Stephen Karl Feller
May 18, 1944 – May 7, 2019
Stephen (Steve) Karl Feller, 74, passed away peacefully on May 7, 2019 of congestive heart failure at his home in Kingwood, Texas, with his loving family by his side.
He was born on May 18, 1944 in Fredericksburg, Texas the son of Dr. Lorence and Florine Feller. He graduated in 1962 from Fredericksburg High School. Many in his graduating class had been with him since first grade and he stayed in contact with them often. He was active in high school sports and was a natural athlete. He was a two-year letterman in football and track, garnering All-District in both sports. He did play basketball but joking said that he never got much playing time on the court because he fouled out so quickly! He made life-long friends when he went to Texas Lutheran College where he was a four year letterman and co-captain in football and a four year letterman in track where he won 1st in pole vault in the Big State Conference all four years. He was a member of Kappa Pi Alpha fraternity and served as President his senior year. He graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He was a teaching assistant in chemistry at the University of Houston when he received his draft notice. He applied and was accepted into the Air Force and was a distinguished graduate of Officer Training School in San Antonio. He was in the pilot training class of 70-02 at Williams AFB in Arizona where he was #1 in academics and a distinguished graduate. He flew in the Air Force for 10 years and logged over 4900 total flying hours. He received his Master of Science in Systems Management. One of his most rewarding assignments was to mentor and recertify a pilot that had been a POW in Vietnam.
He married Carol Jean Schmidt on December 26, 1970 in Fredericksburg, while on leave. Part of the honeymoon was in New Orleans, but the second half of the trip was to Dallas to watch his younger brother Happy play in the Cotton Bowl, for the University of Texas on New Year’s Day! Two children, Heidi and Spencer were born during the Air Force years, but in 1978 Steve resigned his commission and was honorably discharged. He was hired by Southwest, then just a start-up airline. Flying was a passion for him. He was proud to say that he was hired when SWA started flights to Amarillo and got its 12th airplane. Steve was serious and meticulous when he flew, but he loved to joke and had an infectious laugh when he was off-duty. He totaled over 21,000 hours and 9600 landings in the B-737. He loved to tell stories, mostly true but often embellished. When he reached 60, he loved to say that the federal government fired him and, after seeing the shocked faces, he’d explain that the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots was 60 (since increased to 65).
Once he retired, he joked that his new profession was mowing lawns-and it wasn’t far from the truth. He started playing some golf, but truth be told, he did it more for the kidding and camaraderie. He was one of the founders of the KGB, Kingwood Golden Buzzards, a group of retired Southwest Pilots that live in Kingwood. The couples get together once a month for drinks, dinner, and dominoes. He was also a lamb and goat buyer at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and loved going to the lamb breakfast for the famous “milk punch”.
Steve was a true outdoorsman. He especially loved the first weekend of dove and deer seasons. Even if he didn’t shoot anything, he loved being in the country and, in later years, it was his great joy to watch Spencer and his friends share in his hunting enthusiasm.
Most of all, Steve loved his family. He always bragged that his older brother Wayne was the smart one, his younger brother, Happy, was the athlete and entrepreneur, and his younger sister, Judy, was the kind and caring one. He had a special place in his heart for his mother-in-law, Doodle, and they spent many hours on her front porch laughing while he tried to speak German. And his children meant the most to him in all of the world. He was so proud in all that they have accomplished and in the adults they have become. When both kids went to A&M, they jokingly called him “The Wallet” because he always paid the restaurant bill for them and any friends they brought along. Later they all just started calling him “Captain”, and he always cherished that. When Spencer married Jadah and they had two little girls, Steve was thrilled! Two year old Olivia had a special bond with him and little four month old, Abigayle, is too young, but she’ll get to know “Cap-Cap” through pictures and stories of him.
The key word to describe Steve is love-he loved God, his family, his friends, his country, his career and his life. He often said how blessed he was to have had the life he did. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Carol, two children, Heidi Feller and Spencer Feller, daughter-in-law, Jadah and two grandchildren, Olivia and Abigayle. He is also survived by three siblings, Wayne (Mary), Happy (Candice) and Judy (Brian). He also leaves behind cherished extended family members. There will be two events in the honor of Steve’s memory. The Celebration of Life Memorial service will be held at Holy Comforter Lutheran Church, 1901 Woodland Hills Drive, Kingwood, Texas on June 1, 2019 at 10:00am, with a reception immediately following. An informal Celebration of Life Memorial gathering will be held at the Rock House Hideaway, 197 Rock House Drive in Fredericksburg on July 27, 2019 from 2:00pm-5:00pm.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Kingwood Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Holy Comforter Lutheran Church, Hill Country Memorial Hospital Foundation, or charity of choice.
