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Barbara Louise Maltsberger Strain passed from this world on January 23, 2023 at her home in Portland, Texas, in the company of her loving family. Barbara was born on January 5, 1930 in San Antonio, Texas to her proud parents Melvin Maltsberger and Louise Bammert Maltsberger. She grew up on the family farm in Coker Community, playing with her brother “Bubba” and their friends. Barbara loved dancing early on. When they were kids, she and dance partner Bubba won a jitterbug contest. She also became a skilled horse rider and pretty good shot with a pistol or rifle. She attended Coker School, and graduated high school from Incarnate Word Academy in San Antonio. She was allowed to drive the family’s old army jeep to Incarnate Word, and would occasionally give rides to some of the nuns. They had to hold on tight riding on that open bench in the back.
She met and fell in love with Joseph Strain, and they married in San Antonio on September 9, 1950. They had three daughters and one son in San Antonio before moving to Houston, where another daughter was added to the family. The Strain Family moved to Portland in 1961. Barbara and Joe became active members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church where she served in Catholic Daughters. Barbara added five more children to the family in Portland, giving her and Joe a total of ten kids. She and Joe welcomed all of their children’s friends to the house, and have informally adopted dozens of them. Many have come back to visit Mr. and Mrs. Strain over the years, with quite a few stopping in these last few months to see Barbara.
Besides managing a household of twelve people, Barbara and her neighbor Pearl Maness started a business in Portland in the 1970’s. At the Boogie Shop you could paint plaster-of-paris statues and wall hangings of all kinds. Kids loved the place, and Barbara accumulated more children to love there. She later managed Dillon Industrial Village in Corpus Christi.
For many years Barbara and some of her friends had a monthly standing reservation for the back room at Dairy Queen, where their group picture is displayed. They ate lunch, celebrated birthdays, and played the dominos game chicken foot. She also enjoyed her gambling trips to Vegas, Coushatta and Lucky Eagle. Barbara celebrated her 90th birthday in 2020 with over two hundred of her closest friends and family, dancing the night away. She was the last one to leave the party.
Barbara is predeceased by her parents, her beloved husband Joe, her brother Melvin “Bubba” Maltsberger, Jr., son-in-law Robert Witkowski, and her beloved son Christopher. She is survived by her children Stephanie Witkowski, Therese Strain, Michelle King (Dan), Greta Strain, Shawn Strain (Dennis Reed), Patrick Strain (Bonnie), Nicolas Strain (Patti), Rachel Militello (Mark), and Rebecca Newman (Jose); grandchildren Justin Witkowski (Jessica), Therese Witkowski, Greg King, Phoebe Botsford (Ben), Nathan Sellers, Wilson Strain, Katherine, Donovan and Charlotte Strain, and Mia, Tess and Giana Militello; and great grandchildren Jonas, Lucas and Colin Witkowski. Barbara also leaves behind two sweet cousins, three generations of nieces and nephews, many, many friends, and all those lucky kids she and Joe collected along the way.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Winsteads' Funeral Home in Portland, followed by the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Portland on Saturday, January 28, with burial following at Palms Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Pallbearers are Justin Witkowski, Greg King, Nathan Sellers, Wilson Strain, Donovan Strain, John Maltsberger, Wayne Maltsberger, and Thomas Maltsberger.
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Winsteads’ Funeral Home. (361) 643-6564 www.winsteadsfuneralhome.com
Friday, January 27, 2023
5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Friday, January 27, 2023
Starts at 7:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, January 28, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church
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