F. Darwin Wittneben
May 15, 1938 – August 22, 2019
F. Darwin Wittneben, 81, passed away at home with his family on August 22, 2019. He had suffered a massive heart attack in 2017 followed by a series of light strokes in ‘17 and ‘18, and finally alzheimers in 2019. Funeral services will be held Thursday, August 29, at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1200 Foxfire, College Station, Texas, at 11:00am. You are invited to a bar-b-que lunch, Darwin’s favorite. It will be held in the church fellowship hall following the service.
Darwin was born May 15, 1938, at home at the old Schultz home-place, a few miles outside of Needville. He was born to Franklin H. Wittneben and Edna (Schultz) Wittneben, being their second child. His education consisted of graduation from Needville High School in 1956 where he lettered in football and then attended Houston Machinist School in 1957. Darwin continued college at WCJC (A.A) in 1959, SHSC (BBA) in 1961, and a Masters in Education in ‘68 from SHSC. After college he served in the U.S. Army Reserve 6 year-6 month program, which was during the Berlin crisis.
He married his beloved wife, Barbara Ann Warncke on August 28, 1960. They have been together for 61 years, 59 years of marriage. In 2000, they hosted a golden anniversary with a dinner and a dance, like their original wedding. It was a wonderful affair, getting to see so many friends and relatives together. Darwin was a master carpenter, a self-employed building contractor, a rancher, and a well-liked industrial technology (wood/metal/shop) teacher. Known for his quiet and shy personality, until “deer hunting” or the ranch was brought up, then he became talkative. He was well-liked by everyone, very kind hearted, and loved hosting all the deer hunters and their families at his beloved ranch.
Baptized and confirmed in the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Needville, Darwin was a truly devoted Christian who always put God first, then his family. He seldom missed church and insisted everyone go every Sunday. He served on numerous Church Councils, was a deacon and an elder, and chairman of many building committees. He volunteered and remodeled the Fairfield Harmony Presbyterian Church with friend, Guy Murden; and he was instrumental in building the fellowship hall at Teague Methodist Church, along with his son, Daren, who worked with his dad throughout the years and learned the trade. Darwin received the FFA chapter award in ‘82, as he was an avid supporter of 4-H and FFA. Both children were involved in 4-H and FFA animal projects. Growing up, Darwin worked in the fields picking and chopping cotton, corn, etc. Some of his favorite times were spent in the fields as he and the other hired pickers competed for “most cotton picked.” His ambition was to be a farmer. He loved to play dominoes, to dance and listen to country western music, to spend time with family, and hiking across the ranch as he fed and hunted deer. He also loved to build “anything” and he especially loved spending time with Daley, DJ, Lily, Noah and Cadley, his precious grandchildren and great-grandchild who he spoiled and built many “play things” for. Darwin built the family “dream home”, a two story on a hill at the ranch between Teague and Fairfield in 1975. He also ran cattle and taught at Fairfield ISD. He taught IT(industrial technology) at Dulles, Alief, Fairfield and Sanderson. He loved his students, especially his SHS students who were very respectful and appreciative. It was the best years of his teaching career, he often said. Both he and Barbara cherish their memories of their SHS students.
Darwin went into custom home building/remodeling in the 80’s and 90’s in the Teague-Fairfield area. Known for his quality work and integrity, he built many custom homes there. He also owned a cabinet shop and turned out beautiful cabinets. Retiring in 2003, they moved to College Station to be near their grandchildren, and they joined Holy Cross Lutheran in ‘04. Darwin’s last year on earth was spent in Lampasas due to failing health and much needed assistance from his daughter, Tami, and her husband, Joe. Son Daren, and wife Heather live in Boerne. He will be remembered as a good man, a hard worker, a kind hearted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin, brother, and friend. All who knew him will sorely miss him. Darwin’s wishes were to be cremated with his ashes to be spread over his beloved Big Canyon at the ranch in West Texas.
Preceding him in death were: his parents, F.H. and Edna Wittneben, Gene Wittneben, brother, Joyce Bremer and husband, Walter, his sister and brother-in-law, Charlie and Jerrod Wittneben, his cousins, Aunts and Uncles Laura, Helen, Oleta, Esther, Elda, Mildred, Lauranette, Selma, Edgar, Gilbert, Willie, Arthur, Bill, Max, Henry Lee., Melvin, and his mother and father-in-law, Esther and Alvin Warncke.
Survivors include: his wife, Barbara, his son, Daren and wife Heather, his daughter, Tami and husband Joe, the mother of his grandchildren Diane Wittneben, grandchildren, Daley, D.J., Noah and Lily, great grandson, Cadley, sister-in-law, Dodie Wittneben, nephew, Michael Bremer and wife Lois and their children, Craig, Amy and their spouses, nephew Chris Wittneben and daughter Emily, niece Wendy Jordan and husband, John, and children Jake and Wyatt, his Aunt “Tootsie” Peveto, his aunt Ladell Wittneben. Also, his sister and brother in law, Janice and Frank Pryor, their children Marsha Somerfield and husband Phillip, Randy and wife, Margo, his brother in law Neil Warncke and children, Laura, Racheyl, and Mathew, and his sister and brother in law, Shirley and Warren Warncke and their children Toby, Alex, and Kelly. Including numerous cousins.
Pallbearers will be D.J. Wittneben(Daren Jr.), Clay Wittneben, Kenneth Muegge, Leonard W. Wittneben, Ray Hartfald, Mark Peveto, Russell Wittneben and Michael Bremer. Honorary pallbearers are all the deer hunters, grandson Noah Reza and great grandson Cadley Hall.
The family would like to thank and show appreciation to New Century Hospice for their special care, and Dr. Chuck Pierce, Dr. Richard Smith, Vanessa Winters and Lee Health Care.
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