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Smith Funeral Home

404 West Bobkat Street, Moulton, TX

OBITUARY

Sam J. Sustr

2 November, 193221 October, 2019
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Samuel James (Sam) Sustr was born on November 2, 1932 and passed away on October 21, 2019 he was 86 years old. Sam was born in the Oak Grove/Witting area about 7 miles east of Moulton, Texas on the Sustr homestead to Jim and Annie Novosad Sustr. He began school in Oak Grove and stayed to the 7th grade and then went to school in Moulton graduating in 1950.

From 1950 to 1953, Sam worked with his father Jim Sustr farming and raising cattle. On April 15th 1953 Sam was drafted into the army during the Korean War and attended basic training at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. In the second week of basic training the war ended July 27th 1953 and Sam was sent to Ft. Richardson near Anchorage in the then US territory of Alaska.

Sam was assigned to the 71st Quartermaster Company where he was given the position of Mail Clerk for the 71st Quartermaster. As Mail Clerk Sam became quite popular as many men had to come to him in off hours to get their mail. During his time in Alaska, Sam made many good friends and often spent weekends in the small town of Hope, Alaska. Sam rotated back to the States in 1955 and separated from the Army and was honorably discharged. Sam returned to Moulton and resumed working with his father farming and ranching.

On January 14th 1956 Sam married the love of his life Elizabeth (Liz) Roznovsky, daughter of Ludwig and Johanna Roznovsky. Elizabeth was also from Moulton but working in Houston at the time they were married. Sam’s brother-in-law Rudy Roznovsky helped get him a job at Houston Lighting and Power – Beatty Service Center (later Bellaire Service Center). He began work on February 7th 1956 and worked there for 36 years until he retired on April 2nd 1992. Immediately after retiring Sam and Liz moved back to Moulton where they built a new home moving in November of 1992 where they had many good times despite many health issues for Liz.

Sam and Liz had two sons Stanley Sustr and Scott Sustr. Stan graduated from the University of Houston in 1980 and worked for American Medical International until 1990 when he moved to the Dallas area settling in Allan, Texas where he worked for Perot Systems and Dell Services until he began semi-retirement, working part time, in 2014. Scott graduated from Lamar High school in 1980 and moved to Moulton to work with his grandfather, Jim Sustr, farming and ranching. Scott and Sam formed S&S Cattle Company where Scott continues to work.

Sam was formerly a member of the St. Theresa Men’s Club in Houston; Friendly Trail Riders of Moulton, Shiner and Flatonia; and current member of American Legion Post 392 where he served as Commander in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and St. Joseph Catholic Church of Moulton.

Sam was a Bingo caller at St. Theresa Church in Houston for 20 years and for the American Legion in Moulton for 20 years. Other places he occasionally called Bingo for were the Knights of Columbus in Moulton and the Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in Moravia.

Sam’s hobbies included Barbequing, Cooking, Gardening, Camping trips to Livingston and Breckenridge, Cattle and attending Cattle Auctions in Flatonia, Hallettsville and Gonzales. Sam’s favorite past retirement hobby was building Antique Bird Houses working closely with his wife Liz helping to inspire him to create very unique rustic designs. Most of the Bird Houses were donated for charity auctions primarily St. Joseph Catholic Church in Moulton.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Annie Novosad Sustr and brother Ben J. Sustr.

Sam is survived by wife Elizabeth; son Stanley Sustr; son and daughter-in-law Scott and Peggie Sustr; step grandchildren, Nicole Chaloupka and husband Chad, Ryan Wagner and wife Lori and Dustin Wagner and wife Stacy; step great grandchildren, Avery Wagner, Preston Wagner, Madelynn Wagner, Landon Chaloupka, Bailey Wagner and Harper Wagner; sister-in-law Rene Sustr; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Rudy and Georgie Roznovsky and many nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers were Larry Berckenhoff, Ronnie Masek, Leroy Cagle, Chad Chaloupka, Gordon Kloesel, Anthony Kosler, Ben S. Sustr and Roger Sustr.

