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Veronica F. Hamula

March 10 1923 ~ June 20 2017

Hamula, Veronica F.
Age 94, crossed over peacefully early Tuesday morning at her home in South Carolina with family at her bedside. She was administered the Sacrament of Last Rites by Fr. Sandy McDonald of St. John Neuman Roman Catholic Church, Columbia on Monday afternoon. A funeral Mass will take place at Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church on Monday, June 26th at 10:00 AM followed by her burial at Woodlawn National Cemetery. Fr. Richard Farrell will preside at the service. Visitation will be held at the James D. Barrett Funeral Home on Sunday, June 25th between the hours of 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM beginning with prayers by Fr. Farrell at 3:00 PM. Veronica was born in Sayre, PA to Burt and Marie Cain Reynolds. They had a second child, Vivian, born eleven months later. The sisters were very close all their lives. She often referred to her sister and herself as "Irish twins." Veronica, known as Verna to many, often described herself as a war bride. She married Joseph Dobranski as World War II was near its end and saw her husband shipped off to Europe. Their first child Michael was born around that time. Later, two other children came along, Francine and Bernard. They were married for about 25 years when Joseph died suddenly at the age of 45 after being hospitalized for an apparent stroke. At the age of 50 she met her second husband, John Hamula, who had one daughter, his beloved Mary Kay. She and John were also married about 25 years. Verna would often talk about how all three of them, Joseph, John and her, would skate at the Keystone Roller Skating Rink in Sayre in their late teens with many others of the same age. It was a favorite place to meet girls for the boys from Elmira. Verna and John both loved the stepchildren, grandchildren, Carin and Joseph, sisters and brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews they shared. When their children were all in town, they would get together to share a meal. Veronica held secretarial positions all her life beginning with Remington Rand before she married. One day Pat O'Brien, the famous actor, was being given a tour of the factory. Verna came out of her office onto the balcony overlooking the factory floor to see. Looking up and seeing her, he whistled at her for which she received much teasing from her co-workers. Her last position was Executive Secretary to Mr. Stanley Holland, Director at the Chemung County Health Department. They were a great team for over 20 years. She was much admired for her skill in stenography, also The greatest gift that Veronica passed on to her children was her deep faith in a loving and powerful God Who came in the person of Jesus Christ to die for us and be raised from the dead, manifesting this love and power. She also had a profound reverence and affection for the Blessed Mother of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This deep and abiding faith was passed on to her by her beloved Gramma Cain who raised Verna and Vivian from a young age when their mother and father hit hard times eventually leaving to find work during the Depression. Their father died suddenly shortly after this of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 33. Under her guidance, they attended Epiphany RC School until the eighth grade and were graduated from Sayre High School. She was married out of the Church of the Epiphany in Sayre, also. Carrying on the tradition, Veronica was an active member of St. Cecilia’s Church where she enrolled all her children in their elementary school. She served on the altar guild and joined the Legion of Mary. She often took her children with her on her visits to shut ins and nursing home residents. When the East Side Catholic Parishes was formed she became an active member of St. Peter and Paul Church and its Sunday Bible class under Fr. Pat. She often read one of the lessons at Sunday Mass. She along with both her husbands were active members of several clubs in town including the Eagle’s Club, the Elks Club, the White Eagles, and the VFW. It was at the White Eagle’s Club that her love of music and dance blossomed. She had taken tap dance lessons as a youngster. As a senior she enrolled in Polka class. Very soon after she was teaching Polka herself and helped to form, along with Gene and Sophie Martin, “The Polka Gliders,” which taught and performed Polka, Irish and international folk dancing at charity and special events, festivals, hospitals and nursing homes. She also formed and directed a similar dance group for children. She was an avid knitter and crocheted all her life. She knitted her own sweaters in high school; she crocheted her daughter’s First Communion dress and her wedding reception dress as well as numerous afghans over the years for family, friends, church fundraisers and charity. She won many blue ribbons at the State Fair at the Chemung County Fair Grounds for her knitting and crochet work. Veronica retired at the age of 69 and helped John take care of his two aging sisters, helping nurse Betty, who died of cancer, as well as Ann who was eventually placed in a nursing home. Verna had a heart attack about two years after John died. Soon after this she moved to South Carolina to live with her daughter and son-in-law and their two children. She was very active in the Roman Catholic Church there as well as the church her daughter’s family attended. She continued to enjoy family activities, shopping, crocheting, crossword puzzles and Woman’s World, listening to music from the Swing and Big Band era and watching old episodes of the Lawrence Welk show, Murder She Wrote and Fr. Brown Mysteries. Veronica was being treated for painful kidney stones for the last three months. She underwent successful surgery on June 9, but her health began to decline rapidly. She was placed on hospice care on Friday, June 12, and breathed her last breath peacefully the following Tuesday morning. We can take comfort that her suffering is over and she has now joined the Communion of Saints and is a part of that “great cloud of witnesses” along with so many of her family and friends who went before her. She will be dearly missed. Veronica leaves behind many family and friends on both the Dobranski side and the Hamula side including her two children, Bernard and Francine, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and her beloved cat, Nellie. Her son, Michael, predeceased her a few years ago. Following the funeral Mass at St. Peter and Paul, Veronica will be buried at the Woodlawn National Cemetery with her second husband, John. Her first husband, Joseph, is also buried there. It was always hoped and planned that their first child, Michael, who suffered most of his life from mental illness, would be buried with his father. Michael chose to be cremated, but it is still hoped that his ashes can be scattered there with a marker for him added. Please pray for this. In addition to visitation hours at the James D. Barrett Funeral Home, family and friends may sign the on line guest book and express their condolences through the Star-Gazette’s internet service. Information is also posted at jdbarrettfuneralhome.com.

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