Paul Martin Spitzenberger
Paul Spitzenberger of Giddings, TX passed away peacefully Thursday morning, August 22, 2013, at the Giddings Residence and Rehabilitation Center in the loving embrace of two daughters, Iris and Barbara. Paul was born in Shive, near Hamilton, TX, on June 20, 1916, the second son and fifth child of John George Spitzenberger III and Augusta Wilhelmina Peters.
Paul was preceded in death by: his loving wife, Leona; an infant son, Elton; his parents; and his siblings: Bertha (Mrs. Edward Paul) Wagner, Ester (Mrs. Carl A.) Eisen, Erna (Mrs. Henry) Eisen, William Spitzenberger, John Spitzenberger, and Arthur Spitzenberger.
Paul married Leona H. Lehmann of Ledbetter on June 1, 1941. They had a wonderful marriage of 58 years, raising six children: Marty (and Kit) Spitzenberger of Georgetown, Joyce (and David) Palmer of Texas City, Barbara (and James) Schulze of Giddings, Ron (and Lynette) Spitzenberger of Plainview, Don (and Jan) Spitzenberger of Plano, and Iris (and Fred) Dodd of Giddings. He was further blessed with 13 grandchildren: Paul (and Noni) Spitzenberger II of Seattle, Aaron Spitzenberger of Virginia, Debbie (and Scott) Meaders of Lucas, Suzie (and Johnny) Galvan of Texas City, Robert (and Cathy) Schulze of Fort Worth, Linda (and Wes) Colby of Cypress, Cathy (and David) Eggers of Spring, Tim (and Trish) Schulze of Hallettsville, Joy (and Charlie) Landeros of Plainview, Amy (and Kenon) Perry of New York City, Marc (and Julie) Spitzenberger of Plano, Holly (and Darren) Orsag of Giddings, Becky (and Jeff) Cowen of Giddings, plus 23 great-grandchildren. Other survivors are his sisters-in-law, Charlene (Mrs. Arthur) Spitzenberger and Edith Pfieffer and numerous nieces and nephews. At 97 years of age, Paul lived a full life and loved nothing more than seeing his friends, his descendants and their families sharing the pleasure of each other’s company.
Paul was raised on his parents farm near the small community of Shive. Many of the residents were of German descent, so Paul did not learn to speak English until he started school. In keeping with a practice common then in farming communities, he did not complete elementary school. However, with the help of his future wife, Leona, he successfully completed a year and a half at Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University) and qualified to teach elementary school. He taught at a one-room school with 9 students for two years in Good Hope, a community near Giddings. As World War II escalated, he relocated his family to Fort Worth, and worked at the Convair aircraft assembly plant.
After the war, Paul moved his family to Hamilton, Texas, where he first worked as a carpenter, and then bought a small combination grocery/gas station. At the end of 1948, Paul and family moved back to Giddings, where he started and ran Paul’s Food Store for almost 40 years. During this time he became a leading businessman, being active in the Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, and Volunteer Fire Department, and also an avid golfer and fisherman. He was also active in Martin Luther Lutheran Church, the church in which he married Leona, serving as Sunday School Superintendent for 15 years, teacher, Council member, choir member, and active member of the Lutheran Brotherhood.
After he sold Paul’s Food Store, he started taking life a little bit easier. He and Leona did some traveling, and operated a farm in the Dime Box area for a few years, at which his children and their families and friends enjoyed picking the produce of the garden, fishing, and looking after the livestock.
In his later years, his greatest joy was the times spent with family and friends, going to parties and dances, playing cards and dominoes, and especially the holiday gatherings and annual reunions of his growing clan. He will be deeply missed by all of them.
The viewing will be Thursday, August 29, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Phillips and Luckey Funeral Home in Giddings, with visitation with family members from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A celebration of his life and memorial service will be held at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Giddings at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 30, 2013. Burial will be in the Ledbetter Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Martin Luther Lutheran Church Day School.