VisitationMemorial Oaks Chapel
Brenham, Texas 77833
Barbara Bibian (Konieczny) Gurka, 89 of Chappell Hill passed away Saturday October 17 at her home with her children at her side. She was married to Raymond Gurka, who preceded her in death in 2012. Barbara was a member of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and the Altar Rosary Society and actively supported the church parish in prayer and finance.
Visitations will be held at Memorial Oaks Chapel on Monday, October 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Tuesday, October 20 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A Rosary prayer service will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m., with the family present from 5:p.m.- 8:p.m. Due to Covid-19 everyone attending the Rosary service is required to wear a mask.
Funeral Mass service will be held 11:00am on Wednesday, October 21 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Chappell Hill, Texas with Rev. Jozef Musiol, SDS JCD officiating. Burial will follow in St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery.
Barbara was born November 23, 1930 in Chappell Hill to Peter and Josephine (Murski) Konieczny and attended St. Stanislaus Catholic School. In 1949, Barbara married Raymond Gurka, the son of Pete and Annie (Pawlawski) Gurka in Chappell Hill, Texas at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church. They had five children – Theresa, Joe, Alvin, Dorothy “Jackie”, James.
Besides being a Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Barbara was a Business Owner/Manager, Homemaker, and a Gardener. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren respectfully and lovingly called her Busha, which is grandmother in the Polish language.
As a child, Barbara grew up on a country farm in Chappell Hill where her parents grew cotton, raised chickens, turkeys, cows, made their own homemade soap, and ran a small country store at their house. Barbara rode in a wagon to St Stanislaus Catholic School and sometimes walked part ways. In her teenage days, she worked in Brenham at Brentex Cotton Mill. Moving to Houston in the 1950’s, as a business woman Barbara ran a grocery store & meat market. Then in the early 1960’s the family moved back to Chappell Hill where she worked on ranching operations, managed from 1966 to her retirement at age 85 a dairy farm, 4-G Dairy, which was operated by her children. At the same time she raised five children and later babysitted the grandchildren. She was always on the lookout to acquire land for farming and ranching expansion; and was a penny-wise purchaser, especially growing up on her parents’ farm raising their own food and picking cotton with her five sisters and one brother.
Everyone who knew Barbara, knows she was a very hard working woman, who had bottle milk fed over 10,000 baby calves in her lifetime as replacement heifers for 4-G Dairy. She was the person, whom many folks in Washington County would called for advice on how to raise a calf, get a calf to nurse on a different cow that had lost its calf during birth, cure numerous animal ailments, and give solutions for various other farm related issues. Barbara knew the meaning of teamwork before that term was popular, as she often jumped on a tractor to help rake hay under the hot summer sun, even into her eighties. Barbara was a farmer at heart and raised her family’s own food supply of chickens, guineas, geese, turkeys, pigs, and other farm animals. As a passionate Gardener, Barbara grew many different vegetables, flowers, and fruits which she loved doing and sharing the fruits of her labor with family and friends. She loved roses and gardened over twenty varieties in her yard, as well as did her own yard maintenance. All this knowledge for someone who attended school through only the sixth grade, but you would never think this, since in her eighties Barbara even learned to work a laptop computer and google the internet. Barbara was so very proud of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and sons-in-law. She enjoyed being around her family, which she always said was the most important thing to remember in life, after her faith in God.
Barbara is survived by her 5 children: daughter - Theresa Derkowski (husband Paul) of Chappell Hill, son – Joseph William Gurka of Chappell Hill; son – Alvin Gene Gurka (wife Helen) of Chappell Hill; daughter –Dorothy "Jackie" Rotello (husband Tommy) of Navasota, son - James Patrick Gurka (wife Barbara) of Crawford; 7 grandchildren: Brian Derkowski of Houston Clear Lake; Philip Derkowski of Chappell Hill; Joseph Rotello and Mary Rotello of College Station, Jacob, Nathan, and Josephine Gurka of Chappell Hill; 5 great-grandchildren – Sheldon, Benjamin, and Katherine Derkowski of Chappell Hill; Emily and Andrew Derkowski of Houston Clear Lake; Brother-in-law Frank Gurka of Chappell Hill; Sister-in-law Irene Konieczny of Chappell Hill; and numerous nieces, nephews, & cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents - Peter and Josephine Konieczny, husband Raymond Gurka, sisters/spouses – Irene Gurka (husband Billy), Emily Harbor (husband Ray); sisters – Natalie, Evelyn, & Rosie Marie Konieczny; brother – Joe Eddie Konieczny; parents-in-law – Pete and Annie Gurka, in-laws Dorothy Faterkowski (husband Leon), Suzie Zievert (husband Johnny), Larry Zievert, Ruth Gurka; niece Cynthia Anne Gurka, nephew Ronnie Zievert, and granddaughter-in-law Sarah Derkowski.
The grandchildren will serve as pallbearers and the great-grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, either for a Mass Prayer Offering or to the Cemetery Fund in Barbara’s memory, mailing address 9175 FM 1371 in Chappell Hill, Texas 77426.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 W Main St., Brenham, Texas 77833. Condolences may be posted at www.memorialoakschapel.com
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Rosary Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (Due to Covod-19 masks are required)
Burial at St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery