Helen Ann Muras

June 19, 1924March 6, 2018

When we were young in that small town, eight kids went to school, day after day. “Do your best!” Mama said. Usually, we did…and in a minute, all of us were done with school! Then we weren’t so young anymore, and most of us left that small town. As often as we could, we came back to visit and to celebrate…and sometimes to say good-bye—to grandmas, to uncles, to aunts…and friends. We even had to say good-bye to dear, sweet Daddy – and everybody cried.

So much has changed since we were young, but this part has remained: the faith, hope, and love of a mother…who cared for us, who walked with us through days of joy and days of sorrow, who helped us share and learn and grow…and still does. She gave these gifts to us, so that we could share our faith, hope and love with others. Thank you, Mama, for doing the best for us…in that small town.

And now we say good-bye to you, our strong, sweet Mama – the “heart” of our family. Helen Ann Stryk Muras passed peacefully from this life into Heaven on Tuesday morning, March 6, 2018.

Helen was born on June 19, 1924, to Frank and Albina Barta Stryk. For 93 years, “she lived a simple life of doing right, practicing moderate wanting and abundant sensibleness.” She put first things first—she knew her priorities and understood her purpose. She discarded things that were not important and focused on things that are—God, family and helping others. She recognized that although life isn’t always easy, you can make it better for others by giving and sharing and showing—which is what she did.

Mom was a child of the Great Depression. Her education was not as complete as she would have liked, but she learned her life lessons well. She was our first teacher, our counselor, our nurse, a great example of loyalty to family, fluent in two languages, a gifted “budgeter”, an exceptional speller, and most of all, a prayer. She was a fine representative of America’s “greatest generation”.

On January 22, 1951, Helen married Lad V. Muras, in Praha, Texas. They celebrated almost 61 anniversaries together and were blessed with eight children. She is survived by her daughters, Ann Hennig and husband Steve of Austin, Joan Riley and husband Bobby of San Marcos, and Linda Byars and husband Bill of Round Rock; five sons: Stephen Muras and wife Bernadette of Austin, Michael Muras of Praha, Mark Muras and wife Marizen of San Antonio, Jeffery Muras, and Perry Muras of Flatonia; 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a brother Edwin and his wife Julie of Victoria, sister-in-law Delores Stryk of San Antonio, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Lad, her parents, her sisters, Lillie Kalina, Sister M. Bernard Stryk, and Irene Orsak; her brothers, Frank Stryk, Reverend Jerome J. Stryk, Bernard Stryk, and Louis Stryk; nieces, Baby Ursula Kalina and Connie Marragia, and nephew, Gerald Kalina.

Mom was not only a housewife, mother, and beloved grandmother, she also cared for numerous babies and children from the Flatonia area over the years, watching them grow into fine adults who would drop by to say hello and grab a cookie or two. She loved sharing their accomplishments as if they were her own grandchildren.

She enjoyed spending time in her kitchen – she made delicious fried chicken and baked bread, cookies, poppy seed buchta, and the “best pecan pie in Texas.” She loved sharing these with family and friends, and was always amazed when people wanted to buy her baked goods. No one who walked through her doors left hungry.

Mom was an avid quilt-maker. With her friends in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church sewing club, she helped create beautiful works of art. Each new grandbaby received a small quilt made with love by Grandma.

Mom enjoyed Houston Astros baseball games. She was sure that one day one of her grandsons would pitch for her favorite team. On November 1, 2017, she watched with her family as her beloved Astros won their first World Series title in franchise history.

Mom tended to her yard, and even in her 90s spent time each week trimming or weeding and watering her plants. From her big front porch, she could view her handiwork, watch the hummingbirds who visited her feeders, and cuddle her dear cat, MD.

Mom was a longtime parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She served as an honored volunteer who did whatever was needed. She also volunteered at the Oak Manor Nursing Center, visiting residents and helping with social activities. She was a member of the Praha KJZT and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, a group that strives “to be helping hands where there is pain, poverty, sorrow or sickness.”

