Our dear matriarch Olga Marie Aylor passed away peacefully at her home on November 2, 2021. A true child of the Depression, Olga Marie was born a second-generation Czech-American in Schulenberg, TX on March 15, 1924 to August Matula and Frances Matula, the sixth of eight siblings.
Always full of pep and vigor, Olga related many stories of her family subsisting during those hard times and of the lessons she learned during her long life. Olga’s family moved from Schulenburg to Crosby, TX in 1939 and here she grew her roots. A graduate of Crosby High School, Olga would often attend Friday night football games with her friends, and eventually a young gentleman caught her attention by pitching pennies into her hat brim. That young man, her future husband, was to volunteer for the army in 1940, two months shy of her 16th birthday. The sweethearts were wed almost three years later on October 5, 1942 when John was sent on leave for the weekend. J.C. and Olga celebrated 76 years of marriage before his passing in January of 2019.
Life-long residents of Highlands, J.C. and Olga raised their three children here, and Olga was always proud of her children’s accomplishments and loved making a good home for them in the years following WW2. A founding member of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Highlands, Olga helped start the CCE program and taught catechesis for many years. She and her husband spent abundant time and resources in numerous maintenance and beautification projects over the years at St. Jude’s, and hosted countless family gatherings in the community hall. Always a homemaker, Olga also worked as a sodagirl for Kubin’s Drugstore, and bookkeeper for Gibson’s Department Store and K-BUC Radio. After her husband retired, they loved to travel and camp, driving as far as Alaska and Nova Scotia, taking the trains across England and Europe, and logged many hours in their RV at the fish camp.
Being with Olga always felt at home. Her faith inspired her daily life and she had sincere care for everyone who came into her life. Olga always had her hands in the dirt, feeding her family, and offering sacks of fresh picked veggies to any who stopped by to marvel at her rows upon rows of harvest. Her gardens were massive and of great variety, and she would rotate her crops to produce in all seasons, always giving extra care to the “volunteers” that would pop up from a previous season. Even in her final years, she would insist on planting from seed, enjoying the process of watching the plants grow stronger as the season progressed. Her flowerbeds and rose garden were also of great joy to her, and she took pride in winning yard of the month time and again.
Olga’s kindness and charity, personability and love of life, her care and companionship will be missed by all that knew her. Not least, her family and friends will miss her kolaches, casseroles, chicken-and-dumplings, and myriad other recipes we’ve all tried to make but cannot replicate. For nearly sixty years, her apple strudels were welcomed by hunters on many cold West Texas mornings and were as good as currency.
Olga is preceded in death by her husband John Calvin Aylor, her son, Michael Calvin Aylor, her parents August and Frances Matula, her brothers Edwin and Laddie, and her sisters Lillie Tomacek, Judy Schwartz, and Julie Hamala. She is survived by her daughters Barbara May of Baytown and Jo Ann Fowles (Raymond) of New Braunfels, and daughter-in-law Wanda Wingo of Baytown, as well as her brother Jerome Matula (Evelyn) of Crosby, and sister Martha Schwartz of College Station.
Also remembering her legacy are five grandchildren, Gregory May (Charlene) of Baytown, Russell Brenner (Jackie) of Katy, Cassandra Mickel (Jefferson) of Austin, Johnathon Aylor (Christine) of Houston, and Ian Aylor ( Brie) of Mont Belvieu.
Ten great-grandchildren mourn her passing, Emilee Herring, Mackenzie May, Leeann Hartman, Reese Brenner, Hatfield Mickel, Gage Aylor, Ada Aylor, Augustus Mickel, John Calvin Aylor II, and her newest great-grandchild Olivia Grace Aylor.
Visitation will be held 5-8 pm on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at Sterling-White Funeral Home, 11011 Crosby-Lynchburg Road, Highlands,TX. A Rosary will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, 800 South Main Street, Highlands, TX, with her Funeral Mass following at 11:30 am. Interment will be held at 1:00 pm at San Jacinto Cemetery, 14659 East Freeway (I-10).
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses on the 2 North Wing of Baytown Methodist Hospital and the staff at the Harbor Hospice staff for helping make her last few days comfortable. As well, we would like to thank all who have given her support these past years, in particular her dear friend Gregoria. In lieu of sending flowers, please get your hands in the dirt and plant some flowers of your own for your family to enjoy, or make donations to Catholic Daughters of America, P.O. Box 147, Highlands, TX 77562.
Ian Aylor, Johnathon Aylor, Russell Brenner, Greg May, Jefferson Mickel, Brad Sheffield
Rob Aanstoos, Alan Arnold, John Calvin Aylor II, Floyd Ciruti, Steve Schawrtz, Jerry Taylor
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