Services for Eugene Harry Kotrla, 79, of Temple, Texas will be held on Friday, March 29, at 2:00 p.m. in Elm Mott, Texas at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, officiated by Rev. Larry Koslovsky and organized by Harper-Talasek Funeral Home.
Rev. Kotrla died on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at home surrounded by family. He was born January 14, 1940 in Temple, Texas. He was a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin and Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Pearl Giles on September 1, 1962. He served as pastor in the Unity of the Brethren in Texas in Temple, Houston, Pasadena, Crosby, Seaton, and Ocker. Following this, he served as pastor at First United Church of Christ in West and St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Elm Mott.
Family includes his wife of 56 years, Pearl Kotrla, three daughters, Melissa Kotrla Selden and husband Greg Selden of Austin, Denise Kotrla of Austin, and Tina Kotrla of Houston, and two granddaughters, Ella Selden and Maya Selden. Family also includes sister and brother-in-law Carolyn and Mal Fischer of Temple and brother and sister-in-law Donald and Vicki Kotrla of North Richland Hills. Last but not least, he shared a little chiweenie named Stu with his wife.
Gene was an outdoorsy type of guy and was most comfortable working in his yard, plowing a garden, or planting a tree. He loved building things and was most proud of the cabin he built for his family in his thirties. He worked with countless youth at the various churches where he pastored, playing endless volleyball games, singing camp songs while playing guitar, and leading Bible studies. He spent time as Mission Board Director for the Unity of the Brethren, reaching out to those in need and making mission trips to Honduras and Mexico.
Special thanks goes out to Sherry Johnson from Tender Mercies for her care and compassion. Memorials can be made to www.houstonpetsalive.org and/or www.stpaulsuccgerald.com.
We consider ourselves blessed to have served Jesus alongside Gene; what an amazing man of the biblical peace that surpasses understanding! A true shepherd in his Master's footsteps. Though we love the recipients the family noted, we gave a gift in memory of Gene to direct 200 seekers to "discover credible, compelling answers to their Easter questions" on ExploreGod..com. "Right now, it costs $0.14 to direct one person from Google to free quality content that empowers them to discover answers to their spiritual questions.... to impact lives and transform hearts." See why we thought of Gene when we saw this need?! Anyway, we ask God to bless his family, friends, church families, and seekers alike that the memory of Gene's smiling face will lead us all to seek and see the LORD's face. In Jesus name. Amen!
The Rev. Dr. Gary & Mrs. Joyce OlsenLago Vista, TX
Terry and I just learned of Bro. Gene’s passing. We have many fond memories of Bro. Gene at Ocker and want to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family.
Penny and Terry CootsZabcikville, TX
Great memories of a kind, loving man who lived his life in service. Love and prayers to the whole Kotrla family. Peace be with you.
Elizabeth StegerColumbus, OH
I have so many memories of Eugene from Seaton and Rogers schools to his years at Ocker.
Barbara Zabcik DocekalMcKinney, TX
Thanking of your family and wishing you peace and comfort.
Cindy SchlangerAustin, TX
We are grateful to have known and worked with such a devoted follower of Jesus. Brother Gene's legacy endures in the lives of countless people touched by his ministry that shared the mercy and grace of God.
Mark & Vernell LabajTemple, TX
Our family would like to express our condolences to Eugene's family during this most difficult time. Eugene was a blessing to each life he touched. May he rest in peace.
Joe & Jean Motl
Mike & MaryBeth DeLeon
Alan & JoAnn Brack
Joseph Lee MotlAustin, TX
Larry and I want to express our deepest sympathy to Gene’s family. Always remember he filled God’s plan and enjoyed each day on earth. His body is healed and reunited with loved ones.
Prayers for each of you.
Darlene PechalTemple, TX
Gene was a wonderful pastor to our church. We will miss him always. He was one of the original 'nice guys'. The world would be a much better place if everyone had his Christian attitude. The Lord has received one of his most devout disciples.
Liz SmileyLeroy, TX
Prayers for your family, as you celebrate his life.
Tracy, David, Mackenzie BrownAustin, TX
Oh Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss. I know this is a very difficult time for you and your family. Please know that I am here for you if you need anything. All my love.
Laurie VinklarekAustin, TX
Uncle Eugene was a great man. He was a great role model as a husband, a dad, and a son! My love and support to Aunt Pearl, Melissa, Denise, and Tina, and his precious granddaughters, and of course his sister Carolyn and brother Don.
Melissa Morris RadoeHutto, TX
I have such fond memories of Uncle Eugene. I can still hear his hearty laughter. He had such a wonderful sense of humor. He was so compassionate and loving to all he met. My thoughts and prayers are with Aunt Pearl, Melissa, Denise, Tina, Ella, and Maya during this difficult time. He will be missed by me and so many others because he touched so many hearts.
Donna AbajianIngram, TX
Gene was an amazing man. Truly a man of God. I was blessed to have served in ministry with him
Frankie SidenbladAlbuquerque, NM