Above all, Mom loved the Lord, the Blessed Mother, and her family. As the sun sets on a purpose-filled life, we are left to cherish the imprint Mom left on our lives as mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. Her spirit will live on in our hearts, and she will be missed more than words can say.

Home, Sweet Home, Mama!

On Friday evening, a Rosary led by Celine Kalina, will be recited with family and friends at Smith Funeral Home. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Flatonia, with Father Eddie Winkler officiating.

Grandsons, Trey Riley, Matthew Muras, John Riley, JoeNathan Muras, Zach Hennig, Luke Byars, Kian Muras, Justin Hamby, and Shawn Hornsby will serve as Pallbearers. She will be laid to rest in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, in Praha, Texas.

Memorials may be made to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, or the Rev. Jerome J. Stryk Seminary Burse.

To share words of comfort with the family, go to:

-Smith Funeral Home 128 East 5th Street Flatonia, Texas 78941 (361) 865-3311-


  • Frank Stryk, Father
  • Albina Stryk, Mother
  • Edwin Stryk, Brother
  • Julie Stryk, Sister-in-law
  • Frank Stryk, Brother
  • Reverend Jerome J. Stryk, Brother
  • Bernard Stryk, Brother
  • Dolores Stryk, Sister-in-law
  • Louis Stryk, Brother
  • Lillie Kalina, Sister
  • M. Bernard Stryk, Sister
  • Irene Orsak, Sister
  • Lad V. Muras, Husband
  • Stephen Muras, Son
  • Bernadette Muras, Daughter-in-law
  • Michael Muras, Son
  • Mark Muras, Son
  • Marizen Muras, Daughter-in-law
  • Jeffery Muras, Son
  • Perry Muras, Son
  • Ann Hennig, Daughter
  • Steve Hennig, Son-in-law
  • Joan Riley, Daughter
  • Bobby Riley, Son-in-law
  • Linda Byars, Daughter
  • Bill Byars, Son-in-law
  • Gerald Kalina, Nephew
  • Baby Ursula Kalina, Niece
  • Connie Marragia, Niece
  • Ms. Muras is also survived by thirteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews to cherish her memory.

  • Trey Riley, Pallbearer
  • Matthew Muras, Pallbearer
  • John Riley, Pallbearer
  • JoeNathan Muras, Pallbearer
  • Zach Hennig, Pallbearer
  • Luke Byars, Pallbearer
  • Kian Muras, Pallbearer
  • Justin Hamby, Pallbearer
  • Shawn Hornsby, Pallbearer


  • Visitation Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Rosary Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Burial Saturday, March 10, 2018

Helen Ann Muras

have a memory or condolence to add?

Frank and Debbie Furlow

March 11, 2018

To the family of Helen Ann Muras. Our deepest condolences to you . She is now resting with Lad in the arms of our dear Lord. God be with the family. The obituary was so beautiful.

Laurie Branecky

March 9, 2018

Muras as my son's would say was an awesome lady and childcare provider. She cared for my son's for several years.
She baked delicious chocolate chip cookies for them that they would not share. She also made them beautiful baby quilts. She will be truly missed! Rest in peace sweet lady!!!

Patsy Vinklarek

March 8, 2018

Oh what a beautiful tribute to your mother! What a blessing to have such a woman of Faith, Family and Prayer! I know you will all miss so her very much but we know she has stepped into eternity and is being greatly rewarded for her faithfulness and service to God! Our mothers will always be with us because we are who we are because of them! May God comfort you and give you peace as you celebrate her wonderful life and memories and know she is with you in a very special way! Her prayers continue for her family until the day you are all reunited with her!

Love to all,
Patsy Vinklarek

Doris Narro

March 8, 2018

Mrs. Muras welcomed me into her busy household and it became my second home when I was young. She was a woman of great faith. My sympathy and love to her children.