From the Heart of Europe to the Heart of Houston Texas
in the Museum District

4920 San Jacinto Street, Houston, Texas 77004 - 713.528.2060
Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm
July 2014 Topics
The Czech Center Museum Houston is currently (and temporarily we hope) without its #1 proponent and volunteer. Effie suffered a stroke on June 16, a week after returning from the Czech Republic. After dealing with some other medical issues, she is finally in a rehab unit, where she will work on her road to recovery. The Czech Center is never far from her thoughts, and she continues to issue advice and directives from her bed. The Center remains operational through the efforts of its loyal and dedicated volunteers. We appreciate all the thoughts, prayers and good wishes Effie and I have received, and thank you for your continued support of the Czech Center.
Bill Rosene and family
Thanks to Friends of the Czech Center Museum Houston below who have made a contribution to the CCMH Endowment Fund 2014 Appeal. We are grateful to these supporters who will help our museum remain one of Houston's treasured gems and who have recognized, in their generous and thoughtful gifts, this critical component of support to establish an Endowment to allow CCMH to continue its mission for future generations. The Endowment will relieve the constant striving for funds over, above and beyond basic admission and membership dues. This effort continues, so please consider Gifts to the Endowment Fund 2014 at this time. Your gift may be made on-line right here, or make a check payable to CCMH.
Other Members and Friends' Ways to Contribute to the Endowment Fund are using various means to contribute to the Endowment Fund. Grace and Bill England made a contribution, "As an Honorarium in Appreciation of Roy and Mary Cullen for their gracious hospitality in their home for an evening of Czech Art and Dinner and the Cullen Foundation's Gift toward the Comenius Library at the Czech Center Museum Houston."
   Others, instead of flowers to honor a deceased member of the organization, have used a contribution as a memory gift such as happened to memorialize Elsie Pecena who we have featured below.
Contributors to Endowment Fund
Stan & Ralph Marek
Julie Kloess
Mary & Frank Pokluda, Jr.
Wesley Pustejovsky*
Cynthia Gdula
Lorraine Rod Green**
Laverne Nash*
Effie & Bill Rosene*
$1,000 to $5,000
Emil Kovalcik
Charles & Patricia Kubin
Marek Family Foundation
Charles & Melissa Rod
Kenneth Voyteki
Cathy & Larry Anderson
Grace & Bill England
Marion Freman
Kerry & Peggy Mazoch
Rudolph Rusnak
Diane Welden
Eva Maria Campo Bartoskova
Adelma Graham
Burdine Clayton Johnson
John Kahanek III
Betty & Mark Kubala, MD
Ann & Elbert Link
Edward & Sandra Pickett
Sandra & Jonny Rutherford
Betti Saunders
Marilyn Sikora
SPJST Lodge 88
Glenn Sternes
Frank & Claire Svrcel
Henry Tyroch
William Vavrik
The Papanek Foundation
$250 to $1,000
Henry & Dortha Pekar
Chevron Foundation
Danelle Cornelius
Cecilia Forrest
Caroline Freeman
Willie & Gladys Gavranovic
Purvis & Lynne Harper
James & Jeanette Malloory
Charlotte Matula
Tammy & Guy Mikeska
Gladys Oakley
Danette Pux
Albert & Margaret Smaistrla
Jean P. Stratton
Raymond Vitek
Joy Balderach
Jeanette Gonzales
Chris & Burd Venghaittis
Janet Jurik
Marvin & Judith Marek
Michael McCarthy
Richardson Family
$100 to $250
Cathy Jankovic
Eugene & Julia Bednar
Alma Berger
T.P. & Burnette Boyett
Larry Janak
Daniel & Suzanne Kubin
Eugene & Kat Labay
Fr. Stephen Nesrsta
Paul & Annette Sofka
Jere & Sue Wallace
Patricia Robin
Norman & Tracy Zetka
John A. Sixta, Jr.
Joyce Macha Bartos
Jerry & Anna Brannen
Eugene A. Cernan
Patricia Cernoch
K.D. Charalampous, MD
Jane Cyva
Lillian Dulaney
Albina Flieller
Harper & Pearson
Marietta Hetmaniak
Virginia Hodge
Beryl Hogshead
Jerry & Carol Horacek
John & Frances Istvan
Eddie Janek, Sr.
Phil & Mary Kasik
Anna Kriz
Charles & Paula Looney
Timothy Opatrny
Agnes Shimanek
SPJST Lodge 88
Lana Sullenger
V.W. & Mary Uher
Roy & Rebecca Vajdak
Johnny & Linda Veselka
Marie Zinnante
$0 to $100
Robert & Henrietta Freeman
Lindsey & Sherry Pierce
Jeff & Melanie Masek
Lorence & Zora Bravenec
Patricia Creed
Warren Davis
Lyda Henderson
Steven Hlavinka
Jean Humlicek
Chris & Cheryl Johnson
Janet Vacek Jones
Joseph Kocab
Clare Koloaja
Barry & Marian Malac
Chafrlene Mallet
Dale Meek
Steven & Charlese Novotny
Bessmarie Prazak
Joe & Patsy Stankovich
Emil & Connie Stavinoha
Carol & Stan Steele
L.L. Zbranek
Georges Zemanek
Norman & Tracy Zetka
Marge Ray
Helen Blankenburg
Veronica Frost
Geraldine Hamil
Damar & John Osika
Willie Petruy
Sister Rosanne Plagens
+ Response to appeal & pledge; * Certificate Loan Surrender; ** Legacy Gift; # Certificate Loan Interest Deposit
+/- Endowment from 12/31/13 - $260,000
