Katharina (Katy) Rebel Schulze, of Shelby, Texas, died on Friday, September 8, 2023 in Industry, Texas at the age of 98. Katy was born in Kikinda, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) on August 18, 1925 to Andreas and Magdalena (Kunst) Rebel who were descendants of ethnic Germans who had settled in the region several generations before. The Rebel family lost everything in World War II. In October 1944, as the communists took over Yugoslavia, the family fled for Hungary with only what they could carry. After traveling through Hungary via Budapest and then through Czechoslovakia, they arrived in Austria on October 16 where they stayed first with a farm family near Vienna. In April 1945 the family left for Salzburg. It was in Salzburg, while Katy was working for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, that she met Melvin H. E. Schulze, a young American who spoke her native German but with a Texas German dialect that was strange to her. Katy and Melvin married in Salzburg on August 16,1947. After Melvin's discharge from the U.S. Army, the couple stayed in Salzburg for several months before sailing to the U.S. aboard the S.S. Willard A. Holbrook from Bremerhaven, Germany to New York City in November 1947. They made their way by bus and train to Fayetteville, Texas and then to Shelby where Katy and Melvin settled on the farm that was to be their home for the rest of their lives. Katy's parents joined them in Texas in 1950.
Katy and Melvin operated a diversified farm for almost six decades, raising chickens, hogs and cattle and many different crops, along with a custom hay operation in later years. Katy was known for her well-crafted, and sometimes complicated, desserts which she made for community functions and family gatherings, the recipes for which she had brought from Europe. She was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Shelby, American Legion Post 602 Auxiliary, Shelby Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, and the Winedale German Singers. Katy was trilingual, having learned German and Serbian as a child and English as a young adult in Texas. She returned to Europe only once after the war, traveling to visit friends and relatives in the 1970s. A childhood friend settled in Chicago, and Katy kept in touch with her throughout their adult lives.
Katy was preceded in death by two brothers, Georg, who was born in 1924 and died in infancy, and Joseph, who was born in 1927 and was killed in World War II, by her parents Andreas and Magdalena Rebel, father- and mother-in-law Herbert and Frieda Schulze, her husband Melvin Schulze, brother- and sister-in-law Burnie and Burdine Schulze, and sister- and brother-in-law Verline and Roy Schlabach. She is survived by nephews Michael Schlabach (Karla) of Brenham, Darrell Schulze (Diane Stott) of West Lafayette, IN, Roger Schulze (Evon) of Brenham, and Mark Schulze (Lisa) of Houston, and niece Sheryl Durfey (Dennis) of Smithville.
Her family would like to express special thanks to all of the caregivers at Oak Haven Assisted Living for all of the wonderful care they provided.
Funeral services for Katy will be held Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 10:00 am at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Shelby with Pastor John David Nedbalek officiating. Burial will follow in Shelby Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers will be Terry Rudloff, Charlie Schramm, Kenneth Hetzel, Jacob Hetzel, Zane Aschenbeck, and Ryan Aschenbeck. Honorary pallbearers are her nieces and nephews and the caring staff at Oak Haven Assisted Living.
Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church of Shelby.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main St., Brenham. To view Katy's page online and to post a tribute to her family, please visit www.memorialoakschapel.com.