VisitationSTRICKLAND FUNERAL HOME - CALDWELL
CALDWELL, Texas 77836
Mary Frances Vajdak (Hayes) Owens was born January 2, 1932 to Tom and Milady (Havel) Vajdak in Merle, Texas, which is now part of Snook, Texas. She was baptized on March 3, 1932 by Reverend Frank Horak, Sr., confirmed on April 3, 1947 at the Caldwell Moravian Brethren Church by Rev. Henry Beseda, Sr., and remained a member of that church her entire life.
The family moved to Caldwell from Rogers, Texas in September, 1938, to the farm on the (then called) Tunis Road. That was home for 71 years.
When she started school, she didn’t know a word of English but learned the language quickly.
Being born during the 1930’s was very hard and you learned to work at an early age. The first thing she learned was to milk cows as soon as it was daylight. After school there were chores to do. Summers were spent in the cotton or corn patch or cutting wood for the winter. Summers were also a time for canning. Her mother taught her how to preserve the goods of the garden, which she enjoyed all her life.
Mary graduated from Caldwell High School in May, 1951. She then attended Durham’s Business College in Austin. That was where she met her first husband, Sgt. James T. Hayes. They were married on April 12, 1952. Since James was in the Air Force, many moves took place. While stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, their first son
David was born. Then James was transferred to Upper Heyford, England, where their daughter Sara Lynn was born. The family returned to Bergstrom where their son Darrell was born. After several more relocations it was best to settle back in Caldwell, and the marriage took a toll.
Mary worked at Keller Aluminum Chairs and Ladders for several years.
In 1968 Mary met T/Sgt George Owens and they were married on November 2, 1968. The family moved to Oklahoma City (and three more moves). George retired from the Air Force after 21 years of service and Caldwell was home again.
Mary always enjoyed her hobbies, especially gardening and sewing. She also belonged to several organizations for many years. She was a member of the Christian Sisters (an officer for 25 years), a life-time member of the American Legion, and a founding member of the Burleson County Theater Guild.
Those who preceded Mary in death were her parents Tom and Milady Vajdak, her husband George, her daughter Sara Lynn Hayes, her brother Franklin Vajdak and his wife Shirley Vajdak, her sister Alice Piwonka and her husband Alex Piwonka, and nephew Harold Piwonka.
She is survived by her two sons, David Hayes and his ex-wife Barbara Baker of Austin and Darrell Hayes of Fort Worth, step-granddaughter Stephanie Gregg and her husband Frank Gregg Jr., step-great granddaughter Lauren Presley and her husband Doug Presley, step-great-great granddaughter Alison Presley, step-great grandson Tyler Gregg, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mary had some very special friends in Bettie and Arvell Poehl, Gladys Garbs, and some caring and helpful neighbors Kris and Janet Kosh and their sons.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Caldwell Brethren Church or the New Tabor Cemetery Association.