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Opal Bacak

Obituary for Opal Bacak

November 28, 1922 - May 24, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 94

Obituary

Opal Bacak, born November 28, 1922, passed away May 24, 2017. She was born in Pleasanton, TX to George and Willie Phillips and grew up in South Texas. Opal was the widow of Anton A Bacak, Jr., whom she married in 1947. They resided in Corpus Christi, TX, where they began to raise their five children before moving to Austin TX in 1959. Opal resided in Austin until her passing.

Mom's independence and determination was shown to us considering her life story. She was born, at home, prematurely. She contracted pneumonia as a child and was not expected to leave the hospital alive. When she was in grade school, her mother became bed ridden with Parkinson's disease. She suddenly found herself as the "woman of the house". A young girl with 4 older brothers and father; working on a farm during the great depression. Talk about a tough start to life! Fiercely determined her whole life, Opal lived independently in her Austin home until she was 92 years old.

Opal and Tony loved to dance and made time for this special togetherness. Opal was an outdoorswoman growing up and as an adult who loved to fish, hunt, and travel. We have a "famous photo" of Mom riding on a longhorn steer when she visited Matamoros Mexico as a young woman. Her great sense of adventure didn't stop at travel. It extended to food and plants. She was a great cook. Her children remember Mom taught us how to appreciate good food, sharing the family recipes and her special techniques. Way before the current trends today of celebrity/adventure cooking, Mom had already "been there done that" 30 years ago. She would try any new unusual fruit or vegetable that she came across in the store, and then save the seeds for planting. She would try to grow anything, even if the poor plant didn't belong in this hemisphere. She was successful a surprising number of times. It was a dangerous experience if you took her to visit any public botanical garden, or really, anyone's garden. Why? Because you would catch her pinching seeds, sprigs and other flora that she would promptly put into her pocket for her own garden. Although she would say she was not artistic, Opal was a talented seamstress making everything from doll clothes to kid's clothes, crochet work, and machine embroidery. Opal's children know where their artistic gifts originated.

After Mom and Dad moved to Austin, Mom sold Avon for a little while before she went to work at the Texas Employment Commission. She retired from TEC after 26 years. At the end of a long day at work, Mom would be found in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal for her husband and brood. All the kids agree that hushpuppies and fried onion rings taste best when snuck right from the platter by the stove.

Opal and Tony loved unconditionally their children and their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Children and grandchildren were blessed with a love of the outdoors because of the many trips to the family farm, the "Place" in Niederwald, and vacations which, over the years, included every commercial cave in Texas as well as most of the lakes and many State Parks.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Anton A. Bacak, Jr.; parents, George Marcus Phillips, and Willie Mae Johnson Phillips; her siblings, Verta Belle Phillips, George Phillips (Dottie), Herman Phillips (Betty), Pat Phillips (Ruth), Davis Phillips (Viola); and grandson, Jacob Anton Clements.

Opal is survived by children, Cecelia Carol Durand Nolan (James), Linda Frances Smith (Danny), Katherine Kay Ingram (Keith), Patricia Michelle Bacak-Clements (Jimmy) and Marcus Anthony Bacak (Nancy); grandchildren, Joseph Durand (Lena Harbott), Bryan Smith (Amy), Beth Wilke (John), Amelia Ingram, Carl Ingram, Michelle Clements, Amber Bacak, and Derek Bacak; great-grandchildren, Sydney Wilke, Beau Johnson, and Lacey Johnson.

Opal's children are deeply grateful to the staff at Senior Care of Onion Creek, and Hospice Austin for their loving care of their Mother during her last days.

Services for Opal will be held on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at 1:00 pm at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 2620 South Congress, Austin, TX. Family and Friends are invited to join the family at a visitation and reception at 11:00 am at the Funeral Home.

Entombment at Assumption Chapel Mausoleum, 3650 S. I-35, Austin, TX.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Hospice Austin or a hospice organization of your choice, or St. Ignatius Martyr Building Fund.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Hospice Austin or a hospice organization of your choice, or St. Ignatius Martyr Building Fund.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South

2620 S. Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
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