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Valeria Mary Pevonka

Valeria Mary Pevonka, 88 of Sarasota, Fla., formerly of Shawano, Wis. passed away peacefully after a month long battle with heart and lung problems on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Florida. Born on June 23, 1925, in Shawano, Wis. she was the daughter of the late Herbert and Martha (Piotraschke) Schwartz. During World War II, Valerie worked in an ammunition plant in Minneapolis. On Nov. 2, 1946, she was united in marriage to Milton "Bud" Pevonka in the Town of Herman, Shawano County. The couple lived in the Shawano area until 1982, when they retired and moved to Sarasota, Fla. They also enjoyed spending their summers close to their family in Minong. After Bud's death on June 28, 2000, Valerie continued to spend her summers there. Valerie worked several jobs throughout her life including clerking at the National Tea Store and as a supervisor at Eagle Knit Knitting Mill. She was a former member of the St. James Lutheran Church in Shawano where she was a member of the alter guild. Valerie was a current member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Sarasota where she was a member of the altar guild and the Calvary Lutheran Church in Minong where she was active in the quilting group. She also enjoyed embroidering towels for Calvary's yearly bazaar and baking pies for other church events and bake sales. Valerie was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and belonged to different women's golf leagues and several bridge clubs. She enjoyed spending her Wednesday afternoons playing bridge at Tri Par until as recent as mid-March. Valerie enjoyed tending to her flowers, reading, cooking, baking, watching golf on TV (and playing golf in her younger years), cheering on the Green Bay Packers, doing word puzzles, and was an avid animal lover. She especially enjoyed watching the wild animals that would frequent her yard from May through Sept. in Minong. Friday nights were usually spent with friends enjoying a cocktail and dinner out. But her true enjoyment in life came from moments spent with her family and friends. Her smiling face and vibrant sense of humor will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Valerie is survived by: her daughter, Mary Jo (Jack) Link of Minong and Nokomis, Fla.; two grandsons, Jay Link of Minong (Kerri Link of Minong), Troy (Lorissa) Link of Minong and Hillsboro Beach, Fla.; six great-grandchildren, Kaila Fiske, Kenia, Keria, Jayger, Jaxson and Lexssa Link with a new baby boy expected in May which Valerie was much anticipating; two sisters, Margaret "Margie" (Jack) Schmidt of Nokomis, Fla., Janet Thiel of Markesan; and two brothers-in-law, Dennis (Lucille) Pevonka and Orville Pevonka all of Shawano. Valerie is also survived by: many special friends including her sister-in-law, Lucille Pevonka as well as her Sarasota friends, Betty Gilman, Linda vonHoldt and Jan Walker; her Minong friends, Gladys Denninger, Vi Kivisto; and Gladys Stezenski of Shawano.

Valerie was preceded in death by: her husband, Bud; her parents; two sisters-in-law, Mildred (Joe) Ashenbrenner, Irene Pevonka; two brothers-in-law, Jack Thiel, Clarence (Jean) Pevonka; and a nephew, Jim Thiel.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, at the St. James Lutheran Church in Shawano with the Rev. Ted Andrada officiating. Valerie will be laid to rest next to her husband at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Shawano. Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 12 Noon until the time of the service. A celebration of Valerie's life will be held at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Minong on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 12:00 Noon. The Rev. Sara Pearson will officiate with a one hour visitation prior. The family asks that memorials be directed to the St. James, Concordia or Calvary Lutheran Churches. Swedberg Funeral Home in Shawano is assisting the family with the arrangements.