Vera Giza, the daughter of Michael and Anna (Lipowa) Kostenko was born January 25, 1925 in Kharkiv (Charcow), Ukraine. Vera entered eternal rest on September 4, 2021. Vera was the oldest of five children. Her siblings were Sonya, Alexander, Nina and Zina. In 1942 Vera's home in the Urkaine was invaded by the Nazis. She was forced from her home and was sent to German occupied Austria. She was placed on a farm to work as a laborer for the rest of World War II. This is where she met her husband, John . She never knew what happened to her parents or siblings after they were separated.
Vera and John were married in 1947 in Salzburg, Austria. In 1949 they were sponsored by the Catholic Church in Grimes, Iowa to come to America. They eventually settled on a farm in Talmage, Iowa and lived there for 50 years and were blessed with seven children. The people of St. Edwards Parish helped Vera and John acclimate to life in America. Vera was always especially thankful for the Waigand, Vogel, Waske and Miller families and many others that helped them learn a new language and way of life.
Vera was a homemaker and loved living on the farm and being outside. She enjoyed having a large garden and canning everything from tomatoes to applesauce as well as taking care of her flowers. She was an excellent cook and baker. Her pies were the centerpiece of the many large family meals she loved to host and every meal included sauerkraut just like in the old country. Vera was a devout Catholic and prayed the rosary every day. She told many stories of the "old country" and what her life was like before coming to America and how thankful she was for the opportunity to live here and raise her family. She was brave, strong and loved her family fiercely. These qualities allowed her to live independently for 96 years. She fell ill in July 2021 and passed away peacefully surrounded by the people she loved.
Left to mourn Vera's passing are her children: Stanley (special friend Sharon) Giza, Osceola; John (wife Sherrill) Giza, Creston; Carol (husband Gary) McNichols, Creston; Ed (wife Donnette) Giza, Council Bluffs; Fourteen Grandchildren; Thirty Great Grandchildren; and Four Great-Great Grandchildren and special friends Dennis and Connie Purdum, Creston.
Vera was preceded in death by her husband John; her children: Carl Giza, Mary Giza and Joseph Giza (in infancy); her daughter in law, Linda Giza.