Celebration of Life Memorial Service
Holy Comforter Lutheran Church
1901 Woodland Hills Drive
Stephen Karl Feller
May 13, 2019
First met Steve in August of 1963 at summer football training at Texas Lutheran College and formed a close friendship that endured the times. Many great memories as classmates, teammates, room mates, and good friends. Will sorely miss our conversations full of banter and fun and our get togethers. The memories will endure.
Deepest condolences to the family. Steve will be greatly missed.
May 12, 2019
Carol, Heidi, and Spencer, you are all in my prayers. God has gained another precious Angel!
Carole & Jerry Richardson
May 12, 2019
We’re so sorry to learn of Steve’s passing.
My heart aches for you and the kids. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
So thankful for all the many memories of our fun times together.
Sending prayers and hugs...
Carole and Jerry 🙏💔
May 11, 2019
Dear Carol, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this most difficult time. I grew up with Steve at FHS and have many fond memories of all the times we spent growing up. He will be missed by me and so many of his friends and family. God bless and keep you. Please keep in contact with everyone.
May 10, 2019
Dear Sweet Carol and family,
We have the best memories of Steve on the front porch of Doodle's porch. He was the picture of a perfect son-in-law and we loved watching him care for and serve Doodle. Their ribbing was hilarious, but his love for her was precious. He cheered on our kids and was always there to offer wisdom and a word of encouragement. We LOVED when we peered out the window on Cora street and saw that Steves truck was there.
We will continue to pray for your family and all those the Lord touched through Steve.
We love you all!
Janet Proch for the whole family
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. PS.116:15
Aubrey (Bo) Horlen
May 9, 2019
From 1962 until 2012 I did not see Stephen. We graduated together in 1962 from FHS. I served in Vietnam on board the USS Kittyhawk from 1964-67. It was special to see Stephen again at our 50th reunion. I really wanted to continue to communicate with him but we failed to exchange email or phone info.
The Lord sent my wife Cynthia and me to the Philippines from 1975-2008 where we watched in wonder as the Lord started 141 churches on the island of Mindanao and the central Visayan islands.
Our prayers are with you as you grieve Stephen's passing. May the Spirit of God bring comfort to your hearts. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 'We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.'
Garet von Netzer
May 9, 2019
Carol and family, I'm very sorry to learn Steve is gone but know he's in a better place where he will not have to suffer. As you know, Steve and I were in the same high school class, and he was in my wedding some 50 years ago. He and I were in the sports crowd in high school. He was an outstanding pole vaulter on a team that finished runner-up in the 1962 state track meet, still the best finish by any FHS boys' track team in school history. He was a natural athlete, including as a QB at TLC in Seguin. He had a distinguished military career and later as a pilot for Southwest Airlines. He had a unique wit and contagious laugh and was always the life of the party at class reunions. I always looked forward to seeing him again and valued our phone conversations in recent years, including the last one just a week ago. He will be missed by many, and particularly those in our high school class who are still around. He touched a lot of lives during his life. He'll always be special to a lot of people.
May 9, 2019
My condolences to Stephen's family and friends in Houston. Stephen's father, Dr. Feller, delivered me 75 years ago. Stephen and I started the first grade in Mrs. May's class and went on to graduate together. And then went on to Texas Lutheran College together. Dr. Feller was on the board of regents and encouraged me to finish my degree at TLC. In the '80s and '90s I flew Southwest a lot and I always looked in the cockpit to see if Captain Feller might be in command. During dove hunting season I always looked forward to seeing him at the local restaurant. I, as many other people in Fredericksburg, share the sorrow of the loss of a lifelong friend.
Carolyn (Behrens) Carns
May 8, 2019
Carol and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Stephen and I were in the same class at Fredericksburg High School, and I also worked for his dad for several years at the Fredericksburg Hospital and Clinic. May God be with you all during this difficult time.
May 8, 2019
Carol I’m so sorry for your loss. I know what your are going through. If you need anything I’m here. 573 772-0035.