Carl Feltner, Jr. (1929-2019) Sergeant Major, US Army, Retired

Carl Feltner, Jr., loving husband and father, entered eternal life to be with his heavenly Father at the age of 90 on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. He was born on August 26, 1929 in New Braunfels, TX to Carl and Pauline Harborth Feltner, as the youngest of five sons. Carl was baptized as a young boy and in 1944 affirmed his faith through Confirmation at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Houston, TX. He graduated from New Braunfels High School in 1947. In 1951, he left home to serve overseas in the military, returning in 1953.  Carl’s career with the US Postal Service in New Braunfels began that same year. On September 5, 1966, he married Roma Erben of New Braunfels. On Christmas Eve 1968, Carl and Roma welcomed Bryan Keith into their lives, and 22 months later Stephen Troy joined the family.

Carl’s career with the US Postal Service included 25 years in mail delivery and 15 years as Supervisor of Mails responsible for managing clerks, mail processing, and mail delivery on highway contract routes. He was instrumental in preparing New Braunfels for 911 service and expanding mail operations to support the community’s growth.

Carl loved living and working in New Braunfels, and equally enjoyed serving his country through military service for 33 years. Soon after his active duty service in the US Army was completed, he joined the US Army Reserves. He was the acting Operations Sergeant of the Aviation Engineer Group Headquarters unit in Toul-Rosieres AFB, France, near the German border. Soon after his return from France, he joined the Texas 90th Division Reserve Unit in San Marcos, TX, becoming the First Sergeant of their Firing Battery. In 1965 when the 90th Division was de-activated, he joined the 420th Engineer Brigade in Austin, TX. In 1966 the Brigade constructed the Fort Sam Houston Recreation Area at Canyon Lake. In 1969, he transferred to the 363rd Support Group Headquarters in San Marcos, as the First Sergeant of the Headquarters Company. Upon being promoted to Sergeant Major, he served as the Logistics Operation Sergeant and Command Sergeant Major.

Carl was a member of Cross Lutheran Church for 45 years (1945-90).  He served the church in many capacities over the years, including Chairman of the Board of Elders, Sunday School teacher, Walter League volunteer, President of the Aid Association for Lutherans local branch (over 25 years), and Aid Association for Lutherans Comal/Hays Chapter Board Member (2003-09). In 1990, the Feltners joined Grace Lutheran Church in San Marcos for 12 years during which time Carl served on numerous boards and committees, including President of the Congregation for 5 years. In 2002, the Feltners returned to Cross Lutheran Church in New Braunfels. 

Carl’s lifetime commitment to community service spanned many organizations. Carl was a member of American Legion Post 179 beginning in 1952. He held numerous offices in the New Braunfels Evening Lions Club including Charter member (1967), President (1974-75), Project Chair for the creation of Eikel Park, and Secretary (1995-2005). He also received many awards, including being named Life Member of the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville (1976), Lion of the Year (1995-96), Life Member of Lions International (1998), and Melvin Jones Fellow (2004). On the 50th year of his membership, the club established a $1,000 scholarship in his name to be awarded annually to a counselor at the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville, TX.

Carl was one of three founders of the Community Service Center of New Braunfels, which for many years served those in need of a helping hand. Carl also served the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce in many capacities including:  Chairman of the Sesquicentennial BBQ committee (1993-95) responsible for coordinating meals for over 5,000 people and securing a Sesquicentennial US Postal Cancellation, Chairman of the Retirees are Progressive council (1996-97), Board member (1996-97), Blue Coats Member (1998), and Hall of Honors inductee (2003).  Carl was also a member of the Wurstfest organization beginning in 1979 and secured the first Wurstfest US Postal Cancellation for the 25th anniversary and subsequent years. Carl also belonged to the Braunfels Foundation Trust, serving as a long time trustee as well as on the Chamber Board (1996), Chair of The Arrangements Committee for the first Living Legends event (2001), Chair of Living Legends (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010), Honorary Chair of the Living Legends event (2011), and Vice President (2002-2011).  Carl was honored as a Living Legend in 2015.

Carl remained active in retirement to make New Braunfels a better place for his family. His service included the United Way Community Fund Campaign, McKenna Memorial Hospital Campaign (1997), Hummel Museum volunteer, Chairman of Hummel Museum Fest, Sophienburg Christmas Market and Folkfest, and Sophienburg Capital Fund Campaign. As a volunteer for the Texas Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Carl enjoyed preparing young service men and women for their transitions to deployment and to return home to their previous occupations.

Carl was preceded in death by his wife Roma, parents Carl and Pauline, brothers Arno, Norman, Gus and Weldon, and nephews Gus Jr. and Arnold Don. He is survived by his sons Bryan and Stephen, and his nieces Jane Mallard and Lisa Brucks.

Visitation will be held on Friday, November 8th from 5-8pm at Zoeller Funeral Home. Services will be held on Saturday, November 9th at 11am at Cross Lutheran Church, immediately followed by a reception at Cross Lutheran then graveside services with full military honors at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park at 1:30pm. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations made in Carl’s memory to Cross Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society, Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville, or Hope Hospice of New Braunfels. The family wishes to thank all the family and friends who expressed their love and support for Carl and his family during this difficult time.

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