Hubert Joseph Frerich, 89, died Thursday, January 6, 2022 at his home near Garden City, Texas.
He was born on November 1, 1932, to Ben and Katie (Glass) Frerich in Rowena, Texas, and raised there on the family farm. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Rowena in 1952.
He married Annette (Hirt) Frerich September 26, 1956. She was the light of his life for 65 years. Together they raised seven children, living for a few years in St. Lawrence, Texas, then Garden City, Texas where they farmed mostly cotton and melons, fund-raised and traveled with the Lion’s Club and Texas Lion’s Eye Bank, started and grew several businesses, polka-danced their hearts out, and actively participated in the parish at St. Lawrence Catholic Church where he served as a Eucharistic Minister for many years. Hubert was instrumental in the founding of the Glasscock County Underground Water District, served 40 years as a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Board, and served on the Garden City ISD School Board during his children’s school years.
Hubert and Annette were true partners in entrepreneurship. Hubert came up with the ideas and how to implement them, and Annette was the accountant and finance manager. Besides the farm, they started businesses selling melons at a roadside stand (Frerich Kids Watermelons), selling truckloads of water to the oil industry (Melon Patch Water Station), and eventually founding a multi-state drip irrigation company, (Eco-Drip Irrigation Systems, Inc.), which was Hubert’s proudest achievement.
He often mentioned how he felt the hand of God had guided his career from the point of a brain injury from a hunting accident when he was 16, his early work on a telephone company construction crew, his many years of farming, the start-ups of his various businesses, and ultimately to his work as a pioneer in the subsurface irrigation industry and his founding of Eco-Drip in 1985. Even after he turned over the leadership of the company to three of his children, Hubert enjoyed his continuing role as an advisor to Eco-Drip which has grown to encompass an agronomy division (Rootrition), and a technology division (Irrivision Technologies), and employs over 50 people in operations across the central U.S. from Texas to Nebraska.
When Hubert began suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Annette was his constant support and companion. They found ways to love and comfort each other during this difficult time, often sharing a light-hearted laugh, and leaning on their deep faith to get them through each day. Annette lovingly tended to him at home until his passing.
In addition to his wife, Annette, he is survived by his children: Jacque (Joe) Behrens, Greg (Debbie) Frerich, Lelani (Andrew) Bucki, Andrea (Scott) Hillger, David (Robin) Frerich, Stephanie (Brad) Hyman, and Brian (Carylon) Frerich; as well as Father Bernard Getigan, who is like a son to Hubert and Annette, and provided friendship and spiritual comfort to Hubert in his later years.
He is also survived by his grandchildren: Jenna (McLain) Pool, Jay (Morgan) Behrens, Josh Behrens, Colby (Cameron) Hall, Elliot (Samantha) Bucki, Nathan Bucki, Darren (Kristen) Hillger, Trey (Leslie) Hillger, Kevin (Sarah) Hillger, Marcus (Lauren) Cook, Britni (fiancé Matthew Hamilton) Cook, Ben Frerich, Chase (fiancé Morgan Williams) Hyman, Cade Hyman and Brylon Frerich, and great-grandchildren: Emerson, Quinn, Clara and Arnold Pool, Duke Behrens, Zoe and William Frerich, Griffin and Linden Hall, Clayton, Reagan and Logan Hillger, Charley, Lacey and Shane Hillger, Carson and Wyatt Hillger, and Emma, Levi and Henry Cook.
Hubert is also survived by his siblings: Lorraine Piwonka and Monroe (Pauline) Frerich; sisters-in-law: Dottie Frerich, Mildred Frerich, Alice Frerich; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a grandson, Caleb Frerich, his brothers Floyd Frerich, Leon Frerich, and Arnold Frerich, and brother-in-law Milton Piwonka.
The family would like to thank Hubert’s caregivers, especially Jacque Linn Verastegui and Joseph Hillger. Their skillful dedication, love and support was truly a blessing.
Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. Monday, January 10th at St. Lawrence Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, January 11th at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church with Fr. Bernard Getigan officiating, followed by burial at St. Lawrence Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com