Visitation began Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 at 11:00 am at Smith Funeral Home, Moulton, Tx. Rosary was Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Moulton, Tx. Funeral Mass was Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church and burial followed at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his honor to: Hospice of South Texas, St. Joseph Catholic Church or American Legion Post #392 Words of comfort can be sent to the family at www.smithfuneralhomemoulton.com

Smith Funeral Home – 404 West Bobkat Dr. – Moulton, Tx 77975 – Phone #361-596-4631

  • FAMILY

  • Elizabeth (Liz) Sustr, Wife
  • Jim Sustr, Father (deceased)
  • Annie Sustr, Mother (deceased)
  • Stanley Sustr, Son
  • Scott Sustr, Son
  • Peggie Sustr, Daughter-in-law
  • Ben J. Sustr, Brother (deceased)
  • Rene Sustr, Sister-in-law
  • Rudy Roznovsky, Brother-in-law
  • Georgie Roznovsky, Sister-in-law
  • Step grandchildren, Nicole Chaloupka and husband Chad, Ryan Wagner and wife Lori and Dustin Wagner and wife Stacy; step great grandchildren, Avery Wagner, Preston Wagner, Madelynn Wagner, Landon Chaloupka, Bailey Wagner and Harper Wagner and many nieces and nephews.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Larry Berckenhoff, Active
  • Ronnie Masek, Active
  • Leroy Cagle, Active
  • Chad Chaloupka, Active
  • Gordon Kloesel, Active
  • Anthony Kosler, Active
  • Ben S. Sustr, Active
  • Roger Sustr, Active

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, 24 October , 2019
  • Rosary Thursday, 24 October , 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, 25 October , 2019
  • Burial Friday, 25 October , 2019

Memories

Sam J. Sustr

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Arthur Spies

25 October 2019

Sam and I played softball when we were in school years ago. I played for Breslau and he played for Witting or Oak Grove. Later Sam and I shared a ride to Fort Sam Houston when we were drafted into The US Army. So Long Sam See you later

Bobbie Kresta

24 October 2019

To the family you are in our prayers . Sam was a wonderful friend to us and a great neighbor. Henry will miss their phone conversations and their trips to the auctions . God Bless and keep you.
Henry and Bobbie Kresta

Dorothy Young

23 October 2019

Sincere sympathy, so sorry for your loss.

Margie Kocian

23 October 2019

To the Family of Sam Sustr: Sympathies and condolences to all; may God wrap His arms around you at this time of your sorrow! So sorry for your loss!

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Biography

Sam was born on November 2, 1932 on the Sustr Homestead in the Oak Grove / Witting area near Moulton, Texas. His parents were Jim J. Sustr and Annie Novosad Sustr. Sam was born during the great depression; as a result, this impacted his view and way of life. Sam learned at an early age the value of a dollar and the importance of working hard and saving for what was needed.

The Sustr Homestead was a 100-acre farm located in Lavaca County about 3 miles from Moulton. The farm was the home of his paternal grandfather Josef Sustr who migrated to Texas with his wife Marie Hodanek Sustr on January 2nd, 1888 from Czechoslovakia. The homestead was purchased in 1909 and home to Josef Sustr his wife, Marie and seven children, Annie Sustr Petrash, Janie Sustr, John Sustr, Frances Sustr Anderle, Joe Sustr, Agnes Sustr Kubicek and Jim Sustr. The youngest Jim was Sam’s father. At the time of Sam’s birth many of his aunts and uncles married and moved away. Sam’s father purchased the property in the 1940’s and it remains in the Sustr family.

Growing up the small farmhouse consisted of Sam’s Grandfather, Josef; his parents Jim and Annie, his brother Ben J. Sustr as well as his aunt Janie Sustr and his autistic uncle John Sustr. Sam often spoke of the hard times and good times growing up in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Sam had a vivid memory of hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and getting electricity in 1944 after his grandfather Josef passed away.

Sam loved animals and the Sustr farm was filled with horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. Sam’s horse later in life was “Billie”. Sam and his father Jim were long time members of the Friendly Trail Riders. Sam often talked about his pets from childhood especially a dog named “Curley”. During his years in Houston the family had dogs “Dandy” and “Snoopy”. Sam’s dog when he retired was “Roscoe”.

Sam attended the small country school of Oak Grove from grades 1 to 7 where he made a lifelong friend, Daniel Haas. Daniel recalled he and Sam talked so much the teacher eventually had to separate them! From grades 8 to 12 Sam attended and graduated from Sam and Will Moore High School in Moulton, Texas. While in High School, some of his best friends were Joe Dean Fehrenkamp, Charlene Biehunko, Della Polly Laqua and Armenta Novosad. Sam graduated in 1950. After graduation Sam kept in touch with many of his classmates and attended as well as hosted many class reunions.

