Cover photo for Elwood Hanath's Obituary
Elwood Hanath Profile Photo
1940 Elwood 2024

Elwood Hanath

July 7, 1940 — February 3, 2024

Elwood W. Hanath, aka the Vegetable Man, 83 of Berlin Community, died peacefully of multiple organ failure, on February 3, 2024 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Bryan surrounded by his loved ones.

He was born July 7, 1940 to Richard Sr. and Annie (Herrmann) Hanath in the Gay Hill Community. He lived all his married life in the Berlin Community. Elwood was baptized January 30, 1942 at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Brenham and affirmed his faith on March 25, 1956 at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church by Pastor Theo. Streng. He was a lifetime member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brenham and listened faithfully every Sunday morning on the radio.

He attended Berlin Public Schools and Brenham High School.

Elwood married Mae Dell Zwernemann on July 23, 1961 at St. John's Lutheran Church of Warrenton by Marvin Koenig. She was the love of his life, until the very end, they spent every evening watching western movies and the Wheel of Fortune.

Elwood worked at Brenham Cotton Mill from 1956 - 1967 and then became a co-owner of Hanath Brothers Grocery. In 1972, the business built their own store. A few years later they started Hanath Brothers Steel Construction Company in addition to the Store. In 1984, they began a small garden and that is when the vegetable business started and grew overwhelmingly from there. In 1993, he decided to branch out on his own with his son Alan and open Elwood Hanath Steel Construction which he owned and operated until the end of 2016 when he retired.

Elwood loved to play fast pitch softball as a pitcher since he was a teenager. He played fast pitch all over the state of Texas for 42 years with various teams including: Brentex Fabrics, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hanath Brothers Grocery and Elwood Hanath Steel Construction. He was very happy that not only his oldest son Alan, but his daughter Tess aka Tootsie followed in his footsteps as fast pitch pitchers. His greatest achievement of his fast pitch career was placing 2nd place in the 1978 State Fast Pitch Tournament and being awarded All-State Pitcher at the Tournament.

Elwood was one of the founders of the Berlin - Mill Creek - Zionsville Fire Department and helped build the Fire Department Building and was a head barbecue cook at all fundraisers. He also belonged to the AgriLife Extension Horticultural Committee and retired in 2023. He was also a Supporter of the Washington County Fair Jr. Livestock Auction from 1993 - 2005.

Elwood acquired the name "The Vegetable Man" as the gardens multiplied with various vegetables and Elwood traveled the countryside to various locations selling the produce and canned goods that he and Mae Dell worked very hard on. Many people looked forward to seeing him every week. They participated in the Round Top Antique Fair 2 times a year for 29 years and they could be found in the same spot each year.

Elwood loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren tremendously and they were a big part of his life. He looked forward to the holidays each year and having everyone together under one roof and having a good time. He enjoyed preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving and BBQ'ing for other holidays for his family. Family was a big part of his life, he was Daddy, Pop, Papa, Popo and Grandpa. He was the Patriarch of the Hanath Family.

Elwood is survived by his loving wife Mae Dell of 62 years; son Nathan "Alan" Hanath of Brenham; daughter Tess Hanath and partner Cindy Culp of Houston; son Kevin Hanath and wife Shannon of Bellville; daughter Lois Meier and husband Tommy of Brenham; grandchildren Taylor Hanath - Culp and wife Midyana; Kerstyn Hanath and boyfriend Justin Cooper; Cade Hanath - Culp and fiancé Jenilee Casiano; Blaine Hanath; Brian Meier and wife Kasey; Loni Meier and husband Shannon Thornton; great grandchildren Madyson Meier; Zackry Meier; Haylee Meier and Kamryn Meier; Feline Furbabies Josie, Ozzy and Sid; Brother Richard Hanath Jr and wife Pearlie; Sister Amalia Woolf; Sisters - in - law Gloria Hanath and Bernice Hanath; and numerous nieces and nephews. Special neighbors Carol and Ricky Gaskamp and special friends Chester and Maxine Reuther.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Anita Hanath; his brothers Louis, Bennie and Alvin; and sister - in - law Joycine.

Pallbearers are Taylor Hanath - Culp, Kerstyn Hanath, Cade Hanath - Culp, Blaine Hanath, Loni Meier and Brian Meier; Honorary pallbearers are Madyson Meier, Zackry Meier, Haylee Meier and Kamryn Meier.

Visitation will be from 5:30 - 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at Memorial Oaks Chapel. The funeral service will be at 10 am Friday, February 9, 2024, at Memorial Oaks Chapel with Pastor Donna Krueger officiating. Burial will be at 2:30 pm at Waldeck Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials can be given to St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brenham, Berlin - Mill Creek - Zionsville Fire Department or Hospice Brazos Valley.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main St., Brenham. To post a tribute to the Family, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elwood Hanath, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 8, 2024

5:30 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 9, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Burial Following

Friday, February 9, 2024

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

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