Ella Elizabeth “Libby” (Greenwood) Veronis. Lindenhurst, IL – A caring, fun loving, and well-loved soul left this world on October, 5, 2017. Libby was born on July 11, 1925, in Bellaire, Ohio to Ella Magdaline McGee Greenwood and James Wilfred Greenwood. The 8th and last surviving child of 10 siblings, she grew up in Bellaire, spending most of her childhood on Pinch Run Road.
She came from a lively musical family, where most of her 9 siblings, father and uncles were adept at playing an assortment of musical instruments as well as singing. Because of her early exposure to the world of music and entertainment, Libby loved to sing and perform informally most of her life. During her early years, she demonstrated acrobatic maneuvers on stage and was quite skilled at this. For many years she attributed her flexibility in playing games such as “hide and go seek” with her great-grandchildren well into her 80’s because of the flexibility she acquired in her youth. Being high spirited, Libby loved life, she made friends easily, enjoyed being with others, and she was fond of a good joke, especially in the telling.
As a young teen, Libby cleaned homes for several Bellaire families to earn extra money, and after graduating from St. John’s High School in Bellaire in 1944, she went to work as a secretary in an office in the Ohio Valley area and she quickly realized her high energy and ebullient personality did not suit her to a staid office work environment. World War ll was taking place at the time and the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ campaign to hire young women for the War effort interested the young adult Libby, and she took a job at Wheeling Steel.
There, a coworker, Henry John Veronis of Wheeling wooed Libby, and although she turned down his advances on numerous occasions, Henry finally won the heart of the woman of his dreams and the couple were married on February 2, 1946 at St. John’s Church in Bellaire, with their wedding reception at the Swing Club (now known as Generations) on National Road in the Fulton section of Wheeling. The couple settled into married life on Bow Street in Fulton and two daughters were born to them. Libby worked part time at Okey’s Superette and was a member of the Christian Mothers group at St. Joan of Arc on National Road in Wheeling.
When her daughters were young, instead of reading to them, Libby often sang to them at bedtime. She was a wonderful grandmother to her 7 grandchildren and has left each of them with treasured memories of quality time with her. After her eldest sister Mary Gorshe “Sis” died at a fairly young age, she became like a second mother to Mary’s children.
In 1954 the young family moved to Chicago, Illinois to seek better employment and start a new life. Libby worked for many years at the National Tea Company as a bookkeeper, manager and head checker and was a member of St. Symphorosa Church on Chicago’s southwest side. She followed Chicago politics closely and volunteered with Chicago’s 23rd Ward.
Libby and Henry lived a good life in the city of Chicago until they retired in 1985, moving to Springhill, FL where they resided for almost 25 years, until Henry’s death in 2010. Libby’s life in retirement with her husband was filled with many activities; playing cards, cooking, entertaining family and friends, volunteering at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic church in Springhill where she served as a Eucharistic minister, worked on the Bingo committee and for several years Libby took care of the linens used on the altar in her church and she brought Communion to the sick at a local hospital. Libby and Henry made many lasting friendships in Florida, but their hearts would always belong to the Ohio Valley, where they still have many relatives.
A few days after her death, two of Libby’s nieces said of their Aunt Libby “She was loved by many in the Ohio Valley, from her nieces and nephews to her great nieces and nephews. She was like a mother and grandmother to many of us, and her memory will live on forever in our hearts.”
After her husband’s death in 2010, Libby returned to Illinois with her beloved cat, Tiki, to live in the Franciscan retirement community of Village of Victory Lakes in Lindenhurst, Illinois, to be near her youngest daughter, Pamela Siblik and her family.
Libby was a devout Catholic, and especially in her later, more reclusive years in Lindenhurst, she would say the rosary many times each day. During much of the final years of her life, she loved to play Bingo, the card game SKIPBO and enjoyed visits from her family. One of her simple pleasures in life was drinking a cold glass of beer while enjoying a hot debate. All of her life she loved to read; novels, nonfiction and magazines and before she became ill, she enjoyed sending inspirational cards and notes to anyone facing a life challenge.
She was preceded in death by her parents, all 9 of her Greenwood siblings and her beloved husband, Henry John Veronis. She is survived by her sisters-in-law, Wanda Veronis Baric of Shawnee Kansas and Anna Mae Veronis Holliday of Anderson, South Carolina. She will be deeply missed by her daughters, Patricia Louise Campbell of Scarborough, Maine and her partner, Bruce Allyn Peavey of Raymond, Maine and Pamela Jean Siblik and her husband, Allen Daniel Siblik, both of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; seven grandchildren; Elizabeth Campbell, James Campbell, Jr., Jeffrey Campbell, Catherine Hodgson, Debra Schmelling, Kimberly Kotlar, and Tammy Bowyer; 20 great- grandchildren, two great- great- grandchildren, her care-giver, Sophie Kowalewski of Kenosha, Wisconsin and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours from 9:00AM to 12:15 PM on October 14, 2017, Altmeyer funeral home, Elm Grove, 154 Kruger St., followed by a Funeral Mass at 1 pm at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 1225 National Road, Wheeling with Interment immediately following at Mount Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Elizabeth Veronis’s memory to The Snow Foundation, www.theSnowFoundation.org, P.O.Box 50224, Clayton, MO 63105.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.altmeyerfuneralhomes.com.