat Steffek. He graduated from Victoria High School and went on to join the Marine Corp in 1992. Ken attended Texas State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.  He worked for Dover Fueling Solutions as a Test Engineer for 13 years. He was married to Kim Steffek on March 23, 2013.

In his free time, Ken enjoyed traveling, spending time outdoors, tinkering in the garage.  On the weekend you could often find him in the backyard grilling with a beer in his hand. Ken was also quite the bartender and enjoyed creating and trying new drink recipes. 

Ken is survived by his wife, Kim Steffek of Jarrell, stepchildren, Tyler Pavel of Austin, and Sydnie Pavel of Hutto, his parents, Kenneth Steffek, Sr., and Patricia Steffek of Bastrop, and also a large and loving group of extended family and friends.

A memorial service for Ken will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 9, 2021, at The Gabriels Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 393 North Interstate 35, Georgetown, Texas,  78628.

The Gabriels



Adam Blatner, M.D.

Adam Blatner, M.D.

Adam Blatner, M.D., “floated to the finish” (in his own words) in October. Inspired as a child by his primary physician’s kindness, Dr. Blatner declared his intention to become a doctor even before elementary school, saying, “I want to help other little children, like you do.” Graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was awarded Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, he continued his education at University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, receiving his M.D. and entering psychiatric residency at Stanford University School of Medicine. Following his residency, Dr. Blatner joined the U.S. Air Force; served as head of the family clinical treatment facility at Lakenheath Air Force Base, England; and achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel when he was discharged from the service.

Dr. Blatner’s sub-specialty interest led to his certification as a Trainer Educator of Psychodrama. He is the author of the primary textbook in that field, Acting-In, which has been translated into every major language. A prolific writer, he authored several other books, chapters in textbooks, and many articles.

He was an active proponent of psychological literacy, critical thinking, and mental flexibility. As a clinician, he helped patients discover areas of health and joy in their lives. Dr. Blatner wrote and taught about the primary values of imagination, intuition, playfulness, improvisation, physical vitality, expressiveness, and spiritual inspiration as ways to foster a higher level of social and emotional skills in the human population.

Teaching has been a constant focus of Dr. Blatner’s professional and avocational endeavors. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Texas A&M Medical School. In retirement, he and several other teachers started a Senior Learning for fun program. A passionate reader and polymath from his early childhood, Dr. Blatner borrowed from local lending libraries and purchased thousands of books—reading them all! One of his greatest joys with the Senior Learning program was the chance to teach classes on a wide variety of subjects from Shakespeare, world writing systems, micro-biology, process philosophy, history of medicine, history of comic books, etc.

He was an outstanding dancer, embracing international folk and ballroom dance as a teenager, adding square and round dancing, and advanced his skill in those areas into his later life. During retirement, he sang in a choral group and participated in community theatre productions. Always a lover of the tradition of campfire song fests, he compiled an extensive songbook, and actively held small and larger group sing-a-longs wherever he lived.

After Dr. Blatner—a lifelong clinician, academic, theorist, internationally respected author and educator—learned that he was experiencing symptoms of dementia, he declared his intention to calmly “float to the finish.” Which he did, surrounded by his devoted family. He is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Allee; ex-wife, Barbara; son, David and wife, Debbie, their sons, Gabriel and Daniel; daughter, Alisa and husband, Paul, their daughters, Camille and Zoe; brother, Irwin, two beloved nieces, and numerous cousins. His uplifting smile and joie de vivre will be deeply missed by his family, colleagues, and friends. He often insisted that his greatest accomplishment was: “I got to help.”

The family thanks SLO Hospice and the “angels on earth” from Dignity Health Hospice who attended his final decline. Neptune Society was especially helpful when we needed them most. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to your local library. The family held a private service to honor Adam’s life.

 

 

 


Published October 3, 2021


John Kenneth Whittenberg

John Kenneth Whittenberg

 

John Kenneth Whittenberg was born April 2, 1940, in Weatherford, Texas, the son of Marvin Brooks and Nellie Elizabeth (Day) Whittenberg.  He passed from this life September 27, 2021, in Round Rock, Texas, at the age of 81. John was a long standing member of the Florence community before moving to Buckholts in 2013.  During his younger years he enjoyed fishing, river camping and many watersports with his family. He was passionate about being a cattle rancher and his career spanned over six decades. John was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Audrey Jo Whittenberg; his brothers, Marvin Frank Whittenberg and Paul Richard Whittenberg; and a stepson, Kaman Greene. He is survived by his son, Glenn Whittenberg and wife, Julie; daughter, Cynthia Linardos and husband, Jim; grandchildren, Justin Whittenberg and Jeana Harder; great-grandchildren, Daniel Harder and Louis Harder; stepchildren, Billy Greene and Vonda Roche; step-grandchildren, Jerred Gibson, Andrew Linardos, Alex Linardos, Wacey Greene, Kayna Champion and Jenny Roche; step-great-grandchildren, Hadley Gibson, Madison Gibson, Charlotte Gibson and Hudson Gibson. A gathering of family and friends will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 9. 2021, at Florence City Cemetery. Graveside services will follow at 11 a.m.

Cook-Walden Davis Funerals and Cremations



 

Kathleen Ann Burnop

Kathleen Ann Burnop

 

Kathleen Ann Burnop was called to her heavenly home on September 25, 2021, at the age of 71. She was a loving sister, wife, mother, and grandmother.  Kathleen was a devoted Christian and loved Jesus. 

Kathleen was born on August 8, 1950, in Austin, Texas, to Herbert Sander and Doris Richter. On May 9, 1970, Kathleen married the love of her life James Burnop. She is survived by her children, Scott Burnop and wife, Audrey Benitz, and Alison Jalufka and husband, Brian. She has three grandchildren, Caleb, Daniel, and Elliott Grace, two sisters, Nancy Burnop and husband Wayne and Betty Gilbert and husband Bob, and her dog, Lucy.

