Margaret Ruth Smaistrla, 80, of East Bernard, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. She was born Dec. 19, 1939 in Bay City to the late Thomas J. Havel and Antonia M. Klesel Havel.

Margaret was a 1958 graduate of Tidehaven High School. She married the love of her life on May 2, 1959 and together they raised four children. Margaret loved her family and enjoyed being involved in all her children’s, and later grandchildren’s, activities. She was known affectionately as “Mama Margaret” by most of the youth in East Bernard. She worked at Klecka’s Dry Goods in East Bernard and also at home for her family. She wasn’t one to sit still, and enjoyed baking and was an accomplished seamstress. Most importantly, she loved polka dancing with Albert where they made countless friendships. She loved children, especially babies, and will forever be known for her kindness, her smile, her happiness and the love she gave to all those she touched. She was instrumental in starting the band boosters in East Bernard and was a 4-H leader. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and was a past grand regent.  She was also a member of PoL.K. of A. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her infant son Robert W. Smaistrla, and her brothers: Thomas Havel, Alois Havel, Henry Havel, and Frank Havel.

She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Albert Smaistrla of East Bernard; daughters: Rita Willis and husband Bill of Missouri City, and Renee Perry and husband Scott of Richmond; sons: Ray Smaistrla and wife Yollie of Houston, and Ron Smaistrla and wife Christy of East Bernard; sister Tereza Shimek of Palacios; grandchildren: Jill Crocker and husband Greg, Keith Willis, Justin Perry and wife Abigail, Jonathan Perry, Jacob Perry, Anna Smaistrla, Reid Smaistrla, and Ethan Smaistrla; great-grandchildren: Flynn Perry and Grayson Crocker.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29 starting at 5 p.m. at Wharton Funeral Home with a holy rosary recited at 7:30 p.m. by Catholic Daughters of East Bernard. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in East Bernard with Father Charles Otsiwah officiating. A rite of burial and committal will follow at Holy Cross Mausoleum in East Bernard. 

Serving as pallbearers will be Keith Willis, Justin Perry, Jonathan Perry, Jacob Perry, Reid Smaistrla, Ethan Smaistrla, Bill Willis, and Scott Perry. Serving as honorary pallbearers are her granddaughters.

The family would like to thank Wanda Dickerson, Cassie Robinson, Anna Lopez and Amy Fusilier for the loving care they provided Margaret over the years.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for any donations honoring Margaret go to a charity of choice.

Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at