Vera Wawrzaszek (March 11, 1933 - January 12, 2016)

In loving memory of
Vera Wawrzaszek
  • March 11, 1933
  • -
  • January 12, 2016

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Vera Anne Trabold Wawrzaszek, of Longwood, FL, beloved mother of Craig, Kevin, and LeAnne, passed away on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. 

Vera, the daughter of the late Lawrence Trabold and Helen Twamley Trabold, was born on March 11, 1933, in Rochester, NY. It brings a smile to her family that Vera was named “Prettiest Baby” in a 1934 baby contest. Despite the hardships of the Depression, Vera enjoyed a wonderful childhood with her older sister Mary Kay, older brother Buddy and her younger sister, Sylvia. Vera was an angel as a child and never, ever did she throw her brother’s toys out the second floor window; never, ever did she slide madly down the staircase on a blanket; never, ever did she finagle a second breakfast out of the Sisters of Mercy at St. Salome’s convent just down the street; and never, ever did she dare her sister Sylvia to join her on an ice floe on Lake Ontario and have to be rescued by the Coast Guard.

Vera was a graduate of Irondequoit High School where she won honors in shorthand and typing and enjoyed being chief proofreader on the school yearbook and paper. Vera, who always had a song in her heart, loved singing soprano in the high school chorus. Vera earned a scholarship to the Rochester Business Institute, but did not attend because her typing and shorthand skills already exceeded the graduation requirements of the institute.

Vera married at age 18 and worked as a civilian typist for the U.S. Army on Governor’s Island. In the evening, Vera followed her love of music and sang professionally in local nightclubs. Her family still cherishes her promotional posters featuring a lovely photo of her, announcing “Vocals by Vera.” In her early 20s, Vera received clearance to provide secretarial support for top secret work by the U.S. Air Force on jet engine research.

When Vera moved to Florida in 1972, she loved her work supporting children and education with Seminole County Public Schools, progressing from secretarial positions at English Estates Elementary and Tuskawilla Middle School to Administrative Secretary to the Assistant Superintendent of the School Board of Seminole County. Vera retired in May 1997 with over 46 years of secretarial experience over the course of her career. 

Vera was a loving mother who supported her children’s hopes and dreams. She was thrilled to hear her oldest son, Craig, on the radio, saved each of his original graphics, and took great pleasure in his photography. Vera was proud of her son Kevin’s role as Drum Major of the Lake Howell High School Silverhawks and his accomplishments in his career with Siemens. She admired Kevin’s devotion to his wife, Carolyn, and his son, Daniel. Vera was very close to her daughter, LeAnne, and felt tremendous pride when LeAnne earned her Master’s in Counseling. Vera was thrilled to welcome Rick Schumann into the family when he married LeAnne in 2014.

Extraordinarily kind of heart, Vera will be forever remembered for her sweet spirit, her love of music, and her delightful sense of humor. Vera is loved for the countless baby blankets she crocheted, her beautiful cross stitch, her support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, her commitment to helping children in need by helping stock the Casselberry Elementary food bank, and, perhaps best of all, for her absolute love of reading.

Vera will be remembered with love by her son, Craig Michaels; her son Kevin Wawrzaszek, daughter-in-law, Carolyn Cayll Wawrzaszek, and grandson, Daniel Wawrzaszek; and her daughter, LeAnne Wawrzaszek Schumann, and son-in-law, Richard Schumann.

A Celebration of Vera’s life will be held on January 30th 2016, 4pm in the chapel at Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs. In Lieu of flowers please make donations to St. Jude’s

May she be embraced in heaven in the warmest of hugs by her mother, father, sisters, and brother

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  1. Douglas O'Brien says:
    22 Jan 2016
    As a guy, you're never quite sure how you're going to be received by a daughter's parent or parents. When you call the house, or go to pick up their daughter for a date, there's always a wild card element to how you're going to be received. It's uncertain if you'll be met with a welcoming smile, a disdainful glare, or some mystery reaction only members of the immediate family can possibly decode. Despite that uncertainty, though, in the spring of 1981 I bravely began what was to become a series of visits and phone calls to the Winter Springs home of LeAnne and her mom, known only to me as "Ms. Warzak" (this mispronunciation of the name I was actually encouraged to use, by the way). Ms. Warzak was to be my first experience with what I presumed would be an over-protective, anxious parent, whose attitude toward me I expected would surely start out with one-eyed suspicion and end a mere few seconds later in tight-lipped disdain.

    Regardless, though, I plunged ahead with my first visit to the Wawrzaszek home and after being greeted warmly by LeAnne at the front door, I was ushered in to MEET THE PARENT! Augh, no, not the parent, I thought! I was hoping to avoid the inquisition. But, protocol and respect for our elders demanded I submit to the inquisitor and answer the inevitable questions like, "What time do you intend to have my daughter home?" and "How fast do you drive?"

    Awkwardly standing there beside the dining room table that evening, I braced myself for the potential onslaught, but holding out hope that the qualities of grace, compassion, poise, humor, and kindness that drew me to LeAnne could be present in her mother. When the inquisition never came that evening or any other time, of course, it became apparent to me from where LeAnne had gotten those qualities in the first place: from Vera Wawrzaszek.

    Over time, I had more occasions to speak over the phone with, and momentarily visit Ms. Wawrzaszek at their home, and I remember even now thirty-five years later how she always treated me with kindness, compassion, grace, humor and dignity because that's the kind of person she herself was - kind, compassionate, graceful, humorous, and dignified.

  2. Emily (Holtman) Long says:
    19 Jan 2016
    Oh Miss Vera, you are in my heart. I was a student at Tuskawilla Middle School when my mother died and you cared for me like I was your own. I was put in foster care and when you found out I didn't have lunch, you had one ready for me every day. I don't think anyone knows you bought clothes for me when I had hardly anything to wear in 7th grade. I have not ever forgotten how nice you were to me. I was so happy to see you again when I worked at the library and you were a volunteer. I am sending love to your family.

  3. Ashley Butler says:
    18 Jan 2016
    Thinking of you and your mom, LeAnne, and how our little Kellan is now snuggled sweetly in the blanket she made for Hannah (and which he adopted from his big sis last year). The blanket is seven years old and still beautiful. Love to you and your family. - Ashley

  4. Barbara Sherwood lit a candle:
    18 Jan 2016
    Lit since January 18, 2016 at 1:39:24 PM

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