Gilbert Arthur Zavertnik
December 9, 1933
December 3, 2018
Gilbert Arthur “Santa” Zavertnik, 84, passed away on December 3, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.
Visitation with the family will be 8:00am until the funeral service begins at 10:00am, on Monday, December 10, at Brenham Memorial Chapel, with Santa Reed Fletcher officiating. A graveside service will follow at 1:45pm at Houston National Cemetery.
Gilbert was born on December 9, 1933, to parents Lincoln and Wilda (Bell) Zavertnik in Chicago, Illinois. He enjoyed his time as an Eagle Scout in his childhood. He attended high school in Webster Grove, Missouri and later attended College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. He proudly served his county in the US Army from 1955 to 1957. Gilbert spent many years as a manager in large retail stores. But everyone knew that being “Santa” was the work he loved the most. Gilbert was proud to be the longest serving Santa in the world - an accomplishment recognized officially in the Guinness World Records. Gilbert enjoyed his involvement in the Lone Star Santa Organization as well. In 1982, Gilbert was united in marriage to Lurena Chumbley. Gilbert and Lurena enjoyed 36 years together and made their home in the Houston area. Lurena enjoyed working alongside Gilbert as “Mrs. Clause”. It gave Gilbert great joy to meet new people and bring the Spirit of Christmas to everyone all year round. He truly was a holly, jolly fellow.
Besides his passion for being Santa, Gilbert also enjoyed painting, tinkering, and fixing things.
Gilbert’s loving family includes wife Lurena; children Robin Zavertnik, Darlene Zavertnik, Forrest Zavertnik, Susan Piazza and Steven Piazza; grandchildren, Chrisie Hoang, Amy Barney, Wayne Dailey, Michelle Garcia, Ryan Zavertnik, Austin Zavertnik, Kelly Porter, Sean McGee, and Jonathan McGee; great-grandchildren, Brittani Bartnik, Cierra Bouren, Paige Ngo, Jaysen McKenna, Madelyn McKenna, Madison Hoang, Luke Dills-Dailey, Ronnie Dailey, Campbell Griffin, Adelaide Griffin, August Zavertnik, LaRue Zavertnik, Lincoln Zavertnik, Odin Zavertnik; great-great grandchild Graham Bartnik; his sister Arlene Zimmer (husband Clarence), brother Leonard Zavertnik (wife Margret); nieces, nephews, friends, and family.
Pallbearers will be Sean McGee, Charles Barney, Jaysen McKenna, Vel Garcia, Duc Hoang, and Jonathan McGee. Honorary Pallbearers will be Steven Piazza, Wayne Dailey, Bill Evans, and Forest Zavertnik.
Gilbert is preceded in death by his parents, Lincoln and Wilda (Bell) Zavertnik; and his brothers, Ralph, Norman, and Marshall Zavertnik.
Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer St., Brenham, TX. 979.836.3611 Access on line guest registration at www.BrenhamMemorialChapel.com