2014-11-20 / Obituaries

Leonard Symmank

August 19, 1928 - Nov.14, 2014

Marvin Leonard Symmank was born on August 19, 1928 in Giddings, Texas to O.W. “Bill” Symmank and Erna (nee Vahrenkamp) Symmank. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Giddings by Rev. G.W. Fischer on September 2, 1928 and confirmed by Rev. G.W. Fischer on April 6, 1941 making him a member of Pastor Fischer’s last confirmation class.

Leonard attended Immanuel Lutheran School and graduated from Giddings High School in May of 1945. While in high school, he participated in football, softball, track, band and choir. He received an Associates in Arts Degree from Blinn College in February of 1948. While attending Blinn, he sang in the school choir. He attended Sam Houston State Teachers College and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in May of 1949, and received his Masters in Education from the University of Houston in June of 1952. Leonard taught and coached at Lexington and Wharton high schools before joining his father in the Humble Oil Company distributorship business in June of 1953. He took over the business following the death of his father in July of 1958. He was united in marriage to Marilyn Rose Birnbaum on August 23, 1959. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Samuel Glenn and Rachel Lynn.

Leonard continued to own and operate the fuel distributorship business until selling it in October of 1981 to E.T. Stubbs. He obtained his real estate license in 1985 and worked with Keaghey Real Estate, Century 21 and Westfall Real Estate until officially retiring in March of 2007. Leonard also owned and operated Circle Plus Hereford Farm in Giddings. He was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Giddings where he had taught Sunday school and youth bible classes for many years, served as Sunday school superintendent, conducted adult evening Bible studies, served as congressional chairman of the Mission Board, Evangelism Board, School Board and the Ebenezer Synodical fund drive for the Missouri Synod in the Post Oak Circuit. He also served on the Missions Board, the Caring Ministry, Board of Finance, Board of Elders, was a youth counselor and was president of the Post Oak Circuit Sunday School Teachers Association. He drove a school bus for Immanuel Lutheran School and volunteered with the Braille Center for over 25 years. Leonard was always active in his community. He served as a City Commissioner, president of the Giddings Chamber of Commerce, president of the Giddings Noon Lions Club, was a director with the Lee County Recreation Association, was chairman of the board of directors of Lee Memorial Hospital and served as chairman of various fund drives including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, March of Dimes, and the Boy Scouts where he served on the Executive Board and was an Assistant Troop Leader for Boy Scout Troop 143. He served on the Giddings Independent School District’s Board of Directors for 12 years with 9 years as chairman. During the 58 years he was a member of Giddings Noon Lions Club, he served at various times as tail twister, lion tamer, membership chairman and on the board of directors. He was the coordinator and director of the Boys’ Little League and Pony League Baseball programs until they joined the National Little League program. Leonard’s greatest joys were raising Hereford cattle, farming and the time he was able to spend enjoying his grandchildren.

Leonard passed away peacefully on Friday, November 14, 2014 at his home in Giddings.

He was preceded in death by his parents, O.W. & Erna Symmank; his wife of 51 years, Marilyn Symmank; his parents-in-law, Rev. J.A. & Rosa Birnbaum; three brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law.

Leonard is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Sammy & Erin Symmank of McKinney and their three children, Taylor, Jared and Gabrielle; his daughter and son-in-law, Rachel & Tim Langham of Giddings and their daughter, Riley Rose; his brother, Douglas Symmank & his wife, Pearl of Giddings; two sisters-in-law, Eugenia Graf of Vernon and Jeanette Birnbaum of Stockton, California, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

A service celebrating the life of Leonard Symmank, 86 was held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, November 17, 2014 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Giddings with Rev. Robert Tiner officiating. Burial followed in the Giddings City Cemetery.

Serving as pallbearers were Taylor Symmank, Jared Symmank, Tim Langham, Terry Graf, Randall Graf and Tobin Symmank. Honorary pallbearers were Clarence Buck, Paul Fischer, Curtis Frosch, Rev. Leo Symmank, Curtis Urban and Calvin Vahrenkamp.

Memorials may be made to the Caring Ministry or the School Tuition Assistance Fund at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 300 North Grimes Street, Giddings, Texas 78942, or to the Jesus is Lord Mission, P.O. Box 11, Walburg, TX 78673.

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