Frank Laitkep, 72, of Wharton, Texas, passed away in a Richmond hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.   He was born on June 26, 1949, in Wharton to the late John and Marie Mazoch Laitkep.

Frank was raised in the Hungerford area and attended East Bernard and graduated from Hungerford High School in 1968.  He later served our country honorably in the United States Army, fighting in Vietnam.  Frank married the love of his life Gertrude Leopold on July 1, 1972, in Hillje.  He worked as a machinist for a few years before joining the United States Postal Service, where he worked for over 32 years.  His last job was for Shoppa’s where he always said he was the PR specialist; actually, he was the parts runner.  He enjoyed dancing, listening to music, visiting with his Army buddies, traveling, and leading the 50’s and 60’s dance for over 27 years where he would dance with Gertrude to their favorite song Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. Frank and Gertrude were always the go to couple if you needed Grand March leaders.   He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.   

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Mary Ann Pospisil, Ernest Laitkep, Charlie Laitkep, and Michael Laitkep, his father and mother-in-law Pius (Pete) and Martha Leopold.

Frank is survived by his wife of 49 years, Gertrude Laitkep; son Jason Laitkep and wife, Kathy of East Bernard, daughter Bernadette Tydlacka and husband Sonny of Wharton, son James Laitkep and wife, Amanda of Elm Grove; brothers, George Laitkep, Bernard Laitkep, Johnnie Laitkep, Anthony Laitkep, and Patrick Laitkep; grandchildren Shelby Staten, Jake, Luke, Blake and Karis Tydlacka, Kadence Hernandez, Tinley and Laramie Laitkep, and great- grandchildren Karson and Kenna Staten.   He is also survived by his loving brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, Sept. 5 at Holy Family Catholic Church after 5 p.m., rosary will be recited at 7 p.m.  Funeral Mass and rite of Committal will be held on Monday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church.  Burial will follow in St John Catholic Cemetery in Hungerford with military honors provided by members of the American Legion Post 87 and VFW Post 4474 of Wharton.

Serving as pallbearers are Jeff Svatek, Brian Leopold, Timothy Evanicky, Greg Leopold, Kenny Pospisil, Kevin Laitkep, Russell Leopold, and Brian Laitkep

Honorary pallbearers are Frank’s grandkids and great grandkids, Chris Laitkep, Steven Laitkep, Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s Chapter 1069, and Vietnam Veterans Neil Cater, Dennis Lietha, and Jerry Beasley (who proudly served next to Frank in Vietnam).

Condolences may be left for the family at

Services under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home, 515 E. Boling Hwy., Wharton, TX 77488.


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