Kathleen worked in the children’s room at the Georgetown Public Library and affectionately provided child care for her three grandchildren once she retired. In July of 2021, Kathleen was diagnosed with a terminal illness called amyloidosis which caused severe heart failure.  She died peacefully in the night from heart complications.   

Kathleen is preceded in death by her parents Herbert Sander and Doris Richter Sander.  

Visitation took place on Wednesday, September 29, at The Gabriels Funeral Chapel in Georgetown. Services were held at Mission Liberty Hill Lutheran Church on Thursday, September 30.  

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be given to the Liberty Hill Public Library to purchase children’s books so that Kathleen’s love of reading to children can live on. 


The Gabriels



Regina Modene Segrist Heckman

Regina Modene Segrist Heckman

 

Regina Modene Segrist Heckman was the daughter of John David (Jack) and Inez Armstrong Segrist. She was born on September 15, 1939. She passed away on August 13, 2021, just 33 days shy of her 82nd birthday.

A celebration of life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 9, 2021, in the Chapel of Ramsey Funeral Home. A reception will follow the service in the Reception Hall of Ramsey Funeral Home. Mrs. Heckman will be laid to rest with her husband, Donald Heckman, at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 11, 2021, at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. 

Regina was the fifth child of eight children, born to Jack and Inez. She was born in Soldier, Kansas and graduated from Soldier High School.

She was preceded in death by both parents; husband, Donald, three brothers: Duane Segrist (Shirley) of Holton Kansas, Galen Segrist of Topeka, Kansas, Warren Dean Segrist of Holton, Kansas; son-in-law, Joseph Burton Reed of Willis, Texas; grandson, Joseph Robert Reed of Frankston, Texas.

She leaves behind three sisters and one brother: Virginia Nelson (Jim-deceased) of Holton, Kansas, Donna Murrow (Gene) of Denton, Kansas, Mona McManagal of Laurence, Kansas, Fred Segrist (Billie) of Topeka, Kansas.  She also leaves three children: Alicia Reed-Oliver (Charles) of Florence Texas, Jaquetta Richards (Joshua) of Taylor, Texas, Arbie John Heckman of Georgetown, Texas; two grandchildren, Elyese Reed Tinlin of Cut-N-Shoot, Texas and Talon Richards of Taylor, Texas; three great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter as well as many nieces and nephews. She was loved by all.

Regina met and married the love of her life, Donald Louis Heckman, on March 23, 1958. They were married for 60 plus years before his death. They met when he was in the Air Force stationed in Kansas. He made a 25 plus year career of serving his country. He was the enlisted one but she too served on the home front, managing the kids and house, all while working full time. The family moved about every two years all over the U.S. and abroad. They were stationed in Clovis, New Mexico, his last post before retirement. Regina accepted a job at Sears and Roebuck working in the tool department as a commissioned salesperson. She enjoyed the challenge of working in a male dominated area and made sure she knew and understood all the tools they sold and what they were used for.

Upon retirement, they chose Round Rock as their forever home. She transferred to the Austin Sears and worked there until she retired. She maintained friendships she made there until she passed away.

They moved to the country with their son after he completed his home. After they moved, she became the Postmaster to the satellite post office in Andice, Texas. She did that for many years until she could no longer do it. She experienced many health challenges over the last few years, so for the last three months of her life she lived at The Oaks Retirement Center in Georgetown, Texas. She made friends, played bingo and appeared to enjoy the fellowship with the other residents. She was loved and will be missed by many.

You may share a message or memory in the online memorial guestbook at

www.RamseyFuneral.com. 


Ramsey Funeral Home and Crematorium



Philip Alan Schwartz

 

Philip Alan Schwartz, 75, Georgetown, Texas, passed away September 23, 2021, at home after courageously battling a long term illness. He was born April 23, 1946, in Danville, Illinois, to Robert Eugene Schwartz, Sr. and Una Fern (“Babe”) Schwartz.

Phil married Beverly Marshall on December 26, 1980.  Phil loved spending time with his friends and family, and he was especially proud of his grandchildren. He also loved golfing and bowling. Two items from his Bucket List were to hit a hole in one and bowl a 300 game. Although he came very close to achieving both several times, neither one happened; but forever the optimist, he never gave up and he always kept trying. Phil was a graduate of Hoopeston High School in Hoopeston, Illinois, Class of 1964, where he was a standout athlete in basketball, football, and track, breaking the school record in the mile run his senior year. Phil also attended and graduated from Eastern Illinois University. Phil served in the Army, 1968 to 1970, and fought bravely in Vietnam where he was wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart, along with several other medals for valor, outstanding service and dedication. Phil was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. He was also a big fan of the Texas A&M Aggies and enjoyed watching Aggie football games at Kyle Field with his son, brother, and nephew. 

Phil is survived by his wife, Beverly; his son, Keith (Brenda) of Flower Mound, Texas; four grandchildren: Lindsay, Lauren, Mia, and Cole; his brother, Robert E. Schwartz, Jr. of Longmont, Colorado; and his sister, Charon of Venice, Florida.  

Phil was preceded in death by his brother, Bruce Mitchell Schwartz; his mother, Una Fern (“Babe”) Schwartz; and his father, Robert Eugene Schwartz, Sr. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to any of the following organizations, as each were important to Phil:  Wounded Warriors of America; American Legion - Post 384, Hoopeston, Illinois; Veterans of Foreign Wars - Post 4826, Hoopeston, Illinois.

Phil will be laid to rest in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, Killeen, Texas, on October 15, 2021.