Lynwood Dale Hejtmancik departed this life March 22, 2022. He will be missed by many.
Lynn was born to Anton and Ella (Kiel) Hejtmancik on July 2, 1934, the 4th of 6 children. He grew up on the family farm and attended Hogg school, Deanville School, and Caldwell High School where he was active in 4H and FFA. Sundays were for Church, and he received several Sunday School pins. A favorite childhood memory was of rainy days when the family would sit on the porch, enjoying popcorn.
As a young man, he worked for the Texas & New Orleans Railroad and the Southern Pacific Railroad as a Train Order Operator, Tower Operator, and Station Agent. He worked in Giddings, Caldwell, Austin, Hubbard, and many other Central Texas train stations. He was the last agent at the Liberty Hill station and remembered closing and locking the door behind him on the station’s last day of operation. His time with the railroad spanned the transition from the use of all steam engines to the use of all diesel engines. In his later years, he supported the Austin Steam Train Association.
Lynn served in the U.S. Army, The National Guard, and The Inactive Reserves for a total of 8 years before receiving an honorable discharge.
On June 4, 1955, Lynn and Carolyn (Williams) were married in Marlin, TX. Daughter, Diane was born in 1957 and son, Kevin was born in 1960.
Over the years, he held an interesting variety of “extra jobs” such as working at the Palace Theatre in El Paso, TX where one of his duties was changing the reels of film during shows. Other “extra jobs” included loading blocks of ice onto boxcars in Marlin, TX, working for Roberdeau Van & Storage in Austin, and working with Wire Tab Equipment for Southwestern Bell.
While in Marlin, Lynn worked for Williams Feed Store and had his own business raising 5000 chickens (broilers) under contract.
After moving to Austin, he attended Durham Business College where he studied computer programming. After graduation, he worked for the City of Austin as a computer operator/programmer. This was in the day of huge room-size computers, magnetic tape, and punch cards.
Lynn then went to work for the State of Texas at MH/MR as a Telecommunications System Programmer. He retired from MH/MR at the age of 59. Upon retirement, he and Carolyn sold their house on Lake Travis, purchased a motor home, and traveled full-time.
As a native Texan and lover of all things Texas, he and Carolyn made sure their children experienced as much of Texas as possible through camping, hiking, visits to Texas historic sites, etc. An honor that was very dear to him was his commission as an Admiral in the Texas Navy on January 28, 2009.
During his working years, Lynn served as Director of the Pedernales Property Owners Assn., Training Captain and Firefighter for the Pedernales Volunteer Fire Dept., EMT for Pedernales Volunteer EMS for 10 years, and Travis County EMS Coordinator for 2 years. These were all volunteer positions.
The organization that had the most profound effect on Lynn & Carolyn is the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI). This charitable organization holds chili cookoffs almost every weekend of the year, and all proceeds go to a wide variety of worthy causes. Lynn & Carolyn made countless friends and helped raise millions of dollars through “Chili, Charity, and Fun”. Lynn was fortunate enough to win the CASI Terlingua International Chili Championship in 1988. He was honored to have been inducted into the CASI Chili Hall of Fame in 1989 and named Chilihead of the Year in 2014. His “Chili Family” has been a constant and steadfast support to him through all of life’s ups and downs and have always been so very important to him.
Lynn was preceded in death by his wife Carolyn Hejtmancik, his parents Anton and Ella Hejtmancik, brother Marvis Hejtmancik and his wife Gay, brother Dennis Hejtmancik, sister-in-law Joyce Hejtmancik, and brothers-in-law Eddie Leinweber and Charles Gentry.
He is survived by his son Kevin Hejtmancik, daughter Diane and her husband Doug Rankin, 6 grandchildren: Lacy and her husband Rick Miles, Katy and her husband Jason Davis, Amanda Barton, Jessica and her husband Brian Elliott, Keith Rankin and his wife Kristi, Lisa Rankin, 15 great grandchildren, his brother Lloyd Hetmancik, sisters Lavelle Leinweber and Ilene Gentry, and sisters-in-law Estelle Hejtmancik and Kathy Horton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Terlingua Common School District. This would benefit the Terlingua School Activity Fund, one of Lynn’s favorites. (Terlingua CSD P.O. Box 256 Terlingua, TX 79852), the CASI Scholarship Fund (https://www.casichili.net/scholarships.html), or your local steam train association.
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