THORNDALE—Melva Ruth (Woelfel) Richter went to her heavenly home on Friday, June 4, 2021, at the age of 83.
M e l - va was born on March 7, 1938, to Martin and Adele ( L e h m a n ) Woelfel and grew up in Thorndale.
She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church and attended St. Paul Lutheran School. She graduated from Thorndale High School in 1956 and earned her degree from Nixon Clay Business College in Austin.
While working in Aus tin for State Rep. Herman Yezak and then the Welfare Department, she would come home to Thorndale on weekends. One of those weekends, she crossed paths with Fred Richter at church. He wasted no time asking her out, and she quickly realized he was “the one.” Melva and Fred were married on Dec. 27, 1959, at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Their first home was in College Station where Melva worked on the Texas A&M campus and audited a few classes with Fred.
Their first child, Vincent, was born in April 1961, shortly before Fred graduated. Following a short stay in Hockley, they moved to the Kennedy Farm near Thrall where daughters Vickie, Darlene and Lavonne were born.
Melva was always busy cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning, baking, sewing, crocheting and embroidering.
As if this weren’t enough, she was also the ultimate farmer’s wife, driving grain trucks, pulling cotton trailers/running module builder and serving hot meals in the field during harvest; making parts runs at the drop of a hat; helping with cattle; and keeping the books for their farming operation.
Even with all this hard work, she was never too busy to support her children’s activities serving as room mother and always attending their band concerts and home game halftimes.
Following major back surgery, Melva worked at the Thrall Post Office from 1999-2007. There she enjoyed serving the public and making many friends.
Melva was an outstanding role model to her children, sharing with them her love of the Lord, demonstrating the importance of fairness and hard work, and teaching them the value of a dollar.
Her cheerful smile, constant encouragement and genuine gratitude will be missed by many, as will her delicious pecan pies, jellyrolls and date nut bars.
She was preceded in death by her parents, parents-in-law Martin and Elsie (Patschke) Richter and brother-in-law Eugene Richter.
Melva is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Fred; children Vincent (Mary) Richter of Thrall, Vickie (Alan) Korenek of Rockdale, Darlene (Anthony) Rippamonti of Victoria and Lavonne (Lance) Berdoll of Bastrop; grandchildren/ great-grandchildren Gretchen Richter Rodgers (Brandon)/Cora and Maia Richter (Mitch Box)/Maggie of Temple, Randy Korenek (Matilda Sordia)/Liam of Jarrell, Garrett Korenek (Lani Denman)/Brooklynn Korenek and Brantley Denman of Franklin, Hannah Rippamonti of Victoria, Kaylee Berdoll and Travis (Kaitlyn) Berdoll/Emma of Bastrop; sister Dee (Ed) Richter of Kyle; brother Arthur Woelfel of Taylor; brotherin-law Harry (Judy) Richter of Kingsland; sisters-in-law Alice Glazener of Kingsland and Diane (Scott) Locklin of Thorndale; several nieces and nephews and numerous cousins.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, at Providence Funeral Home in Taylor.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 10, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Thorndale. Burial will follow in the St. Paul Lutheran Church Cemetery. Please consider wearing a mask if you have not been fully vaccinated for Covid.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church Build The Vision Fund or General Fund. (PO Box 369, Thorndale, TX 76577).
Arrangements by Taylor Providence Funeral Home, 807 Carlos Parker Blvd. N.W., Taylor, TX 76574; (512) 352-5909, ext. 103.