Jane Carolyn Bratcher Bunte, 66, of Smithville, Texas, passed away Thursday morning, February 6, 2020. Though her passing was sudden and unexpected, her family cherishes the exciting, vibrant, and loving life that she lived.
Jane was born February 13, 1953 in Port Lavaca, Texas to Lillian and Ralph Bratcher where the family ran a local restaurant. She was the middle of their three children.
The family moved to Smithville when Jane was in the second grade. She graduated from Smithville High School in 1971. Even though she was a hometown girl, she traveled extensively in her adult years, working in faraway locations such as Hong Kong and the Philippines, and visiting family down in Australia.
Jane married Lester Rector in October 1972. They had two children, Laurie and Jeremy.
In 1983, she wed Galen Bunte, whom she would spend the next 36 years with. Along with her children and Galen's daughter, Andi, the household knew laughter, love, and adventure. She enjoyed family vacations and had many memorable summers heading to the beach and floating the Frio River in Concan with various family and friends.
She devoted her life to her family. She was known simply as “Nana” to her grandkids, and the love that she showered on them was unrivaled. She had an entire room in the house dedicated to their playtime and made sure that each one felt as much compassion as she could give. One was never given any less love than another. Her joy was evident in her smile and you could tell that she was living her best life when they were around.
Jane and her mother were very close. They spent nearly every Saturday going to yard sales, resale shops, and antique fairs looking for the best deals and fun finds. They'd also venture to Rockport to enjoy beaching, crabbing, and meeting the locals, often joined by her close friend Linda. On one of their last trips there, she had the pleasure to hold and release a live hummingbird during their annual birding fest. She loved little things like that.
She never met a stranger, and we can extend that by saying that she never met a child that she didn't show the upmost love and care to.
Jane also took much pride and satisfaction in throwing celebrations, be it a luau for her mother's birthday or Christmastime blowouts for the family — she spared no expense.
Overall, this wife, daughter, mother, sister, and friend was a special woman who will leave a tremendous legacy on those whose lives she touched. She was truly a blessing.
Jane is survived by her loving husband, Galen; children, Laurie and husband Erik McCowan, Andi and husband Tommy Oates, and Jeremy Rector; seven grandchildren, Jake Oates, Cody Spencer, Logan Rector, Colton Hancock, Luke Oates, Caston Rector, and Addison Oates; mother, Lillian Bratcher; brother, Steven and wife Denise Bratcher; as well as numerous extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Ralph Bratcher; brother, Michael Bratcher; and mother-in-law, Thelma Bunte.
Family visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 15 at the Grace Lutheran Church annex in Smithville. Memorial services will begin directly after visitation at 3 p.m. with a meal following in the church annex.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Grace Lutheran Church of Smithville.
“Life runs wide and deep, short and long for those dearest to us. The spirit of those who've departed us is all around us in warm abundance.”
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Grace Lutheran Church
308 Byrne Street, Smithville TX 78957