Victor Hlavinka, age 87, passed away peacefully on November 2, 2023 after a lengthy illness.
He was born August 11, 1936, to Jos. C. and Annie Hruby Hlavinka in East Bernard,
Texas. He is survived by his wife, Suzy McCurdy Hlavinka, his daughter, Dr. Wanda Northam (Jon) and children Claire Northam Long (Clint) of Melissa, Texas, and Mark Northam, Adam Northam and Ben Northam of Texarkana; his son, Jon Hlavinka of Houston and children Joseph, Walter and Louis Victor (Bobby) Hlavinka; one great-grandchild, David Long; one step-son, Peter Burns (Julie) and children Chloe and William of Lawrence, Kansas.
Surviving siblings include Joe (Patty) Hlavinka of East Bernard, Texas; Charles (Betty) Hlavinka of Texarkana; Donna (Hayden) Stewart of San Antonio, Texas; and Carol Powitzky of Pasadena, Texas.
He was predeceased by his parents and by an older brother, William Hlavinka.
Victor spent his youth toiling in the cotton patches of Wharton County and famously quarterbacking the East Bernard High School football team before graduating in 1954. He was a proud Texas Aggie and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Texas A&M University in 1958. He then completed law school at the University of Texas in 1960 and immediately joined his brother Charlie in Texarkana at the law firm that eventually became Atchley, Russell, Waldrop and Hlavinka.
Victor was a lawyer for more than 50 years. By the time he was 40 years old, he had served in more than 200 jury trials. He was a proud member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the TISD School Board for several years and was involved with several local civic organizations, most prominently the Texarkana Regional Arts and Texarkana Symphony Orchestra.
He often went to trial in defense of medical malpractice lawsuits and eventually had learned enough about medicine to surprise even the physicians he was representing.
One of Victor’s passions was travel, especially to the Czech Republic where many friends and some relatives still reside. A most special trip there included over 40 members of the family living in the U.S. to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their ancestors’ immigration to America in 1905. They re-enacted the route taken from the homestead in Nechvalin, CR, to Bremerhaven, Germany, where they had boarded the ship for the trip to Texas.
Many times, Vic and Suzy would strike out to different destinations in Europe creating their own itinerary and traveling by car. But Victor also shared a big interest in biking and made several associated trips abroad with family including several grandchildren, biking famous rivers and historical sites.
Victor recognized early in his career how important exercise was to withstand the rigor, long hours and intensity involved in going to trial and first took up running. (He was into exercise long before it was cool.) He ran in and completed three New York City Marathons, the last one at the age of 70. After 55 years, Victor reluctantly retired at age 80 because of severe hearing loss.
His best friends consisted of many Aggie college buddies and their families and other attorneys both local and afar who shared his passion for the practice of law or the love of exercise. Though quite the showman in the courtroom, Victor preferred to spotlight and draw attention to others, especially his family. His most beloved were his two children and his wife.
In accordance with his wishes, only a private interment for family will be held at a later date. Special memories and sympathies can be shared at the website TexarkanaFuneralHome.com, Victor Hlavinka obituary. Memorial donations should be made to donors’ favorite charities.
Two mottos served Victor well in his life:
“Fill every golden minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run,” and
“When you’ve gone so far that you cannot make another step, you have not yet exhausted half of what you are capable.”