Sembera Family Well Known In Teague

Ed Sembera

?By Mimi Brown?

Many of the people in Teague know Mr. E.R. (Ed) Sembera. Since 1999 when he, wife Paulene and son Ron moved back to Teague, from the Austin area, Mr. Sembera has become well known for his dedication to Teague. He has worked to make a difference in his community by volunteering at the Senior Citizens Center, being active in the American Legion in Teague, working with the Teague Cemetery Association, and a member of The First United Methodist Men?s Club. He has been a board member at the First United Methodist Church, his home church in Teague, been a Mason since 1949 and is affiliated with Boggy Lodge #739. He was also a member of the Dairy Queen Coffee Club where, as everyone knows, all the world?s problems were discussed and solved.

Ed was born in Shiner, Texas on September 30, 1923. He had to quit school in the eighth grade to help support his mother who was raising Ed and his brother, the late Bob Sembera.

Mr. Sembera worked in many capacities during that time and while working at a service station in 1942, he began coming to Teague with Charles Ray Jones to try and get a job with the Galveston Houston and Henderson Railroad. He moved to Teague that same year and worked for Nicholas Grocery Store. There he met a beautiful girl who was the bookkeeper for the store. Her name was Paulene Harper and was a Teague High School graduate with the Class of 1940. Her parents were Johnson (Po Boy) Harper and Alma Harper. ?She was older than I was....her birthday was June 11, 1922,? said Mr. Sembera. She was only one year older.

Mr. Sembera was hired on at the railroad as a yard clerk, but shortly, January 4, 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He worked with the 306 Balloon Battalion. He couldn?t be sent over seas because of football injuries. He married the beautiful bookkeeper, Paulene, in1944 and was honorably discharged from the Army on May 3, 1945 at Fort Sam Houston.

After returning to Teague, Mr. Sembera went back to the railroad and being a yard clerk but worked from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. seven days a week. His bride didn?t like this, as she was afraid with him gone at night. He quit the railroad and went to work for Lackey Motor Company for Red Lackey and also worked part-time for Ham Brothers Funeral Home for Dick Lawrence.

Ed and Paulene had three boys. Two of the boys died in infancy but they were able to keep and love one son, Ron. At six-weeks of age Ron was found to be blind. ?The doctors told us to send him away to the school for the blind in Austin,? said Sembera. ?Of course there was no way we were going to do that.? They packed up and left Teague for Austin where Ron attended Texas School for the blind. Mr. Sembera found work in the parts department at a Dodge-Plymouth dealership. In 1959 he was hired at Smith Brothers Chrysler and worked there until he retired in 1987. The family were members at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Austin and Mr. Sembera was a board member at the church, Methodist Men?s Club, and an usher. He also was the Treasurer of the Texas School for the Blind PTA.

Following Ron?s graduation he started his own business, under the Commission for the Blind, with vending machines in the government buildings in Austin. Ron did very well but after some time he decided it wasn?t for him.

They had always wanted to move back to Teague, so in 1999 they did. They spent eleven great years in Teague until, sadly, Paulene Sembera passed away suddenly in May of 2010. She is greatly missed by her husband, her son, and all who knew her.

Mr. Sembera said, ?There have been many ups and downs but I?ve lived a good life and I?m proud of it all.?

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