Funeral services for Erna Teinert Mathias will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove. Interment will follow at Copperas Cove City Cemetery.
Mrs. Mathias, Copperas Cove’s oldest citizen at age 107, died peacefully Dec. 2, 2012. She was born Sept. 19, 1905, near Copperas Cove to Ernst and Emma Teinert, who raised their family of 12 on 360 acres of rough farm land immediately south of “the church with the cross on the mountain,” Immanuel Lutheran.
In 1926, she married Gilbert Mathias, whose family farmed in the Antelope community about five miles north of Copperas Cove. They had two children, Robert and Angeline, both of whom preceded her in death. Only one of her five brothers and six sisters, Leona Herzog of Lubbock, is still living. The other siblings were Clara Teinert of Copperas Cove, Martin Teinert of Walburg, Ludwig Teinert of Walburg, Ella Mathias of Copperas Cove, Alfred Teinert of Wilson, Emily Hoffmeyer of Waco/Copperas Cove, Ernest Teinert of New Braunfels, Wanda Taliaferro of Houston, John Teinert of Giddings/Albany and Alma Domaschk of Port Arthur/Copperas Cove.
She received all her formal education at Immanuel Lutheran Elementary School. During this time she worked on her parents’ farm “from the time I could help with the chores.”
During her teen years and early youth, she worked as a housekeeper for the Ed Norman family, owners of a general merchandise store in downtown Copperas Cove. During this period of her life she also enjoyed an active social life as a member of the Walther League, the youth group at her church.
Shortly after their marriage, they moved to New Braunfels, where they both worked in the Gingham Mills. In a few years they returned to Copperas Cove, where they became cattle farmers, just as both of their parents were. Their farm was about three miles north of Copperas Cove on the east side of the Gatesville Highway (116). After a few crops, they replaced the old farmhouse with a new home — of which they were very proud.
The joy of their first new home was not to last long. A letter came informing them that they had 90 days to vacate their home and farm to make way for the coming of Camp Hood. Finding a new place was not easy with the hundreds of farmers having to leave the Fort Hood area. They found a place in King, near Gatesville, with an old, but livable, house on it. It was a sad day when the moving truck pulled away from their new home and their farm — and they had to leave it all.
Her husband died in 1977, and she sold the farm in King and moved to a new home near Trinity Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove to be near her sisters, Clara Teinert, Ella Mathias and Alma Domaschk and sister-in-law Edna Teinert.
She enjoyed quilting and gardening at her home until moving to the Hill Country Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Copperas Cove in 1998. Here she became very skilled at beadwork, completing and inventing intricate designs of Christmas trees, ornaments, crosses, bracelets, necklaces and chili peppers until age 107.
She was an inspiration to all who knew her and leaves a legacy of kindness and generosity of spirit to all. Special friends Raymond and Olivia Upp, and Ray and Cyndi Patton were a true example of that kindness and generosity in their love and caring for her and her sisters before her.
Survivors include her sister, Leona Herzog of Lubbock; seven grandchildren; multiple great- and great-great-grandchildren; and many extended family and friends who loved her very much.
Memorials may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church Educational Building Fund, 518 E. U.S. Highway 190, Copperas Cove, TX 76522.
Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Copperas Cove, which is in charge of arrangements.