Edward Joseph Svrcek, Jr. was born March 27, 1942 and passed away September 8, 2021. During his residence on Earth, Ed dedicated himself to helping others, building a legacy of kindness and making a positive lasting impression on many, both friends and strangers alike.
Born in LaGrange, Texas, to Edward Svrcek, Sr. and Martha Jurajda Svrcek, Ed was taught early the value of community and placing charitable work above individual interests—a philosophy of the Czech culture in which he was raised. Throughout his life he engaged in various acts of service, even in his final years. It was no surprise to anyone who knew Ed to hear that he rose at 4:30am every Monday without fail, 52 weeks a year, to feed the homeless as part of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church’s “Way Station” ministry—just one example of Ed’s commitment to selflessness.
If compassionate is one word to describe Ed, another would be industrious. Often in his life when two paths diverged, he challenged himself to explore both to the fullest, pursuing each option with equal measure of curiosity and passion. In college he was drawn to the seminary, but priesthood would ultimately not be his calling. He finished his studies at St. Bernard College with degrees in philosophy and mathematics. Where one would see these as opposites, Ed found correlation in these disparate subjects and put both to good use in his personal and professional lives.
Ed enjoyed a long and rewarding 38 year career as a NASA aerospace engineer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. In the historic days of planning the Apollo flights to the moon, as a member of the storied Mission Planning and Analysis Division, he was part of the team that accurately computed the trajectories that placed the crews in the correct lunar orbit for landing. In the final years of his NASA career, he worked in the project office that developed the tools and techniques for extra-vehicular activity, critical to the success of many Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions.
Ed met Phyllis, his wife of 23 years, while studying at St. Bernard College. They later married in Houston, united in their shared love of scripture, attending weekly bible classes, participating in Ashes to Go and building their relationships with the Palmer Church community. Phyllis introduced St. George Island to Ed and his children where they vacationed almost every summer, making many fond memories. Traveling with family was important to Ed and he planned many trips to Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, and Tennessee, pulling the Prowler and taking the lead of the caravan. 10-4 Good Buddy!
Ed was known for his larger-than-life personality, often paired with his mischievous smile or infectious laugh, and always a twinkle in his eye. Everyone who knew him has a unique “Ed” story. Many spent time solving life’s problems with Ed in his garage, Budweiser in hand, tinkering on the cars he kept for way too long (Bum-Bum, Grandma Green and the Fury), and helping him for years to organize the beer booth at St. Augustine Church bazaar.
Known as “Sonny” to his family and “Mr. Ed” or “Uncle Ed” to a community of beloved friends whom he welcomed as part of his own family, he was trusted and relied upon as someone who would always be there for you in a time of need. In short, he embodied true friendship.
Ed is preceded in death by his parents, Edward Svrcek, Sr. and Martha Jurajda Svrcek, brother-in-law Patrick Fagan and niece Lisa Fagan.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis Stanley Svrcek, children Jennifer Svrcek (Ian Wilson), Jocelyn Svrcek Watson (Barry Watson), Tricia Svrcek Pharr and Trey Svrcek (Alison Svrcek); stepchildren Hatch Wefing (Cindy Wefing) and Heidi Wefing; sister Joann Svrcek Fagan and brother Patrick Svrcek (Karen Svrcek); grandchildren Katie Pharr, Scott “Snapper” Pharr, Henry Pharr, John Svrcek, William Svrcek, Wesley Svrcek; step grandsons Colin Wefing and Braden Braswell and numerous nieces.
The visitation and rosary will be Monday, September 20 from 5:00-8:00pm at Crowder Funeral Home, 2422 E Broadway St., Pearland, TX 77581. The funeral mass will be a private service due to COVID restrictions at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, September 21. The family invites everyone to a Celebration of Life reception following the funeral service on September 21 at 1:00pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 607 E. Whitney St., Houston, TX 77022.
In lieu of flowers, Ed requested that donations be made to charities of choice or the ones near and dear to his heart – Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church; St. Bernard Abbey/Prep School in Cullman, AL; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Maryknoll Missionaries.