Stanley Odstrcil
Stanley Odstrcil

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Stanley Odstrcil, our precious “Daddy” and “Tata” to his grandchildren, passed away months shy of his 88th birthday.

Stanley Albin Odstrcil was born on December 20, 1932, in Seymour, Texas, to Albina M. Odstrcil and Stanley Vincent Odstrcil. Stanley and his parents along with his older brother and sister moved to Grandfalls, Texas where his father entered the oil and gas industry.

Stanley’s first language was Czech, and he entered school knowing this one language. He quickly learned English as did his fellow Mexican-American classmates. This was quite important during lunch where he would share his mom’s famous homemade bread in exchange for his friends’ homemade flour tortillas.

Music was central to Stan’s family. He played the accordian and harmonica and continued to sing many Czech songs throughout his life for anyone who would listen.

Stan met Margaret Ann Barron at a Bob Wills dance in Big Spring, Texas. He was a “bouncer” at many dances in the West Texas area. They fell in love and married in September of 1960. They continued to enjoy dancing up until her death in 2000.

After following many of his family into the oil and gas industry, he determined that he wanted to be a teacher. At the age of 30, after the birth of their only daughter, Katrina, Stan and his family moved from the oil fields of Snyder to San Angelo, Texas where he would attend San Angelo College and, eventually, receive his teaching degree in secondary mathematics.

Stan taught exclusively at Central High School in San Angelo where he was named Teacher of the Year. Known affectionately by students as “Mr. O,” he had found his calling in the classroom. From students who excelled to those who struggled, Stan had a way with helping students understand the language of mathematics. He was the sponsor of the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) for many years taking students to the State competitions numerous times.

Stan shared his enjoyment and love for teaching, for music, for traveling, and, for an occasional trip to the casino, with Katrina. Poor guy---the two-hour piano practices he had to endure, and, particularly, the fortés of a teenager. He attended every recital, every contest, even the attempts at the violin during Katrina’s junior high years. Her love of the outdoors and Big Bend National Park comes directly from their many visits to the park during her childhood.

Stan and Margaret enjoyed a special place in the Hill Country called “R” Ranch. It was here that his granddaughter, Alana, discovered her love for astronomy under the dark Texas skies. His support for her quest into her eventual bachelor’s degree in Physics at Angelo State University and continued master’s degree at University of Alabama was steady. He took so much pride in all of her accomplishments, with the ultimate being his precious great-grandgirls: Branna, Atlie, and Aisley.

Stan welcomed his grandson, Wes, into his family when Wes was four-and-a-half years old. Stan spent many days running to the backyard with Wes to watch the trains as they passed behind the family home on South David. Stan and Margaret spent many days (and lots of spare change) taking Wes to Cici’s Pizza where Wes played games to his heart’s content and piled his plate high with pizza.

Later, a long 16 years later, Stan and Margaret were blessed with a third grandchild: Jess. While Stan loved teaching math, his love for history and politics was a passion. In turn, Jess, also, loved discussing such matters with his “Tata,” but, more than anything, Jess was the one to whom Stan chose to tell his own history and life story.

Always a promoter of San Angelo, Stan joined the Lions’ Club and assisted in their many activities. While living in Eldorado, he joined the Eldorado Lions’ Club. In his later years, Stan served as a docent in the San Angelo Visitors Bureau located on the Concho River. When a visitor wandered in to ask a question, Stan would have an answer and then some. He had stories to tell!

Stan enjoyed his last ten years with his wife, Pat. She made sure that he was safe and comfortable in their home together at Rio Concho Manor.

Stan is survived by his daughter, Katrina Gonzales, and her husband, Ernie; by his three grandchildren: Alana May, Wes Oliver, and Jess Gonzales; his three great-grandchildren: Branna, Atlie, and Aisley May; his wife, Pat; many nieces and nephews and a whole host of cousins in Seymour, Texas and beyond. Preceding Stan in death were his mother and father; his sister, Marietta Coyne, and his brother, Julius Odstrcil; his wife of forty years, Margaret; and his great-granddaughter, Saige May.

The celebration of Stan’s life was at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in San Angelo, Texas on October 31, 2020. The family suggests memorial donations be made in Stanley’s honor to the UIL Math Club at San Angelo Central High School or the East Angelo Lions’ Club.