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If you’re reading this, you’re learning that God’s beloved, most purest soul was called home on Monday, February 6 to watch over the world from afar. That includes us, so we are most fortunate for that.

As someone who has spent the past 40+ years dreading this moment to the point of unspeakable pain and grief, I guess it means I have to tell you that my mommy is gone.

Viola was born July 31, 1941 to her parents George and Stella. After they parted ways, she spent her childhood growing up with her hero, her mother Stella, and Stella’s family learning about the importance of a solid education, fashion, home keeping and strong Ukrainian traditions. For her, the food and dance was the best part of all!

So she danced across the world and back many times as a teacher and later college professor with her students. Of all the academic lessons she taught, a love for the world and travel was the greatest and most meaningful ones of all. She created life changing memories for thousands of others over the years and it truly filled her heart and soul with more happiness than just about anything else.

Well…except for her family and friends.

Vicki took her wedding vows with the heart of a devoted wife and spent over 50 years married to Edward. She stood in faithful and loving duty through richer and poorer, lots of sickness and health until death they did part a few years ago. And as well as she loved Ed, she loved her daughter Michelle (hey! That’s me!) with all her pure and gentle heart and soul. And the feeling is so very mutual.

Left behind this time around are her daughter Michelle and her son-in-law Jeremy Mancuso. Judy & Frank Nicolosi, Patti & Adrian Metzger and Nancy & Vince Contestable are all missing her as her additional surviving family members. Add to that list many younger generations of the above mentioned folks as well as lifelong friends and newer neighbors, all of whom loved her from the moment they met her.

There are no services planned at this time in Rochester and internment is private. A memorial mass at St. Timothy’s in Lutz, Florida will take place in the near future. If you’d like to do something to honor her, I assure you a special meal of your choosing would please her more than anything, as she’d be happy to know you’re well fed and not hungry. Should you feel the need to give back to your community in her name, choose any cause you feel closest to and know that your donation is appreciated.

The very best way to honor Vicki is simple: LIVE your life in the very best way you can while being sure to enjoy every precious moment, every delicious bite, every colorful dance, every beautiful note, and every blessed day.

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