From 1950 to 1953, Sam worked with his father Jim Sustr farming and raising cattle. On April 15th, 1953 Sam was drafted into the army during the Korean War and attended basic training at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. In the second week of basic training the war ended July 27th, 1953 and Sam was sent to Ft. Richardson near Anchorage in the then US territory of Alaska.

Sam was assigned to the 71st Quartermaster Company where he was given the position of Mail Clerk for the 71st Quartermaster. As Mail Clerk, Sam became quite popular as many men had to come to him in off hours to get their mail. During his time in Alaska, Sam made many good friends and often spent weekends in the small town of Hope, Alaska. One of Sam’s closest friends was Edward Eaton of Decatur, Illinois. Sam and Edward kept in touch until Edward’s passing in the 2000’s. Sam rotated back to the States in 1955 and separated from the Army and was honorably discharged. Sam returned to Moulton and resumed working with his father farming and ranching.

On January 14th, 1956 Sam married the love of his life Elizabeth (Liz) Roznovsky, daughter of Ludwig and Johanna Roznovsky. The wedding took place at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Moulton, Texas at 9:00 a.m. on January 14th, 1956. They were married by Father Bernard Goebel. The custom in those days two meals were served. The noon meal was chicken soup, stew and sausage. The soup was prepared by Mrs. Mary (Edmond) Kubicek, Aunt Frances Anderle, Aunt Janie Sustr and other relatives and friends. Uncle Joe Anderle and crew prepared the stew, sausage and other goodies for the noon and evening meals. The stew was called Sustr Stew made using the recipe brought from Czechoslovakia by Sam’s grandfather! The dance was held at night with music provided by the Emil Bartos Orchestra.

After the wedding Sam and Liz settled in Houston where Liz was already employed. Being a very dry year in 1956 Sam also decided to move to Houston. Their first address was 312 ½ Reineichie Street which rented for $40.00 per month. They moved to 5111 Gibson Street renting Liz’s sister, Annie Doubrava’s, house. They later bought a home at 6022 Truro Street in 1959. They lived there until their retirement on April 1st, 1992.

After their marriage Liz continued to work as a welder at APCO Aluminum Products Company makers of aluminum windows. Sam went to work for Houston Light and Power on February 7th, 1956. Sam was helped to get this job by Liz’s brother, Rudy Roznovsky, who was working for HL&P at the time. Sam went to work at Beatty Service Center (later called Bellaire Service Center) and spent the next 36 years there until his retirement. Sam started as a helper (grunt) then truck driver and for almost 20 years as a pole truck driver. Sam always said Liz was making more money than he was when he started at $1.61 per hour. Liz was making $1.91 per hour. Sam made many friends in his years at HL&P including Leroy Cagle who credits him as his mentor.

Sam and Liz first child, a girl, was stillborn in 1956. Sam and Liz later had two healthy sons, Stanley James Sustr born on June 24th, 1958 and Scott Samuel Sustr born on August 1st, 1962. Stanley and Scott both attended St. Theresa Catholic School, George Washington Junior High and Lamar High School. Stan went on to attend and graduate from the University of Houston while Scott moved to Moulton to take up farming and ranching with his grandfather, Jim Sustr.

From 1959 to 1992, Sam and Liz spent a happy life on Truro Street fixing up their house, building a two-car garage, with the assistance of Sam’s brother-in-law, George Roznovsky, who lived with them for a time. The garage was the setting for many Fish Fries and New Year’s Eve parties that Sam and Liz hosted for their friends and relatives. Sam and Liz also spent most weekends traveling back to Moulton where Sam purchased a 100-acre farm not very far from the Sustr Homestead. In 1970 with the assistance of brother-in-law, Fred Welfl, built what Sam called a “Camp House”, which could be converted into a garage, where the family could stay on the weekends and vacations.

Sam became active in St. Theresa Catholic Church in Houston where his sons attended elementary school. For many years he was a member of the Men’s Club, called Bingo on Wednesday Nights and ran the Sausage Booth at the Annual Fall Bazaar. Sam would often spend time with friends and family at Roznovsky Grocery on Feagan Street, a former small grocery store which became a Beer and Hamburger Joint run by his brother-in-law, Louis Roznovsky and his family. Liz also worked their part time for many years after their children were older.

