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Vesper Mazine Wunderlich

November 8, 1924 April 2, 2014
Vesper Mazine Wunderlich
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Obituary for Vesper Mazine Wunderlich

Wunderlich, Vesper Mazine, born at home in Butler County, Missouri to Joseph & Leta Adamson on November 8, 1924. The youngest of 7, Vesper grew up in Poplar Bluff MO. She graduated from Poplar Bluff High School and began work at the hospital as a candy striper. Vesper would walk by the local Bijou theatre after her shift and see a young man changing the marquee, sixteen-year-old Bill Wunderlich. After her boyfriend left for the Navy, Vesper and Bill began to spend more time together, snacking on popcorn. He must have known from the first time he saw her bright eyes - this was the girl he was going to marry. Valentine’s day brought the first gift – a silver makeup compact. Then in their “April Love”, they both told a little fib – being 18 years old (Dad was 16 and Mom was 19) - the Methodist Pastor in the neighboring state married them in the office of the church. It was April 11, 1944, 70 years ago. After a couple of photos, Mom in her pale blue knit suit with a rose corsage, they began their life together, Dad going back to work at the movie theatre and Mom to set up house in their small apartment, after buying kitchen towels and dinner – pork chops, potatoes, canned green beans, and a can of fruit cocktail. The following year brought new places to live, wonderful day hikes in the woods down by the river with a cast iron skillet to cook over the camp fire, a new job in the appliance store, Dad’s graduation from school in 1945, and 16 months after marriage, the arrival of their first glorious child, Gloria. Moving from town to town in Missouri and having babies this young couple had their hands full with six kids – Gloria 1945, Kathie 1949, Joya 1952, Ellen 1956, Bill 1959 and Jim 1961 – 17 years of giving life! Dad was busy in management with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Mom’s life was all about taking care of kids and Dad. But there was always time for fun – the kids would go picking blackberries, while Mom made Sassafras tea. After a bath with baking soda for our scratches, we would have ice cream with what was left of the blackberries and tea with just a touch of sugar. She always carried her self with grace and elegance! Mom made sure the kid’s clothes were cleaned and pressed, and of course she made all the girl’s dresses (including matching outfits for long road trips to California). The boys went to school with pressed jeans and dad off to work in his starched boxer shorts! Mom would listen to music during the late nights making a bottle for her baby boy while waiting for the eldest daughter to return from prom – praying for the safety of her beloved family. Vesper and Bill began their new chapter of life with a move to the Rockies after Gloria married Steve Barnholtz in June of 1963. Their new house in Littleton kept all of us busy putting in the lawn and finishing the basement – Mom and Dad always did all the work themselves. Additions like the trampoline and planting apple trees gave great fun and beauty to the corner house – a hub for all the neighborhood children. Just open the door and Mom was ready with a hug, a Band-Aid, and a wonderful home cooked meal – even if it was just a bologna sandwich & chips. With homework, sports and the arts, Mom was there to guide and encourage all to “Do your best!” Vesper always had her own interests as well, especially her involvement with P.E.O., and selling World Book Encyclopedias. She loved books and learning was always her passion. Mom would always set the table and have a wonderful meal ready for the family when Dad arrived home. In the background, the sounds of Camelot, South Pacific, Show Boat, Oklahoma! the King and I and of course the Sound of Music were playing so Dad would lead the sing-along. Now we all know every verse! Then with a loving prayer of thanks from Dad, every morsel was deeply appreciated – no leftovers in the Wunderlich house. During trips to the mountains and staying at a friend’s cabin, Mom, Dad and the boys discovered a beautiful stone structure nestled by the stream and proceeded to purchase and build the family cabin. As in years past, Mom cooked over the open fire so the boys could keep working – always taking a moment to sit by the stream, feed the fish and read a magazine. At their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary celebration their youngest son, Jim announced that they would have their first child, then the 16th grandchild of the eventual 19. After a trip to Europe in 1995, Mom experienced her first great health challenge – a heart attack and multiple cardiac arrests over the next two weeks. Her cardiologist gave her a nickname – Vesper “Amazing” (not Mazine). Once home from the hospital she was back at it taking care of Bill and the home. She even continued to bowl in a league until she was 85. The next ambitious creative project was the design and construction of a magnificent mountain home on the adjacent property on Chicago Creek as a place for Mom and Dad to retire. Not long after it’s completion however, the family faced its second major health crisis, Dad’s stroke! It was the day of his retirement – he had cleaned out all the files and was done! The slurred words brought the ambulance and young Bill to care for Mom and call the family. But Mom knew her place and would only ride in the ambulance with her husband of over sixty years. God had a plan and on the way to the hospital, Mom had a cardiac arrest in the front seat of the ambulance. Thanks to EMTs for their superior skills and wits as they revived her on the sidewalk and headed off in tandem to adjoining rooms in the intensive care unit. A grateful family delivered a TRUE Thanksgiving dinner, praising God for the continual miracle of life. Mom was always concerned for the health of others – even when she was in her own pain and struggles. Never content to let others do her work, she kept her house and kitchen clean and functioning, serving God and always putting others before herself, Mom prayed for others – her youngest granddaughter Menucha and her struggles with cancer, friends and all her family. “Be careful,” she would say to everyone. How could anyone love so much? She had so many opportunities as the grandchildren married and had their own children – 15 great grandchildren with two on the way! Three of her great granddaughters were born within four days in August 2002! When Mom entered the hospital for what would be the last time, we all thought that she would be able to return home and continue to care for her self and others as before. God had a different plan and allowed us to have time to show our love by caring for her! With the deepest love and passion for life, she greeted every one of her last days with glorious thanksgiving – “Morning has broken” – praising and thanking all around her for all they did. In deepest sleep, with her beloved Bill beside her, Vesper entered into Eternal Life with the Lord. Praise God for all our moments with our wonderful Mother. Vesper is survived by her husband, Bill Wunderlich; daughter Gloria and husband Steve Barnholtz, their son Martin Barnholtz and wife Goi, children Codte, Rayne and Vegas; their daughter, Jacqueline Shimberg, children Zachary and Ashley; daughter Kathie and husband Rick Van Saun, their son Rick and wife Marie Van Saun, children Sophie, Nathan, and Lanie; their son, Brian VanSaun and wife Sarah, children Emily, Ashley and child to be; their son Michael Van Saun and wife Amee, children Madeline and Kyle; their son Jeff Van Saun; daughter Joya Wonderlight, her daughter Chelsea Wunderlich, children Samantha, Lilly, and Natalie Klein; daughter Ellen and husband Koppel Levine, son Daniel and fiancé Erin Locker, Eric and wife Elizabeth Locker and child to be, daughter Menucha Levine, Chana Panella, Adina Gerstein, Eliana Cohen, and Nechoma Levine; son William (Bill) Wunderlich and wife Julie, children Paige and William; son James (Jim) Wunderlich and wife Lisbeth (Libby), children Brittany, Christopher, and Michael.

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Previous Events

Service

Friday

11

Apr

2:30 PM 4/11/2014 2:30:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church of Littleton

1609 West Littleton Boulevard
Littleton, CO 80120

First Presbyterian Church of Littleton
1609 West Littleton Boulevard Littleton 80120 CO
United States
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