Fred R. Frnka, 88, former editor-publisher of the Eagle Lake Headlight, a weekly newspaper in Eagle Lake, Texas for more than 32 years, and later a rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, closed his eyes to a peaceful rest when he died on June 23, 2011.
A vigil was held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 in the chapel of the Eagle Lake Funeral Home followed by a recitation of the Holy Rosary. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. on June 27 in the Parish of the Nativity Catholic Church in Eagle Lake.
The body was placed to final rest in Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake. Members of the Eagle Lake American Legion Post 108 in which Frnka was a long-time member and served as Commander for over 10 years, were the honor guard for the interment services.
Mr. Frnka was a life-long and faithful member of the Parish of the Nativity Catholic Church. He was a deeply patriotic man and always expressed great love and respect for his country and its leaders. Prior to his death he requested that memorials be sent to the American Legion Post 108 in Eagle Lake or to the Parish of the Nativity Church.
A veteran of World War II, Frnka joined the U.S. Navy on July 17, 1941. During his service on patrol off the coast of North Africa during the African Invasion in 1943, he was wounded in an engagement with a German submarine and received the Purple Heart medal; and also was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for courageous and exemplary action against the German enemy.
He was editor-publisher of the Eagle Lake Headlight from 1951 until he and his wife, Eunice, sold the paper in July 1982. Under his ownership, the Headlight won many honors both in state and national competition.
He was a member of the Rotary Club for over 40 years and named Rotarian of the Year on three separate occasions. He devoted more than 1,000 hours to projects such as the Eagle Lake Historical city tours.
He was an ambassador for Eagle Lake. He served as part-time secretary of the Eagle Lake Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years and he is credited with developing Eagle Lake as the “Goose Hunting Capital of the World.”
Fred R. Frnka was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Eunice M. Goode Frnka, of Eagle Lake; one daughter and son-in-law, Janet and J.J. Grigar, of Lockhart, Texas; son, Jeff R. Frnka, of Eagle Lake; son, R.D. “Don” Frnka and daughter-in-law, Rose Roquemore, of Granbury, Texas; and two sisters, Mrs. Sam (Josephine Frnka) Mathis, of Bay City, Texas, and Ms. Shirley Frnka, of Goliad, Texas. Also surviving are five grandchildren: Joseph Grigar and wife, Lilah, of Oak Harbor, Wash., Katie Grigar Potts and husband, Matt, of Fayetteville, Ark., Richard Frnka and Jon Kempf, of Granbury, and Joey Kempf, of Missouri; and two great-grandchildren, Johnny Grigar and Avery Potts.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Fred G. and Mary Krenek Frnka; two brothers, Ernest F. “Beans” Frnka and Walter A. “Snookie” Frnka; one sister, Mrs. Evelyn M. Frnka Radack; and two brothers-in-law, Edmund A. Radack and Sam J. Mathis.