Tuesday, November 27, 2007
In memorium, Verna Juska
Our pack was saddened to hear of Verna Juska's passing last night. As Christians, we celebrate her life and her reunion with her loving husband Felix who died in 1974 and their Cairn Terrier Archie who has been gone for about 17 years in Heaven. At the same time, we reflect on such a wonderful life filled with unconditional love, unselfishness, and tireless giving. She served as the unpaid Office Manager of the Adelphi Presbyterian Church for about 30 years and was one of the bright spots in that somewhat uninspiring congregation. She was a great family friend who hosted a Thanksgiving feast every two years for families that shared bonds through the Beltsville Research Station of the USDA where her husband and my grandfather worked together as PhD agronomists. Long after Felix passed and my grandfather had changed jobs, the Juska home hosted a great holiday feast. Julie got to experience one of these feasts which makes me happy. My early birthday parties were always given a boost when Verna and Archie would come by. Archie was always the "life" of family parties. When my Dad died in 1995, it was Verna who stepped in and took control of the tedious calling and making sure all the details were taken care of immediately after his passing. I had to make the dreaded call to my Dad's mother, but Verna took care of the rest. She also recently hosted Julie and I when we spent a week in Maryland this past August. I look back now and unbelievably cherish that time spent with her, and we thanked her for her hospitality by giving her yellow roses as a sign of love from us Texans.
It is hard to imagine how someone you aren't related to can have such a positive impact on your life. While us mortals are pained in losing a friend, I am comforted in the wonderfulness of her terrestrial life and am confident of her joyful welcome into God's Kingdom.