Honor and Memorial TilesThe sixth etching of the Honor and Memorial Tiles has just been completed. Four hundred and fifty tiles of sizes 4 x 12 ($250), 6 x 12 ($500), 8 x 12 ($750) and 12 x 12 ($1,000) have been etched displaying approximately 850 names. We will be soliciting donors for the seventh round of etchings. Your contribution to honor or memorialize a loved one will be considered a contribution to the Endowment Fund which names will proudly be displayed at the Czech Center Museum Houston and will be considered payment for membership the length appropriate to the amount of the donation. A $1,000 contribution will classify you and your family with lifetime status. Please see the following link for more information.
Jiri F. BrotanTribute to Jiri F. Brotan  We, at the Czech Center Museum Houston, a non-profit cultural educational arts organization in Houston, Texas have a mission of connecting our Museum to People - to Heritage - to History - to the World. As part of this mission, it serves us to remember those who by their acts demonstrated by their pride of their heritage and what a subconscious imprint it made on them to reach out and give back to their mother country as well as their new home. These are the people and their memory we strive to preserve as example to our Members and Friends. Our Museum holds the Jan Amos Komensky Library and Archives, a collection of publications, memorabilia, books, etc., and we are always appreciative of new collections and additions. We take pride in conveying in our Docent Tours to national and international visitors, our dedication to promote the legacy of Czech and Slovak Americans who made a significant contribution to our society and heritage.
   We were saddened to hear about Mr. Brotan’s passing. Even though we didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally, we were greatly impressed to learn about his personality, nobility, dedication to the legacy of Dr. Jan Papanek, and the contribution he made to cultural and educational programs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2005 for the Grand Opening of the Czech Center Museum Houston in the Museum District, we retained Viera Pecha of New York to mount a marvelous exhibition of master impressionist Kamil Kubik’s artwork which she had curated for us. At that time we learned for the first time the mission of the Jan & Betka Papanek Foundation, its most impressive programs under Mr. Brotan’s leadership, his passion to help others, and his close friendship with Maestro Kubik. What a loss not to have known this gentleman personally!
   Our organization gratefully honors persons whose achievements have made us proud to be of Czech and Slovak descent, and we tangibly honor their memory on the Museum’s Honor and Memorial Wall of Honor by placing a gold engraved tile as a remembrance and reminder of their legacy to us. We are greatly appreciative of the honor to pay tribute to Mr. Brotan, a patriot of Czechoslovakia, an exceptional human being, by displaying the Jan & Betka Papanek Foundation’s memorial tile in a prominent place next to another patron of the Czech Center Museum, Maestro Kamil Kubik, where visitors from around the world come to enjoy the tranquility of the area when visiting with us. It is our utmost desire to remember them for generations to come. He will be greatly missed not only by the Czech and Slovak communities but also by people from all over the world and never forgotten. We say S panem Bohem, go with God, as he continues his work in a new medium.
Attorneys Take Note!  The John Marshall Law School and the Czech/Slovak Institute present the 22nd Annual Study Trip to the Czech Republic, October 15-26, 2014. This year our tour begins and ends in Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires. While in the Czech capital, you will stroll the bridges and cobblestone streets of the Old Town and have an opportunity to explore many of the sites and cultural activities that this vibrant city offers. From Prague the group will journey to West Bohemia to learn about the politics, architecture, music, breweries, and manufacturing of Bohemia while enjoying local hospitality. We will then travel to Brno, judicial capital of the Czech Republic. There we will present "A Day of U.S. Law" for the students and faculty of our partner, Masaryk University, meet with former Czech exchange scholars who are making a difference in their country, and visit courts and other government offices. Attorneys that participate in "A Day of U.S. Law" are eligible for Continuing Legal Education and/or Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit hours. The group will return to Prague from Brno for the final weekend.
