Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Roberta “Robbie” Lee Jurek

March 27, 1939 ~ October 12, 2022

Roberta (Robbie) Lee Jurek, age 83, of Austin, joined her beloved Lord on October 12, 2022 in Vero Beach, Florida. Roberta was born on March 27, 1939, in Honolulu to Lt. John G. Downing and Benita (Harding) Downing. Her father was a Naval Academy graduate and officer who was killed at sea in the Pacific in November 1942.

After her father’s death, her mother moved with Roberta and infant brother to her maternal grandparents’ home in Highland Park, Dallas, where she grew up. Roberta graduated from Highland Park High School and magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin in 1960 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and B.A. in History. At UT, Roberta was a member of Delta Gamma, Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and Mortar Board National Honor Society. Roberta met Glenn Jurek in the fall of 1958 in the Christian Faith and Life Community at UT. Their courtship included picnics in the parks of the Texas Hill Country outside of Austin. They married on August 27, 1960, at Highland Park Presbyterian Church.

The young couple moved to Bethlehem, PA where Glenn attended the Moravian Theological Seminary. Roberta worked as a reporter locally and for the Associated Press. She and Glenn welcomed their first child, Jonathan Glenn, in 1962. During the divinity program, Glenn and Robbie with their newborn served a year in the 230-year-old Moravian missions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John and St. Thomas. In 1964, Glenn graduated with a Divinity Master’s degree and was ordained in the Unity of the Brethren Church in Texas. Roberta had their second child, Sarah Elizabeth, that year also. Glenn served as pastor in the Granger, Wall, and Houston Brethren churches. Roberta often fondly recalled the dear friends and families of the Brethren congregations.

In 1969, Roberta, now known by most as Robbie, followed Glenn to Matagorda County where he felt the call to farm like his immigrant Czech ancestors. Their family moved to Collegeport and later Bay City while Glenn farmed. Robbie was active in the First Presbyterian churches in Collegeport and Bay City. She taught high school English in Palacios and later took care of the bookkeeping for their farm operations.

In 1988, Robbie and Glenn returned to the Texas Hill Country for retirement. Robbie’s mother also moved to Austin, and Robbie spent much time with her until Benita passed away in 2006. Glenn and Robbie lived in their Lake Travis home for 30 years and celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in 2015. Glenn passed away from cancer less than a month later. Robbie remained active in her church, St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal where she was a Daughter of the King, guild member, and joyful volunteer. Robbie was also a long-time member of the PEO sisterhood. She championed the group’s mission of supporting women to pursue their educational goals. For 18 years, Robbie helped many grant candidates, and her PEO chapter honored her in February 2022 by establishing the EJ/Tx Robbie Jurek PCE Fund to help future continuing education scholarship recipients.

Robbie and Glenn’s children are Jonathan Glenn Jurek (Heather) of Monte Sereno, CA, and Sarah Elizabeth Erpenbeck (Matthew) of Vero Beach, FL, and six beloved grandchildren, John Henry, and James Richard Erpenbeck and Jacob Henry, Abigail Grace, Megan Lee, and Liam Gregory Jurek.

Robbie is survived by sisters-in-law Suzanne Downing and family of Portland, OR; Patricia Ann Jones and family of Deer Park, TX; Alice Marie Braley and family of Fayetteville, GA. She was preceded in death by her parents Lt. John and Benita Downing, her brother Jack Downing, her brother-in-law Henry Jurek, Jr., her niece, Laura Braley Williams and her infant, and nephew Jason Jones. Robbie always felt richly blessed by her close-knit family.

Robbie’s other interests included reading, cooking, and gardening. Robbie spent her last 15 months living with her son in CA and daughter in FL.

A memorial service to celebrate Robbie’s life in worship and thanksgiving will be at St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church of Austin pending arrangements.

Gifts in Robbie’s memory can be given to St. Luke’s on the Lake, PEO/Chapter EJ: donations.peointernational.org/peo-donation-pce, or Hospice TC: vnatc.org/waystogive/memorials.

Condolences may be shared at www.millenniumcremationservice.com. Arrangements are under the care of Millennium Cremation Service of Vero Beach.

Condolence

ROBERT STANLEY

December 3, 2022, 11:12 am

Rest in peace Robbie and Glen. The world is a poorer place for the passing of this husband and wife team.
Two of the nicest people I ever met.

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