She is survived by her daughters Nancy Vogt and Loraine Deisinger (James), grandsons Andrew Vogt (Melony) and Justin Campbell (Amy), step-grandchildren, David Deisinger (Melanine), Debra Emerson (Ralph), Karen Deisinger and Katie Deisinger and great grandchildren, Bailyn, Kylen and Christina Vogt, Beckett and Grady Campbell, and Bradley and Samantha Emerson. She was preceded in death by her parents Josef and Rosalie Jaworski, her sisters, Valentine and Sabina, her brothers, Karl and Martin and her husband, Paul.
Born in January of 1924 in a small village of Ukraine as the second child of five, she attended the local elementary school. Her education was interrupted in 1932 by the Holodomor when Soviet Union enforced the collectivization of all farmlands in Ukraine. Many people starved. Veronika was eight when their home was invaded by the Soviets. Her dad was put in prison, and her family and their possessions were taken. Her mom’s ribs were broken. With only the clothes on their backs and her mom’s sewing machine, mom and children (ages 10 to 2) went to another village further west. They found a place to stay. Her mother put out a sign, “seamstress”. A successful business developed providing clothes and furniture. The children attended the local school. Veronika’s dad returned to them after 2 years in prison.
When the Germans invaded Ukraine and the Soviets fled, Veronika’s family was able to return to their village and rebuild. Veronika always remembered her family as very loving, and she missed them as long as she lived. Her parents loved each other and showed it to their children. Her mom was the disciplinarian and reported their antics to her father. Veronika’s dad would sit each child on his knee and after quietly talking with them about their behavior, bring them to tears as his talk directed them to try to behave. His talks were very gentle.
In 1941, her education was again interrupted. While walking in the garden, Veronika and her friend, Nina, had guns placed in their back by the Gestapo. They were taken to the school yard where family members could exchange for other family members. Her parents were deemed too old, and her siblings were too young, her older sister was expecting a baby. Veronika, Nina, and another young family (husband and wife and two children) along with others were placed in a cattle car train, with little food and water, and taken to a broken-down factory in Germany.
Upon arrival, everyone was lined up to be selected for work for the Germans. They were only given a potato and water. Most of the other people were taken to work for factories. Veronika, Nina, and the young family were not chosen. A captain eventually selected Veronika to care for his mother and be a housekeeper/farm hand for his brother, a farmer in Ebermannstatdt, Germany. Amazingly after seeing folks shot dead, Veronika refused unless work was found for her friend and young family in the same town. The captain found work for all in Ebermannstatdt.
After World War II ended, they became displaced persons. Though the Soviet Union demanded prisoners go home, the American Army advised them to stay because the Soviet Union was sending folks to Siberia to be retrained. Veronika decided to stay. She worked with the U. S. army for just tips and later acquired a job with a small salary. Veronika was able to help her fellow Ukrainians obtain work. She met and fell in love with her husband, Paul, during this time. They married and had a daughter, Loraine.
In 1948, her husband was sent back to the states and Veronika and their daughter followed, living for a short time with Paul’s sister in Bronx, New York.
After settling in Louisville, KY, Veronika had her second daughter, Nancy. Her husband was soon sent to Korea and Veronika became a single mom with two young children in a strange land with very different customs. As she told us her stories, she always said, “strange girl, strange country”. It was a difficult time for her, and she survived, using her kindness, intellect, cooking and crafting skills. She became good friends with the neighbors.
When her husband returned from Korea, she got a job working for Taylor’s Drug store on 4th street in Louisville as a waitress. They bought a home, and she continued to work at Taylor’s becoming a Merchandise Manager, a position that required a bachelor’s degree of other staff. The merchandise manager position required that she drive to the various stores in the Taylor chain in Louisville, Indiana and surrounding areas. She learned to drive at the age of 40. After a full career, she retired from Taylor’s.
Veronika was a kind neighbor, babysitting, giving produce from her backyard garden and if she loved you, you are the proud owner of one of her beautiful, crocheted afghans. She continued these activities throughout retirement until her loss of eyesight.
All of us who loved and knew Veronika enjoyed her sweetness and goodness, her strength, her quiet humor, independence, and intellect. She was a delight to have in our lives and will be very missed.
Her Funeral service will be held on Thursday December 7, 2023 at 1:30pm at the Advantage Funeral Home - Hardy Chapel,with Burial following in Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Thursday December 7, 2023 after 10am until time of service at the funeral home. In Lieu of flowers, Donations can be made to Hosparus or Make a Wish Foundation.