Melvin Louis Sunder-man aka “Louie”, 76, of Eagle Lake, passed away Aug. 19 at Memorial Hermann Hospital Southwest in Houston due to complications from a major back surgery from which he never fully recovered.
Melvin was born in Eagle Lake to Leslie Ray Sunderman and Irene Looper Sunderman on May 9, 1943. He attended school in Eagle Lake and graduated from Eagle Lake High School in 1961. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy from Texas A&M University, and was a proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 1965. He worked as a rice farmer from an early age alongside his dad. After the untimely death of his father, he took over the farming operation and farmed until 1986. Later, he began a career working in seismic operations, making many new friendships along the way.
When he wasn’t working, Louie enjoyed hunting and fishing. For many years, he was a goose hunting guide for Jimmy Reel, who was the originator of the Texas Rag Spread (the use of white rags as decoys to attract geese). Some of his fondest memories were fishing with his family, whether it be at their lake on the prairie or in Port Mansfield on the Laguna Madre. Louie also had his pilot license and would take his girls on plane rides when they were little. (Rita didn’t much care for those rides so she would observe from the ground!) Louie also loved to deer hunt and spent many happy times in Fowlerton and Laredo with his buddies. If he found an arrowhead while deer hunting, the deer hunting was over and the arrowhead hunting began. Louie was the designated cook at deer camp, where biscuits were his specialty. He loved watching the Fightin’ Texas Aggies, the Texas Rangers, and the Dallas Cowboys and he loved listening to Ray Price. He was very proud of his girls and their accomplishments and, in his later years, very proud of his grandchildren as well.
Louie was preceded in death by his parents, Leslie and Irene Sunderman, and his brothers-in-law Michael Bozalina and Marion Hunt.
Louie is survived by his wife of 50 years Rita Dromgoole Sunderman; daughters Leslie Ellis (Eddie) of Boerne, and Sher Krenek (Clint “Shorty”) of Eagle Lake; sisters Frances Warfield (Stan) of Eagle Lake, Marilyn Hunt of Hot Springs Village, AR, and Glenda Hollingsworth (Larry) of Wharton; and brother Edward Sunderman (Cynthia) of Eagle Lake. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Riley Gott, Sadie Ellis, Ruston Krenek, and Tucker Ellis, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rita, Leslie, and Sher wish to extend their gratitude to their family and friends for their support during this time. Also, special thanks to the medical staff at the Eagle Lake Hospital for their patience and continuous care.
Visitation was at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus Friday, Aug. 23, and at Lissie United Methodist Church on Saturday. Funeral services were at the Lissie United Methodist Church in Lissie Saturday, Aug. 24 at with Reverend Stan Warfield officiating. Burial followed at Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake.
Serving as pallbearers were Chad Sunder-man, Kurt Sunderman, Austin Warfield, John Delgado, Jim Wood, Todd Krenek and Larry Dulany. Honorary pallbearers were Chester Bench, John Thomas, Johnny Meitzen, Don Sullins, Wally Gorham, Bob Cook, Johnny Munsch, Al Faichtinger, Justin Bozalina and Colin Warfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Eagle Lake Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 801, Eagle Lake, TX 77434 or a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be given to the family at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.