On her 81st birthday, Gwendolyn Yvonne (Fohn) Till, saw the face of Jesus, and he took her breath away. She was born Oct. 21, 1936, in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her family moved to Wink, Brownsville, Navasota, Beaumont and Fort Worth, before ending up in Austin. Gwen attended Catholic School in the shadow of the UT Tower, and later attended Austin High School, where she was a Red Jacket. She graduated in 1954.
Gwen frequently attended church dances in Rockne, Texas, which is where she met the love of her life, Felix Till, of String Prairie. It started the dance of a lifetime. She and Felix married in 1955, and moved to Lockhart. They spent many evenings waltzing, polka-ing and two-stepping—just dancing the night away. It was their favorite time together. They had been married for almost 62 years.
Gwen and Felix have five beautiful children, Julie Hitter and husband Robert, Randy and wife, Rhonda, Sarah Schnautz and husband, Doug, Mark and wife, Amber, and Paul. She was known as “Grammy” to 14 wonderful grandchildren: Haley Blank and husband, Brian, Ryan Hitter and wife, Kaylee, Kendall Till and girlfriend, Brittany Gawlik, Trent and Logan Till; Kelby Schnautz and wife, Telie, Cass Schnautz and fiancée, Kegan Francey and Zane Schnautz; Kendyl Cole; Joseph and Gwyneth Till; and Sophie, Augie and Levi Till; one great-grandson, Carson Blank; and one great-granddaughter, Kelie Gwendolyn Schnautz, due in January.
She was a loving sister to Elberta Fiebrich and husband, David, Chrissy Koenig and husband, Jimmy, and Kenneth Fohn, and a loving aunt to many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Horace and Bertha Fohn; her brother, Larry Fohn; and her nephew, Drew Koenig.
Gwen and Felix spent many weekends with kids and grandkids out at the Fohn Ranch, near Hondo, Texas. This was the site of Gwen’s Dad’s homeplace. The weekends were full of deer hunts, jeep rides, bonfires, good food and lots of laughs. Gwen even memorialized the events in the book, “Grammy’s Land,” which she dedicated to her grandkids. Of course, the grandkids spent many days at Grammy and Popo’s house in Lockhart, too. They played football in the backyard, hunted Easter eggs, and ate Grammy’s delicious cooking. Homemade bread, chili, and chicken and dumplings were favorites. Her house was a place of love, and they loved being there.
Gwen enjoyed many vacations with her family. For over 40 years, she and Felix and their kids, and Felix’s twin brother’s family, would go camping at Driftwood, Texas, where they would spend the week floating down Onion Creek, playing games at the camp or carnival, and communing with the great outdoors. Also, during her retirement, Gwen and Felix traveled with extended family to Germany and France, and from Maine to California, visiting all of the 48 contiguous states. Their grandkids loved seeing them on TV in the audience of “The Price is Right.” Gwen also made many trips to visit her relatives in Louisiana. She was proud of her Cajun roots, and enjoyed reminiscing with her aunts, uncles, and cousins about her Mama’s childhood.
Gwen was an avid Longhorn fan, and attended the Lady Longhorn Basketball games throughout the last 30 years. She was quick to host a Longhorn Football gameday party with her Plum Street friend, Yvonne. “The Eyes of Texas” and “Hook ‘em Horns” were shouted many times in her house. But her true love of family shone through, when she cheered and supported her grandkids that went to A&M, too.
Gwen treasured Christmas, and began decorating early each year in order to have all her displays out in time to enjoy them throughout the holidays. She collected Hallmark Ornaments, and the rooms of her house were filled with them. She gave each child and grandchild a new Hallmark ornament every year, so they could add to their own collections.
Gwen was well known within her community. Serving as an attendance secretary for over 20 years at Lockhart High School, she got to know lots of students and parents in town. Also, her five kids were Gold-Star members of the Lockhart 4-H Club, and she and Felix were active club leaders throughout those years and beyond. She was also active in the booster clubs supporting the kids’ band and sports activities.
Gwen was also drawn to spiritual service. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lockhart for over 60 years. Through those years, Gwen served in the Ladies Altar Society, the Council of Catholic Women, the Diocesan Synod, and the religious education program. She was especially moved by serving those in need through the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Meals on Wheels program, and by distributing the Eucharist as a Minister of Communion. She’s left a legacy to her family through her unconditional love, her demonstration of service, and her commitment to faith and prayer.
Special thanks go to Dr. Teneriello and staff for their encouragement and conviction during her fight, and to Melissa, Kristin and staff of CIMA Hospice for their comforting words and attention during her last days.
Family will receive friends at McCurdy Funeral Home from 4 – 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, with recitation of the Rosary at 7:15 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Spring Prairie. Pallbearers will be Joseph Lee Till, Rudy Till, Jr., David Till, Edward Till, Danny Till, Keith Hamblin, Kenneth Fiebrich, Jeff Fiebrich and Josh Koenig. Paul Dugas and her grandsons will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Gwen’s name to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, or the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary’s in Lockhart, or to a charity of your choice.
A “prominent, prominent” lady has joined God’s guardian angels today, to watch over her family and friends, and to continue to light and inspire their lives.
Arrangements under the care and guidance of McCurdy Funeral Home, 105 E. Pecan, Lockhart. To view and sign the guestbook, visit www.post-register.com/obituaries/gwendolyn-till.