Elsie Julie PecenaLong-time CCMH Member Elsie Julie Pecena killed in a car crash. The friends, colleagues and family of 93-year-old Elsie Pecena gathered in Central Texas to do what they didn't think they would have to do so soon. They came together at Cooks Point Brethren Cemetery to bury her. Despite her age, this daughter of cotton farmers rarely asked for, or needed, their help. She drove herself around the city, shopped for her own groceries, put up new blinds in her house and, until a couple of years ago, mowed her own lawn. She was petite, but she had a streak of independence so big it overshadowed her slight frame. Her memory was impeccable. She spoke her mind. She never married because she said she always wanted to be in control of her own life. She was, in short, a survivor. On a Sunday, dressed in her church-going best and at the wheel of her Mercury Grand Marquis on a Houston freeway, Elsie Pecena ran into a force she couldn't control. Police said she was hit from behind by a faster moving vehicle, shoved into a retaining wall and sent careening across five lanes of traffic into a second retaining wall. She died several hours later at a local hospital. "It's such a tragedy," said Carol Vacca, who volunteered with Pecena at the Czech Center Museum. "It is so rare that you have someone like her, someone so old who functions so well." Pecena grew up on a farm and was one of seven children born to Czech immigrants. She kept herself busy after retirement, volunteering with the Czech Center Museum and devoting much of her time to the First United Methodist Church, where she was a member for 66 years. In remarkable health for her age, family and friends said Pecena rarely asked anyone for a ride. She got around all on her own. "She wasn't an out of it old lady," said her nephew Bill Pecena, 65. "If she could do it herself, she would do it." Elsie volunteered at the Czech Center Museum for more than 15 years. On Thursdays, she could be found working in the museum gift shop, working hard to make sure everything was in its place. She attended all of the center's events, well-dressed, with not a single hair straying from her platinum white coiffure, a brooch always pinned perfectly to her outfit. "She was just incredibly prim and proper," said Ginny Stoner, who volunteered with Pecena at the Czech Center Museum. "I mean just absolutely a lady."
   Born February 10, 1921; Died May 18, 2014. Preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Julie Pecena, siblings, STEM Presentation by CCMH Member Tom RowanLydia (English), Ben, Alvin, Tommy, and Bill and longtime friend, John Richardson. Survived by her sister, Ester (Hubacek), nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces. First United Methodist Church Active member for 66 years. Regularly attended weekly sewing group and Sunday Bible study group. Czech Heritage Center Houston - volunteered since 1996. Even in her 90s, was taking classes to relearn the Czech language. Tenneco Oil, Legal Secretary. Retired from her position after 32 years; 29 of them with the same attorney. Never one for self-aggrandizement; in lieu of flowers, she requested that donations be made to the Czech Center Museum Houston.
Register Now! Join the Festivities! Coming Soon, The Apollo Chamber Players and European Folkscapes. The Apollo Chamber Players and European FolkscapesFriday, September 5, 2014 - 7:30 p.m. Commencing the celebration of "10 Years – 10 Million!" Growing an Endowment Appeal for Perpetuity. First of a series of Cultural Events in Houston's Museum District Mid-September through Mid-October. Celebrating Ten Years since Opening the Baroque Palace on September 1, 2004. A museum connecting People to Heritage, History and the World. Other events are being planned. The Czech Center Museum Houston invites you to Brno Gallerie, Prague Hall, and Pilsen Hall.
Ed: The Apollo Chamber Players are a quartet of string musicians who studied at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and recently made their Carnegie Hall debut. The Chamber is sponsored by CCMH member Beryl Hogshead in memory of her immigrant father Louis Andor Komjathy who was born September 15, 1898 in the Austrian Hungarian Empire.
Reference CCMH Endowment for Perpetuity Fund Appeal 2014
You are welcome to view this organization's IRS Form 990 available on the Guidestar website. Note this organization's name on filing was the Czech Cultural and Community Center, which now does business as the Czech Center Museum Houston. Click this link.
Interested Members may also view financial records by appointment.
What is Czech Sausage? Click to Czech out this website and give us your opinion.
Czech Language Online Daily  It would be impossible not to learn from these simple distinct lessons. Try it now! or
Marta - A czech Girl's Story of Surviving the Third Reich and its Aftermath Marta
I am one of the lucky ones!
Until recently I was substituting on a regular basis as a crossing guard for the public school system.
