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Vittek, Verna Kathleen
VERNA KATHLEEN VITTEK
Verna Kathleen Vittek (nee Frye), a long-time Chagrin Falls resident and a descendant of Northeast Ohio's and Western Pennsylvania's earliest settlers, died at home on August 15 at age 90. The eldest daughter of Gilbert and Hazel Sanders Frye was born on November 7, 1917 in a log cabin that her father built in West Finley, PA. The family later purchased a large farm in Claysville, PA. Her ancestors were of German and Scottish descent and included Revolutionary War soldiers. A great-grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee.
Musical expression became very important to her hard-working family. Her mother played piano for the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and several of her 10 brothers and sisters appeared on radio and television in the 1940's and 1950's. While her musical roots were country and gospel, her favorite singers were Perry Como and Nat King Cole.
Mrs. Vittek became the first in her family to earn a high school diploma, graduating at the top of her class at age 16. She traveled much during her senior years. At the age of 82 and on her son James' 50th birthday, she returned with him to Munich, Germany and found the home where he was born. She also took cruises to Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands.
Mrs. Vittek was a loyal patron of Dink's Restaurant in Chagrin Falls, and she also enjoyed reading and writing. Her husband, Robert died in 1971. She is survived by her sons, James of Chagrin Falls, Robert (Rita) of Escondido, CA and Ralph (Susan) of Carlsbad, CA; grandchildren Jamie, Adam, Nicholas, Alexander, Joshua and Vanessa; great-grandchildren Shalimar, Joseph and Maggie. She also leaves dear friend and caregiver, Gladys Dowdle.
Services were conducted by Heinrich Funeral Home in Claysville, PA. Burial was private in Evergreen Hill Cemetery in Chagrin Falls. Donations may be made to the Hospice of the Western Reserve, 300 East 185th Street, Cleveland 44119. Web site: heinrichfuneralhome.com.
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