Valerian "Val" Huvar
Valerian Dennis Aloysius "Val" Huvar, 93, of Victoria passed away Thursday, March 21, 2013. He was born October 19, 1919, in El Campo, the second of four children to Fred and Stella Holcak Huvar. His father moved the family to Victoria on January 1, 1920, and on February 1, 1920, opened Huvar's Grocery at 201 South Main. The business relocated to 205 South Main and later, in 1945, it was moved to 110 West Juan Linn where the establishment, noted for its homemade sausage, remained until finally being closed on July 31, 1999. By the time of its closure, the ownership of the store had devolved to Val's younger brother, Fred, Jr., who was popularly known as Dada.
Val began his education under the tutelage of the nuns at Nazareth Academy, transferring to St. Joseph's, located at the corner of Main and Church streets, for the first grade. After graduation from St. Joseph's High School in 1937, which happened to be the last graduating class from the downtown site, he worked at a variety of jobs, including being an attendant at a service station and peddling "Billy's Potato Chips" to restaurants and stores in Victoria and surrounding communities, prior to entering the United States Army's Air Corps on December 31, 1941. Upon completion of basic training at Ellington Field in Harris County, Val served at Randolph Field in San Antonio, South Plains Army Field in Lubbock, and the ordinance depot outside of Manila, Philippines. At the time of his discharge from the military service on February 5, 1946, he had attained the rank of master sergeant.
On May 4, 1947, Val married Luella "Lu" Edwards Knowlan from Blanco, a registered nurse at Victoria Hospital and widow of William Knowlan who was killed in World War II. Val and Lu had four children, Charlotte, Carolyn, Dennis and Michael.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s Val worked at the local Goodyear tire store as manager, Montgomery-Ward catalogue store as manager, and the First Victoria National Bank as a teller. While working at the bank, friends and acquaintances urged him to run for Victoria County Clerk, a job that he held a personal interest in. Val made a spirited campaign for the position in 1954 and emerged successfully. On January 1, 1955, he took office. This was a memorable date for it was exactly thirty-five years to the day the Fred Huvar family moved to Victoria. Thereafter, Val ran unopposed for re-election, and remained as county clerk until 2011, establishing an enviable precedent for elected officials in Victoria County. There has been no other elected Victoria city or county official who has equaled or surpassed the number of years that Val served as county clerk. During his tenure he was active in the state's County and District Clerks Association, serving as the organization's president in 1963-64. Meanwhile Texas Governor, John Connally, in 1964 appointed him to the statewide Election Committee. Furthermore in 1970 Val was named the Outstanding County Clerk of Texas by the Texas Association of Counties and District Clerks. Val also held membership in the VFW and the American Legion.
In the 56 years he was county clerk, Val witnessed numerous changes in the office. When he assumed the position, there were five employees. By the time Val departed, the number had increased to eighteen. Perhaps the most dramatic transformation occurred in the manner that the office functioned. In 1955 virtually all business transactions were either typewritten or done in longhand. With the advent of new technology Val adjusted in a timely manner. Most of today's records, along with past files, are catalogued on computers.
A devout Roman Catholic, Val was an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church. Consequently, he served as president of the Parish Board, as lector, congregation song leader, choir member and as a Eucharistic minister. Additionally, whenever the occasion presented itself, Val helped with communion services. For his numerous personal contributions and eternal loyalty to the Catholic Church, he received the Pro Ecclesia Pontifice medal and diploma.
Survivors include his children, Charlotte Kizer of Baytown, Carolyn Wright of Victoria, Dennis Huvar and wife, Brenda, of Pipe Creek, Texas and Michael Huvar and wife, Karen, of Victoria; sister, Marguerite Epperhart of Houston; brother, Edward Huvar of Houston; ten grandchildren, Amber (Kyle) Proctor, Michelle (Tech Sgt. Scott) Babb, Dr. John B. (Jennifer) Wright, Traci (Chris) Dyson, Erin Wright-White, Jeffrey (Sara) Huvar, Allison (Jim) Heard, Melissa Huvar, Matthew (Christi) Huvar and Adam Huvar; 12 great-grandchildren, Jon Micheal Sparkman, Megan Babb, Michael Babb, Cullen Dyson, Lily White, Shelby White, Kason Dyson, Bethany Wright, Elizabeth Proctor, Kinsley White, Zoe Huvar, William Huvar and one on the way; nieces and nephews and many extended family members.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Luella Huvar and his brother, Fred Huvar, Jr.
The family will receive friends from 6:00-7:00 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at St. Mary's Catholic Church. A Rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Rev. Dan Morales officiating. Burial with full military honors under the direction of the Victoria Veterans council will follow at Victoria Catholic Cemetery #2.
Pallbearers will be Wayne Myers, John Hammack, Richard Voigt, Kevin Janak, Wayne Dierlam and Judge Robert Whitaker.
Honorary pallbearers will be Stuart Posey, Rex Easley, Sr., Nancy Brown, Sheila Knight, James Carter and employees of the Victoria County Clerk's Office during Val's tenure.
The family would like to express special thanks to Val's caregivers, Brook, Linda, Brittany, Sandra and Tracy.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of South Texas, 605 E. Locust, Victoria, Texas, 77901, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Main, Victoria, Texas, 77901, or St. Joseph High School, 110 E. Red River, Victoria, Texas, 77901.
Words of comfort may be shared at www.rosewoodfuneralchapel.com.