(Anna) Vera Kolarik Howe, 97, most recently of Circleville, OH, previously of Carrollton, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, was reunited with her husband of 57 years, Charles (Chuck) Howe, on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, 2016. She peacefully went to be with her Lord at home, surrounded by her loving family.
Vera was a member of the “Greatest Generation” and lived her life centered on faith, family, and hard work. Born Feb. 3, 1919, in Tarentum, PA, Vera was the daughter of the late Rev. Joseph and Anna Dinda Kolarik.
After graduating from high school in Somerville, NJ, Vera attended New Jersey College for Women (Douglass-now Rutgers) for 11/2 years, before working as a Slovak Correspondent and Claims Clerk for the National Slovak Society Home Office in Pittsburgh, PA. A veteran of World War II, Vera served as a lab technician, Sgt. Tech 4, for the WAC (Women’s Army Corps), 59th WAC Hospital Company at Camp Carson, CO. She truly loved this time in her life and was very proud of her contribution to the war effort.
On Oct. 19, 1946, in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Braddock, PA, Vera and Charles (Chuck) Albert Howe were married by her brother, Rev. Milan Kolarik. Settling in Carrollton to be near Chuck’s Amish hardware customers, they raised their family and formed many lifelong friendships. Vera worked for many years at Al’s IGA, before joining the Surety Rubber Company as an office clerk, where she worked until retirement. She was a member and past president of the local AARP.
In their retired years, Vera and Chuck spent most of their days at the Friendship Center, where she loved to quilt and Chuck liked to talk. After Chuck died in 2003, Vera stayed in Carrollton until 2007, when she moved to Circleville to be closer to her children. Living with her daughter, Karen, for the past nine years, Vera was an active member of the Senior Center where she made wonderful friends.
An active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Carrollton for over 50 years, Vera served as a Sunday school teacher, VBS superintendent, and as a member of the ELC Women’s Circle, choir, and Alter Committee. Having grown up as a preacher’s child, she knew how rewarding being involved in the faith life of a congregation could be, so she enjoyed helping at Trinity in any capacity. In Circleville, Vera attended Trinity Lutheran Church, Fairfield Christian Church, and Heritage Nazarene Church.
In her spare time, Vera enjoyed spending as much time as possible with her seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, as well as her close-knit extended Kolarik family members. Her youngest great-granddaughter, Lyla Rose, whom she called “the little one,” loved to sit and talk to her Great-Nana. Vera was an excellent seamstress, loved needle-pointing and quilting. She cheered for her Steelers, Pirates, and Phil Mickelson. Vera loved crossword puzzles and word search games, sitting for hours searching for the last word.
Surviving are her sons, Charles (Sharon) Howe III of Elkview, WV, Jeff (Debbie) Howe of Lake St. Louis, MO, and her daughters, Pamela (Roy) Lucas of Whitehall, OH, and Karen (Finley) Borland of Circleville, OH; grandchildren, Tanja Lucas, Aaron (Brandy) Lucas, Adam (Sarah) Borland, Tyler (Julia) Borland, Courtney (Eric) Elfrink, Keri (Denny) Jenkerson, and Cailin Howe; great-grandchildren, Madison and Aidan Lucas and Lyla Rose Borland. She is survived by her brother, Luther (Peg) Kolarik of Ambler, PA, sister, Eleanor Schwalm of Cabot, PA, dear friend and sister-in-law, Mabel Kolarik of North Canton, OH, extended Kolarik family of nieces and nephews, and her husband’s family, the Koerbel’s of Pittsburgh, PA.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 57 years, Charles; parents, Anna and Joseph Kolarik; brothers, Bohdan, Milan, Bob, Ted, Walt and Ivan; sister, Doris Devecka; and friends and sisters-in-laws, Martha, Ruth and Jeanne Kolarik and Jean Koerbel. We know there’s a wonderful reunion going on in heaven right now!
A Celebration of Life service was held May 11 in Heritage Nazarene Church. Donations in her name can be made to Berger Hospice, 1170 N. Court St., Circleville,OH 43113 or Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 104 Canal Winchester, OH 43110.