Obituary Listings

Virginia J. Gebka

January 17, 1924 May 17, 2019
Virginia  J. Gebka
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Obituary for Virginia J. Gebka

Virginia Jane Fraser Gebka was a remarkable woman. Born on her mother’s birthday, January 17th , in 1924, she was the oldest child of William and Lucretia (nee Oink) Fraser. There was an unbreakable bond between Virginia and her two younger sisters, Jane Marie and Marilyn Anita. A younger brother, Billy, struggled with hydrocephalus and died in 1934. Lucretia Fraser had died from tuberculosis in 1928 and the young family lived with their Grandmother Jennie Fraser and Aunt Tess on Harvey Avenue in Oak Park. William Fraser was a traveling salesman during the Depression but died in an accident in 1935. Virginia had lived through the deaths of five immediate family members before she turned twelve.

The three girls all went to live with Oink relatives and a loving aunt, Helen Oink Michels arranged for them all to attend Our Lady of Angels Academy boarding school in Clinton Iowa. She prospered in Aunt Helen’s proper German home and said that she learned how to care for a family there. Dorothy Michels Schaar was like another sister.

Upon graduation from OLA, Virginia attended secretarial school and began at Armour & Company in the Union Stock Yards. During WWII, Virginia corresponded with different soldiers and was a regular at the Tuesday night USO dances. Virginia continued to look out for her sisters and stay connected to wonderful relatives like the McMichael family. The girl’s abiding faith in God and the generous love of so many helped carry them through their many losses.

Virginia married Edward Gebka on November 3, 1951 and had 5 children in 6.5 years: Thomas Edward (Jeanne Roseland), Mary Lu (Jim Zethmayr), Kathleen Jane (Stan Smith), Nancy Ann (Robert Roche) and John William (Beth Ann Moore). They lived in Chicago Heights for 38 years. Virginia returned to her secretarial roots, first at Bloom Township High School and then for two charitable foundations. She loved working downtown for the Woods Charitable Fund, where she got to meet Barak Obama and Toni Preckwinkle.

Then came the fun of being a grandmother. Edward and Virginia had twelve grandchildren: Jeff Zethmayr, Jennifer Brucato (Tony), Carrie Zethmayr (Colin Simpson), Richard Roche (Dana), Brittany Gebka, Christen Myser (Ben), Brandon Gebka, Melissa Roche, Trey (Bridget) Smith, Stephanie Gebka (Carl Groathouse), Edward Smith, Sydney Gebka. She loved having the granddaughter sleepovers and family adventures.

Virginia retired in 1992 and went on a cruise to Alaska with Ed before she had to nurse him through cancer then Parkinson's. They still took trips to Florida and downsized to a townhome in Naperville. After Ed’s death in 1999, Virginia chose to move into Villa St. Benedict. She watched grandchildren marry and welcomed six great-grandchildren: Ryder Roche, Leah Ryan, Lucy Brucato, John Brucato, Tova Zethmayr and Anna Rose Smith.

Virginia celebrated her 95th birthday last January before eventually succumbing to congestive heart failure on May 17, 2019, surrounded by loving family. She had outlived her generation on all sides of the family and will be sincerely missed by many cousins, nieces and nephews. Virginia was a loving, gracious, faithful child of God, watching over her sisters, family and friends until the very end.

Visitation Friday, May 31, 2019, 4:00-8:00 PM at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S. Mill St., Naperville, IL.

Additional Visitation Saturday, June 1, 10:00-11:00 AM in the Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel at Villa St. Benedict, 1920 Maple Ave., Lisle.

A Mass of Christian Burial will follow Saturday, 11:00 AM in the Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel.

A luncheon will follow in the Villa St. Benedict Dining Room.

Family and friends will meet Saturday, 2:30 PM at Assumption Cemetery, Wheaton, IL for committal rites.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Virginia’s memory may be made to:

Food For The Poor, P.O. Box 979005, Coconut Creek, FL 33097-9005, (800) 427-9104, www.foodforthepoor.org

or

Sisters of Charity, BVM, Office of Development, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003-7991, (563) 585-2854, www.bvmsisters.org

For more information, please call (630) 355-0213 or visit www.friedrich-jones.com


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

31

May

4:00 PM 5/31/2019 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 5/31/2019 8:00:00 PM
Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home

44 S. Mill St.
Naperville, IL 60540

Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home
44 S. Mill St. Naperville 60540 IL
United States

Visitation

Saturday

1

Jun

10:00 AM 6/1/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 6/1/2019 11:00:00 AM
Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel

1910 Maple Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532

Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel
1910 Maple Avenue Lisle 60532 IL
United States

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday

1

Jun

11:00 AM 6/1/2019 11:00:00 AM
Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel

1910 Maple Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532

Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel
1910 Maple Avenue Lisle 60532 IL
United States

Reception

Saturday

1

Jun

12:00 PM 6/1/2019 12:00:00 PM - 2:00 PM 6/1/2019 2:00:00 PM
Villa St. Benedict Dining Hall

1920 Maple Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532

Villa St. Benedict Dining Hall
1920 Maple Avenue Lisle 60532 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Assumption Cemetery Final Resting Place

1S510 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189

1S510 Winfield Road Wheaton 60189 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Sisters of Charity BVM, Office of Development

1100 Carmel Drive
Dubuque, IA 52003-7991

Food For The Poor

P.O. Box 979005,
Coconut Creek, FL 33097-9005
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