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Veda F. PonikvarOctober 13, 2015
Veda Frances Ponikvar, 96, of Chisholm, MN, graduated to Heaven on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2105 at the Heritage Manor Health Care Center in Chisholm. She was born May 26, 1919 in Chisholm, the oldest child of 5 born to John and Frances (Globokar) Ponikvar.
She was an honor graduate of Drake University School of Journalism and Political Sciences in Des Moines, IA. With the outbreak of WW II, Veda enlisted in the Navy Waves and was trained at Smith College at Northampton, MA. She was assigned to naval intelligence in Washington, D.C., where she worked out of the World War I barracks on Constitution Ave., which were used for naval offices. She was honorably discharged in Dec. of 1946. She ventured back to her hometown of Chisholm, where she founded the Free Press and Tribune Press. The first edition of the paper came off the first offset press in Minnesota on July 2, 1947.
She owned and operated the Free Press-Tribune Press for 50 years. With printer’s ink running deep in her veins, she continued to write for more than a decade as the newspaper’s publisher emeritus. In her career, she had written more than 4,300 editorials.
Veda was a devoted member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Chisholm, where she was a willing volunteer at bazaars and other activities held at the church. A dedicated member of her community and country, Veda served on the following boards and commissions: Range Center, Inc., Chisholm-Hibbing Airport Authority, board member and past board president; Chisholm Community Foundation-board director emeritus, Chisholm Economic Development Authority Board, Central Iron Range Development Board, Chisholm Community Education Board,
Chisholm Club 9 of Minnesota All Slav Assoc. and past president, Ironworld Museum Development Corp. Board, Minnesota Museum of Mining Board since 1954, Chisholm High School Scholarship Board, and member of the Chisholm KIDS PLUS Community Coalition and its’ Age to Age Group.
Throughout her life, she was a supporter and devoted advocate to the Chisholm Armory, all veterans and the military. In 1987, she was appointed as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Minnesota, and in 1991, she was honored with a lifetime appointment and emeritus status. In her capacity as Civilian Aide, Veda worked with the National Guard and the community to plan sendoff and welcome home ceremonies for the troops. She also visited with recovering troops at Walter Reed Medical Center.
Proud of her Slovenian heritage, Veda carried on the traditions of her ancestry. She was an accomplished baker and was known for her mouthwatering walnut poticas, and cottage cheese and apple strudels, which she often generously donated to many organizations in the community. She also worked to bring Slovenian music and dance groups to the community, offering others and opportunity to learn about Slovenian culture.
Throughout her adult life, she served as an envoy, welcoming presidents and political figures from the United States and abroad to Chisholm. A gracious hostess, Veda invited many of these honored guests into her home.
Veda’s love and admiration of family was apparent to all who knew her. She is survived by her twin sisters; Francis (the late Lawrence) Nobens and Mary Lou (Lawrence) Meadows both of Hibbing and many special nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother John, who lost his life serving in the Korean War and a sister Jenny in Florida.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Chisholm. The Rev. Fred Method will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial with Rev. Frank Perkovich concelebrating. Visitation will be in the church from 9:30 a.m. until service time. Burial will be in the Chisholm Cemetery with military honors accorded by the Mid Range Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Range Center, PO Box 629, Chisholm, MN 55719. Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home, Hibbing.
To leave an online message of condolence please visit our website at www.doughertyofhibbing.com