This was something I loved and enjoyed doing for over twenty years. Some of the children who were merely tots when I started have gone on to complete college and establish careers of their own. Sometimes they’d toot their horns at me as they drove by...
I did this volunteer work to thank this country, the United States of America, for the opportunities that have been given to me. Sometimes when I was working with the children, I thought of my own childhood in a convent and growing up in a small town in Czechoslovakia. I thought of the war years when I was taken away from my parents at the age of twelve, put into a camp, and then placed with a German farm family as a slave laborer, where I was worked like an animal for five long years. I also remember my flight from the Russians as they advanced across Germany at the end of World War II, and how I escaped and made my way into the American Zone.
My life has changed profoundly since I was a child in Czechoslovakia. It is miraculous that I have survived and found happiness and fulfillment.
Yes, I am one of the lucky ones. This is my story!
Monika Koenigova
A Must Read - Call 713.528.2050 to order!
Good Reads Available at our Prague International Gift Shop:
Texas Czech Polka Bands by CCMH Members Jimmy Brosch with Theresa Cernoch Parker.
Rustic Baroque - A novel by Jiri Hajicek - Set in South Bohemia about a decade after the Velvet Revolution.
Border Crossings - A Memoir that Reads Like a Thriller! by Charles Novacek.
Prague, My Long Journey Home - by Charles Ota Heller. A memoir of Survival, Denial and Redemption, providing a window into one Czech American's experiences!
The Czech Pioneers of the Southwest by Dr. Henry R. Maresh - a must read for research of your genealogy.
Living Longer Than Hate - W. J. Bill Morgan's life, a Story of Survival and Success by C.S. Ragsdale, PhD.
Fields of Light, A Son Remembers His Heroic Father by CCMH Member Joseph Hurka.
They called him “Žižka” – The One-Eyed. A grizzled warrior, he rose from service as a mere bodyguard at the court of King Wenceslas to lead armies of peasant men and women. By Jim Fuxa, CCMH member.
For information on these books and to order, call: 713.528.2060 or visit our website.
2014 Calendar of Events
September 5, 2014
"Ten Year -Ten Million" Growing an Endowment for Perpetuity for future generations. A Museum to connect People to Heritage, History and the World. Celebrating the Opening of the Czech Center Museum Houston, September 1, 2004 to the World, in the Museum District with special featured speakers, exhibits, and programs during the month of September. RSVP to: 713.528.2060 or for more info.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Register Now! Join the Festivities! 7:30pm Prague Hall The Apollo Chamber Players and European Folkscapes
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Tom Rowan, NASA Scientist/Engineer presents STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math – Fun to learn for 9 to 12 year olds.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Czech Oktoberfest, National Czech Slovak Day Democracy (October 28, 1918) First Republic. RSVP to: 713.528.2060 or
Monday, November 17, 2014
Remembering the Velvet Revolution End of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989 leading eventually to second Republic 1992. RSVP to: 713.528.2060 or for more info.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Saint Nicholas Eve Celebration with the Bishop, Angel, and Devil, A Holiday Dinner for friends, families, and children.
RSVP to: 713.528.2060 or for more info.
The CCMH wishes our Members, Friends and Friends to be a Happy 4th of July Holiday!

An Irish Toast: There are good ships, And there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea,
But the best ships are Friendships - And may they always be.

"Time goes by so fast; people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you." Anonymous

"Those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything
are only looking for excuses."
Václav Havel

"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
Chinese and Czech Proverb

Questions or comments or to be removed, please email first and last name to
Effie M. Rosene, Chair/CEO, on behalf of Board of Directors,
Volunteers and Members and Friends.

This organization is supported in part by a grant from the City of Houston through the
Houston Arts Alliance and by the contributions of our Friends, Members and Volunteers.

2014 – City of Houston, Port of Houston: We celebrate 100 years
as a deep water port (1914-2014). 
With the Panama Canal expansion opening in 2015, the Port of Houston
will be a direct conduit to Mid-America.

Charles Bridge
Effee and Bree, the Muralist
4920 San Jacinto
Houston, TX 77004
phone: 713.528.2060