LYNDHURST, N.J. -- Geneva Witalis, of Lyndhurst, died on Saturday, Feb. 18. She was 95.
Born in Thorpe, West Virginia, her family moved to Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, and later to Newark. Later, she resided in Kearny and Lyndhurst.
During World War II, "she was proud to do her part for the war effort by working in a defense plant in Belleville and later in Port Newark as an electrician's apprentice," information from the funeral home noted. "Afterward, she turned to the role of a full-time mother."
Witalis later returned to work, as a salesperson for Hahne & Company department store, in Newark.
After she retired, she liked traveling to Atlantic City by bus, to enjoy the buffets, walk the boardwalk -- "but most of all to play the slot machines, hoping to win big," the funeral home added. "When she could no longer get on the bus because of her diminishing size, she would commandeer someone to drive her to casinos elsewhere. There was no stopping her!"
Witalis also enjoyed gardening, cooking, creating family traditions and sending anniversary, holiday and birthday cards. She also had quite a sweet tooth, especially for chocolate.
Recently, while in the rehabilitation center, upon finding out Geneva was 95, a nurse asked what was the secret to living a long life: Geneva's answer was 'Eat dark chocolate.'
She is survived by her children, Barbara Waibel, David Witalis, Theresa Bakic and Carole Witalis; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded by her husband, David, and her parents, Amelia and Joseph Wieczorek, who were Polish immigrants.
Visitation will be at from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb 21, at the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, 425 Ridge Rd., in Lyndhurst. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Michael's Church in Lyndhurst. Entombment will be at Gate of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum, in East Hanover.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Glaucoma Foundation, by clicking here , or by mail to 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 700, New York NY 10038.