Donald Eugene Maeker
June 13, 1936 – June 23, 2021
Donald E. Maeker of Flatonia passed away peacefully and in the presence of family on June 23, 2021. A lifelong farmer, rancher, and avid outdoorsman, Don’s love of the land and the wildlife that flourished on it is a legacy that he leaves to his children and grandchildren and is one that will be passed down for generations.
Don was the son of Harry and Ida Maeker and was born at the family homestead on June 13, 1936. He was devoted to his parents throughout their lifetimes and as the eldest of his siblings, Kenwood and Adrienne, he took great care to be supportive and actively involved in their lives and was dedicated to his extended family.
Don is survived by his wife of 57 years, Bitta, his son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Christy Maeker of Houston, his daughter and son-in-law, Melissa Maeker and Jackson D. Logan, III of Lafayette, Louisiana, and his three grandchildren, Sydney, Barnes, and Davis. He was an especially extraordinary presence in the lives of his grandchildren and they adored him.
Don was a dedicated cattleman until the last year of his life. He was a consummate caretaker and steward of the land he called his own and his love for this country was only second to the love he had for his family. He was a member of the Army Security Agency from 1958 to 1962 and he was extremely proud of his service to his country. He spoke often to his family about his time in the service and shared stories about his travels and adventures while in the ASA. He was especially proud that his family homestead, Maeker Charolais Farm, having been established in 1907 by his great-grandparents, was awarded a 100 year Family Land Heritage award from the Texas Land Commissioner in 2008.
Don was a lifetime member of the University of Texas Exes and he and Bitta were long time football season ticket holders. They faithfully attended most games, rain or shine, for many years and made numerous friends with fellow Longhorn fans who were fortunate enough to be seated near them. Row 71 on the west side of the stadium overlooking the 15 yard line was the place they called home every fall for many happy years.
Don spent the majority of his career years at Smith Farms in Flatonia and as a Loan Officer and Vice President at Fayette Savings Bank in La Grange. He was a lifetime honorary member of the La Grange Rotary Club as well as a Paul Harris Fellow. He served as a member of the Flatonia School Board for thirteen years and served on the Endowment Board of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association for forty years and was the Chair for twenty. He and Bitta also served as members of the Host and Hostess committee at Flatonia Baptist Church for fifteen years.
Special thanks to Don’s dear friends Robert Cunningham, Bryan Berger and Dr. Ira Syler. These gentlemen were especially helpful to Don upon his retirement from farm and ranch life when he could no longer keep up with the duties required of raising his cattle and tending to his family farms. They made life bearable for him when he could no longer do what he loved most to do in life and his family is grateful for their support and their dedication to him.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at the Flatonia Baptist Church on July 10, 2021. A visitation will be held the previous evening on July 9 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Flatonia. A private burial service at Oak Hill Cemetery in Flatonia will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Don’s family respectfully requests that donations be made to the Flatonia Baptist Church Sanctuary Fund, the Flatonia Fire Department or the Gardenia E. Janssen Animal Shelter in La Grange.
Don was hardworking, he was honest, he was fair and he was kind. “Pa was a great man” said the youngest of his grandchildren upon his passing. And she was right. He was dearly loved and he will be missed by those who were fortunate to have been a part of his life.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the Maeker family at www.smithfuneralhomeflatonia.com
Smith Funeral Home - 128 East 5th Street, Flatonia, Tx 78941 Phone #361-865-3311
- Ariane "Bitta" Maeker, Wife
- Harry Maeker, Father (deceased)
- Ida Maeker, Mother (deceased)
- Stephen Barnes Maeker (Christy), Son
- Melissa Maeker (Jackson D. Logan III), Daughter
- Ken Kenwood Maeker (Suzanne), Brother
- Adrienne Brunner (Buddy), Sister
- Sydney Maeker, Granddaughter
- Barnes Maeker, Grandson
- Davis Logan, Granddaughter
Friday, July 9, 2021
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Donald Eugene Maeker
July 11, 2021
Uncle Don was a person you never would forget from the moment you met him. He was kind, compassionate, helpful, joyful and loving. He was a hard worker, but he also knew how to relax and have fun. He loved his family deeply especially his sweetheart, Aunt Bitta. We will all miss him and his infectious smile; most of all, Aunt Bitta will. Heaven's gain is our loss. Until we meet again one day, Uncle Don, we say farewell. We love you.
PATTI BALLARD (DONALDSON)
July 8, 2021
I WAS SO SORRY WHEN MARY CALLED TO TELL ME OF DONALD'S PASSING. I HAD A FLOOD OF MEMORIES OF DONALD, KENWOOD AND HARRY WORKING CATTLE WITH DADDY AT OUR PLACE. PLEASE KNOW THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.
July 1, 2021
During one of the most difficult times of my life, I walked into Fayette Savings in tears, knowing I was about to lose my home.
However, Don did the unimaginable. He refinanced my mortgage with a payment I could afford, did not charge me a penny to do it, and said, "we will look at this again in 10 years if necessary, but I think you're going to be back on your feet in no time and you need not to worry about it for now".
Well, Don was right. I sold that house 3 years later and paid the loan off early. But that wasn't all that happened that day. Because of his kindness toward me, Don restored my faith in mankind and gave me hope that I still had a future beyond divorce. I believe he was the kindest person I ever met; he made a profound impact on my life. I hope by sharing my story it will bring some comfort to you all.
My sincerest condolences to your family.
June 25, 2021
Bitta and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. My sincere sympathy. John 11:26
June 24, 2021
Bitta, please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. My sincere sympathy to each of you.