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Loretta Jean Hitt Gwosdz, age 82, of Orange Grove, Texas, passed away peacefully on May 10, 2023. She was born on November 25, 1940, in Corpus Christi, Texas to Willie Mae Hunt Hitt and Harmon Jackson Hitt, Sr. She was a graduate of Miller High School in 1958.
Loretta met Emerick Edward Gwosdz when she was introduced to him by her best friend, Ann, who was dating his cousin, Clinton Wostal. They were married on January 31, 1959, at Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. They were married for 38 years until Emerick’s death in 1997.
As the wife of a farmer, Loretta dedicated herself to the care of their home and the upbringing of their children with love and tenderness. She gave birth to Gina in December of 1959, Tammy in August of 1962, and Teresa in October of 1964. She worked hard making sure that Emerick always had a hot lunch ready at noon no matter what was happening. During harvest she and Nell made sandwiches for all of the workers and then loaded up the kids and took them to the field. Her “field sandwiches” were the best.
In the mid-1980s, Loretta began working as a substitute teacher, eventually transitioning into a full-time teacher's aide in the special education department. She had a deep affection for her students and colleagues, many of whom became dear friends over the years. Loretta dedicated herself to this profession until her retirement in 2010.
Loretta’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were her life. She could be seen at every event that they participated in. She could also be counted on every single year to make her famous BBQ sauce at the FFA Chicken BBQ. She was awarded the Honorary Chapter Member Award by Orange Grove FFA and on May 11, 2023, the first Emerick and Loretta Gwosdz Memorial Scholarship was awarded at the O.G. FFA banquet.
She and Emerick were members of St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Orange Grove and raised their three daughters in the church. Loretta was a member of the Altar Society and helped with Bingo for many years.
Loretta's legacy is marked by her remarkable kindness and unwavering strength, her quick wit and dry sense of humor, and her deep affection for her loved ones and friends. Her homemade delicacies, including chocolate cake, SOS and mashed potatoes, pecan pies, and chicken and dumplings, were cherished by many. Her passing is mourned by all who were fortunate enough to know and love her.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Harmon Jackson (Butch) Hitt, Jr., and her husband of 38 years, Emerick.
She is survived by her three children, Gina (Rodney) Hale of Victoria, TX, Tammy (Tommy) Bertling of Victoria, TX, and Teresa Gwosdz of Orange Grove, TX; grandchildren Lora (Sam) Howze of Petronila, TX, Kayla Bertling of New Braunfels, TX, Cole (Teresa) Bertling of Jarrell, TX, Ashley (Mathieu) Schley of Orange Grove, TX, Tara (Nicholas) Ortiz of Corpus Christi, TX, Branson Benderman of Orange Grove, TX; and great-grandchildren James and Wesley Howze, Loretta Schley, Emma Ortiz and Amelia Bertling; her dear friend and sister-in-law Nell Gwosdz.
We are deeply appreciative of the support provided by Millie and Alton Kirchoff, Nora Romanos, Sue Amaya, and Lonnie and Lacey Wostal during the final years of her life, when limited mobility became a challenge. A huge thank you to The Premier of Alice Skilled Nursing facility and Devoted Hospice for making her last few months as comfortable as was possible.
A Holy Rosary will be held at 11:00 AM with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 12:00 PM on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Orange Grove, Tx. Burial will follow at St. John of the Cross Cemetery.
Honored to serve as pallbearers will be Rodney Hale, Tommy Bertling, Cole Bertling, Branson Benderman, Nicholas Ortiz, Mathieu Schley, and Sam Howze.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in Loretta’s honor to Loving Ripples, PO Box 1213, Orange Grove, TX 78372.
Arrangements are entrusted to Holmgreen Mortuary, 2061 East Main Street, Alice, Texas.
Condolences for the family may be offered at www.HolmgreenMortuaryInc.com and shared via Holmgreen Mortuary Facebook.