Sam also enjoyed weekend camping trips to Wolf Creek on Lake Livingston as well as making homemade wine! Trips to Wolf Creek included lifelong friends and relatives, Louis and Marian Roznovsky; Frankie "Poncho" and Maggie Kubicek; Alfred and Ollie Haikenwaelder; Fred and JoAnn Welfl and many others. While he enjoyed his family, job and life, Sam’s goal during these years was to retire and move back to Moulton.

Sam retired from Houston Lighting and Power on April 1st, 1992. They sold their house in Houston and headed back to the country where both he and Liz grew up. They moved into the “Camp House” while their new house was being built. In November 1992 they moved into the new home where he resided until his passing.

Sam always enjoyed his cattle and working with his son Scott. Scott and Sam formed S&S Cattle Company. Sam and Liz both helped Scott out with the cattle. In later years Sam joked he got in the way more than he helped.

Sam enjoyed occasional traveling. He and Liz took many trips, some with their son Stan. Trips included Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, West Virginia as well as many bus trips to the casino in Kinder, Louisiana. Sam’s favorite trip was in 2003 when Stan surprised, he and Liz with a trip to Alaska fifty years after he first was there in the service. Sam got to visit Fort Richardson and see the barracks where he stayed.

After retiring Sam also served in 1993, 1994 and 1995 as Commander at Moulton’s American Legion Post 392. Sam’s retirement hobbies included Barbequing, Cooking, Gardening, Playing Poker, Camping trips to Livingston and Breckenridge, Cattle and attending Cattle Auctions in Flatonia, Hallettsville and Gonzales. Camping and road trips to the hill country for peaches that often-included friends Clarence and Evelyn Raab and Vic and Margaret Molnosky. Sam’s favorite post retirement hobby was building Antique Bird Houses working closely with Liz helping to inspire him to create unique rustic designs. Sam could spend hours in the “Big Shop’” piddling with old wood, barbed wire, old tin and assorted items he would find to decorate the Bird Houses. Most of the Bird Houses were donated for charity auctions primarily St. Joseph Catholic Church in Moulton.

Sam was also a sports fan and enjoyed following his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were Baseball, the Houston Astros, and Rodeos.

Retirement became less ideal when Liz began having health issues. Sam was always there at her side. In November 2012 Liz suffered a major stroke and lost most of her cognitive abilities and the ability to speak more than simple phrases. Sam became her primary caregiver and continued to stay with her until the time of his passing.

Sam was a simple man but with definitive ideas of how he wanted things done. His solid upbringing continued to show in his diligence to wealth and property. Sam loved the land and often stated if you want to invest in something, it should be land as they are not making any more.

Sam was creative as demonstrated by his many bird house designs. He also found many ways to reuse items he would find in the pasture or an antique store. He designed a “Crown Royal” glass holder using an old stump and horseshoes.

Sam loved to talk and seldom meet anyone he would not strike up a conversation with. Sam loved to reminisce about growing up on the farm in Moulton, his time in Alaska and his job at HL&P.

Sam could be very adamant about his opinions and did not shy away from standing up for what he believed in.

Sam passed away on October 21, 2019 at Dornburg Center of Compassion in Victoria, Texas. Sam was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Annie Novosad Sustr, brother Ben J. Sustr, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Joe and Justina Kolos, Bob and Annie Doubrava, Johnnie and Maggie Bollom, Louis and Marion Roznovsky, Rudy and Vera Berckenhoff, Fred and Pauline Welfl and George Roznovsky.

Sam is survived by wife Elizabeth; son Stanley Sustr; son and daughter-in-law Scott and Peggie Sustr; step grandchildren, Nicole Chaloupka and husband Chad, Ryan Wagner and wife Lori and Dustin Wagner and wife Stacy; step great grandchildren, Avery Wagner, Preston Wagner, Madelynn Wagner, Landon Chaloupka, Bailey Wagner and Harper Wagner; sister-in-law Rene Sustr; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Rudy and Georgie Roznovsky and many nieces and nephews. Services were held at St Joseph Catholic Church in Moulton, Texas. Sam was laid to rest in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Moulton, Texas.

Sam was a good man, a kind man, and a practical man who will for all time be remembered by his family and friends as being warm and deeply caring. He leaves behind him a treasury of life-long friendships and wonderful memories. Sam always had much to give and was able to make those connections in his life where his gifts were appreciated. Sam was a faithful, practical and loving person. Everyone whose life he touched will always remember Sam J. Sustr.