Natalka "Natalie" Sokolski Vuletich 98, of Cody, died Thursday, July 23, 2020, at the Cody Regional Long Term Care Center.
Born March 8, 1922, to immigrant parents, at the family home in Kenosha, Wis., she was the eldest of five children.
We are privileged, honored and grateful to have our mom, grandmother and great grandmother (Baba) in our lives. She was the last surviving relative on both family side of that “Greatest Generation”. She would engage us with her great storytelling, and we all know amongst them how she and her future husband met in Chicago during WWII.
Young, pretty, petite and a nursing student (Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago) she was introduced by her future sisters-in-law (her fellow nursing students) to “the one” (George Vuletich), tall, dark and handsome, and in the U.S. armed forces and later a decorated Master Sergeant who served in combat missions in the Pacific Theater (“Fubar “and “Shanghai Lil”).
She graduated as a registered nurse but not before they eloped (although nursing students were prohibited from marrying). With her support, Dad (George) graduated with an engineering degree from IIT, Chicago, on the GI bill. She survived many challenges in 98-plus years; The Great Depression, Dust Bowl era, WWII, epidemics, raising her own family and helping to raise her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, widowed too early and the loss of a baby grandson. She was made stronger by all, as were we by her reliving the stories and lessons she shared with us.
She was a smart, resourceful, savvy, strong woman. She loved the environment of nature: camping, fishing and gardening. She lovingly made the favorite strudels for her family members to celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and holidays. Always inquisitive, an enthusiastic reader, supporter of the public library and PBS and was the original recycler helping to sustain a “green” planet. Always loving, caring, nurturing and supportive to her three generations of family.
Survived by the love that she shared are her three, three and three each (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren), the extended family members and those friends who knew and remember her. It brings our family great joy that she was able to meet her youngest great-grandchild and newest addition to the family, our precious baby Aleah.
She is on the “Magic Carpet” now and we can hear her voice echo, “I love my family, I love my family, I love my family. Keep them safe, strong and healthy.” Now, we thank you again and “We love you, love you, love you too.”
Nadobranich, laku no, na Zdorovie! [za zda-ró-vye] nostrovia.