Emil Charles Kocurek, Jr. (’57)

Emil Charles Kocurek, Jr. ORBITUARY


February 17, 2023, 11:22 am EST

Emil Charles Kocurek, Jr., better known as Randy Reets, peacefully passed away on February 7, 2023, at the age of 88 with his loving family by his side. Randy was born on June 13, 1934, near Wharton, Texas, to Emil Kocurek, Sr., and Mary (Matocha) Kocurek. In 1961, he married Dolores Dycus, and they had four children.

In his early years, his family often moved around and eventually settled in Sealy, where he graduated from high school in 1953. In 1957, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Communication from the University of Houston. During his time at the U of H, he adopted the name “Randy Reets”, which became the stage name that the public knew him by. Following college, he served in the U.S. Army, initially as a Public Information Specialist, and later attained the rank of captain. He also served in the Reserves.

In 1958, Reets moved to Brenham and joined the staff at radio station KWHI. His radio career would span more than 60 years, most of which were at KWHI/KTTX and KLTR. He wore many hats in radio, including disc jockey, news director, sports director, operations manager, salesman, and sales manager.

But his passion was sports broadcasting. His ability to eloquently describe the game along with the atmosphere became Reets’ trademark and endeared him to the people of Brenham and the surrounding areas. He served as the long-time play-by-play voice for the Brenham Cubs, Bellville Brahmas, Burton Panthers, Blinn Buccaneers, and Washington County Little League. During his career, he called games for nearly every high school in Washington and the surrounding counties, broadcasted games featuring future professional athletes, and called the action from the Little League World Series.

In addition to his love of sports, Reets was also an avid entertainer. Much of his life, he could be found on a stage. From his early college days on, he played in bands and eventually was the leader of Randy and the Rockets and then The Serenaders. His bands played at weddings, festivals, fraternity parties, city and private events, and much more, performing polkas, waltzes, country and western, and even some rock. The musical events he played numbered well into the thousands.

Reets also invested his time in entertainment and retail ventures. Some of the activities he created included The Washington County Opry, JAMBOX Disc Jockey Service, and Randy Reets Moonwalks. After retiring from radio, Reets operated Randy Reets Furniture for many years.
Even more important than his career was his dedication to the Catholic faith. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church for more than 60 years and prayed the Rosary quite frequently. Many times, you could clearly see his servant’s heart at work as he assisted others with errands, doctor’s appointments, and even employment. Reets was a Third-Degree knight and also served as Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus. As a KC member since 1961, he was recognized as an honorary lifetime member as well.

Reets is survived by his children Deidra Mearns, Kellen Kocurek, Chris Kocurek and wife Carolyn, and Amy Bentke and husband Phil; grandchildren Meredith Dunaway and husband Lance, Alex Mearns, Katelyn Kocurek, Kathleen Young and husband Ty, Cameron Kocurek, Reagan Bentke, and Cara Amelang and husband Kurt; great-grandchildren Isaac Dunaway, Tatum Young, and Kade Young; special cousin JoAnn Tatum; Dolores Kocurek; and numerous relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law Prentice Mearns.

Pallbearers will be his grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters and his great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank these special friends for their love and help over the years: Nancy and James Fritz, Jenny Warchesik, Tracy Mikolajchak, Rio Barrera, Leo Barrera, Stoney Lacina, and Dr. William T. Gray.

A visitation will be held on Friday, February 10, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the family present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Brenham Memorial Chapel, located at 2300 Stringer Street, Brenham, Texas. The Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, located at 701 Church Street, Brenham, Texas. Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

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