Martha Francis (Schiller) Zavodny

Martha Francis (Schiller) Zavodny

Martha Francis (Schiller) Zavodny, 87, passed away peacefully at home in Rogers, Texas, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

The family will be accepting visitors at Hewett-Arney Funeral Home, 14 West Barton Avenue in Temple, on Monday, August 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A private family celebration of life will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday, August 4 at 10 a.m. with Kathryn Hartmann officiating. Everyone is invited to the outdoor graveside service at 11 a.m. at Seaton Cemetery in Seaton.

Martha was born to the late August (Gus) and Fannie (Luksik) Schiller of Red Ranger on April 9, 1933. She grew up on the family farm in East Bell County with her five siblings. Martha was a graduate of Rogers High School.

On November 7, 1953, in Temple, Milton Zavodny officially made Martha “his girl” for the rest of her life. The newlywed couple settled outside of Rogers to build a home, farm, and family together that would eventually include twin daughters, Debbie and Faye, who were born in 1956. Daughter Melanie was born 16 years later. Martha lived in the Rogers area her entire life.

Martha was an excellent cook, seamstress, and gardener. She enjoyed canning fresh vegetables and fruits from her garden and sharing them with her family and friends. Martha loved to watch reality television shows; two of her favorites were American Idol and Bachelor. Her life was surrounded by the joy of her grandchildren and great-grandsons. She always had a beautiful smile and kind word, and she found good in everyone. She will be remembered for her generous giving spirit, compassion for animals, and her cheerful heart.

Many of her memorable years were spent taking care of infants and young children in her in-home child care. For 25 years, she provided the best care and unconditional love to every child whom she kept. To this day, some of these children, now grown, have stayed in contact with her due to the lasting impact she has had in their lives.

Martha thoroughly enjoyed all holidays, with Christmas and Easter being her favorites. She ensured the Zavodny household was decorated beautifully. She delighted in family coming together at the holidays and sharing in the spirit of the season. Family gatherings featured an abundance of homemade dishes and desserts. She also applied her crafting skills to assisting daughter Melanie with creating homecoming mums for Rogers Eagles and other local schools.

She was proud of her heritage, and she stayed true to it by speaking the Czech language with her family and friends, listening and dancing to Czech music, and preparing Czech foods such as kolaches, sauerkraut, and strudel.

Martha was a 50-year member of SPJST Lodge 24, Cyclone (Flag Hall) where she served on several committees and volunteered at events and fundraisers working for the betterment of the organization. She was also always happy to lend a helping hand to youth projects, holiday events, and parades. She received the Lifetime Achiever Award in 2003 for loyal service and dedication to SPJST. Martha was also a longtime member of Western Fraternal Life Association (WFLA).

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Edwin Schiller in 1979; brother Gus Schiller in 1989; brother Johnnie Schiller in 1992; brother Rudolph Schiller in 2009; and sister Evelyn Henson in 2018.

To cherish her memory, Martha leaves her husband Milton of 66 years; daughter Faye Hudson and son-in-law Carroll of Robinson; daughter Debbie Veselka and son-in-law Freddie of Robinson; daughter Melanie Zavodny and son-in-law David Nauert of Temple; granddaughter Ashley Shoesmith and husband Eric of Leander; grandson Scott Hudson of Robinson; great-grandsons Caseton and Bryce Shoesmith of Leander; several nieces and nephews; and devoted caregiver and special friend Melissa Hughes.

Pallbearers will be sons-in-law Carroll Hudson, David Nauert and Freddie Veselka; grandson Scott Hudson; nephews David Schiller and Marvin Schiller; and neighbor/special friend Jason Koliha.

Memorials in honor of Martha’s life may be made to Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center, 119 West French Avenue, Temple, Texas 76501 or Gentle Transitions Hospice, PO Box 1509, Moody, Texas 76557.

We take comfort in knowing Martha is in the presence of her Lord and Savior. She will be missed by all and never forgotten.