Obituary of Velvina Slezak
Velvina Slezak, 92, of Wayne, formerly of North Haledon, died July 4, 2019.
Born in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, Velvina was one of fifteen children born to Jon and Mary Fedor. Her childhood began in that coal-mining region, as her father was a coal miner. After her mother’s early death when Velvina was just a pre-teen, the family moved to Harrison, New Jersey to live closer to her older siblings, who had moved closer to New York City in search of work.
It was in New Jersey, at a local dance, that Velvina met the love of her life, Joseph Slezak. They fell quickly in love, and in 1950, they married. Living first in Kearney, they later moved to Paterson, where they began raising their three children, before settling in North Haledon in 1970.
Velvina loved being a mother, wife and homemaker. She was a wonderful cook, known especially for her polish delicacies like pierogies and stuffed cabbage, as well as all her baked goods and homemade egg noodles. She loved to keep after her home, and always was proud of its beautiful, neat and tidy state. Her home was her haven, and together with Joseph, her children and grandchildren, she rarely felt the urge to leave. Vacations away were not necessary, as she found home to be a place she had always dreamed of.
Velvina and Joseph held a long and happy marriage before his death in 2011. They greatly enjoyed one another throughout the years, and loved nothing more than dancing together at the Polish dance halls when they were young, and visiting Atlantic City when they grew older.
Velvina will always be remembered by her family for her strong work ethic. After her children grew, she went back to work in the Paterson factories, working on weaving machines. When at home, she was never one to have idle hands. She would keep busy knitting, crocheting, or cross-stitching, and when she wasn’t doing that, she would love to babysit her grandkids. Throughout her life, she worked hard, earning every bit of the haven that surrounded her.
Velvina is lovingly survived by her children: Steven Slezak, Joyce Miller and her husband Rand, and Gail Smith and her husband Thomas; her grandchildren: Matthew Smith and his wife Michele, Kevin Smith and his wife Kristin, Kerry Donovan and her husband John, Jared Smith and his wife Christy, Valerie Mahalo and her husband Fred, Jeff Miller and his wife Brittany, Scott Miller, and Kimberly Slezak; as well as her great-grandchildren: Ryan and Marissa Smith, Johnny and Keira Donovan, Cam and Holly Smith, Serenity and Lorenzo Mahalo, and Tyler Miller.
She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph, her daughter-in-law, Christine Slezak, and her siblings.
Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to the Family and Friends for Freedom Fund