Sewing 07

Vera Esther (Haanpaa) Wiitala

July 1, 1926 ~ October 20, 2021 (age 95)

Obituary

   Vera Esther (Haanpaa) Wiitala, 95, a longtime resident of Lunenburg, and formerly Fitchburg, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at sterling Village Nursing Center surrounded by her loving family.

   Vera was born in Fitchburg, MA on July 1, 1926, a daughter of the late Erland and Hilma (Maennpaa) Haanpaa. She was the wife of the late Donald R. Wiitala, Sr. and was also predeceased by her son, Donald R. “Butch” Wiitala, Jr.

   Vera grew up in Fitchburg, one of seven children in her family. She worked for many years as a seamstress at Margaret’s Doll Clothes, as well as Cluett Peabody in Leominster and Thunderbird Motor Lodge as a housekeeper in Fitchburg. She was an activate communicate of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Leominster for many years. Vera loved to sew, crochet, bake and sing. She especially loved spending quality time with her beloved family, for over 50 years at their camp in Brookline, NH. It was a special place to her, watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren learn to swim and spending summertime enjoying the outdoors and celebrating her birthday and other holidays. Vera loved animals and held a special place in her heart for her golden retriever “Trevor”, “Gracie”, and most recently “Little Gracie.”

  Vera will be lovingly remembered by her children, Sandra “Sandy” Testa of Fitchburg, Judith “Judy” Powell and her late husband Raymond of Lunenburg, MA, Kathrine Lally of Fitchburg, MA, and David Wiitala and his wife Donna of Lunenburg, MA; her daughter-in-law, Sandy Wiitala of New Ipswich, NH; twelve grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and friends.  In addition to her parents, husband and son, Vera was predeceased by her three brothers, Eero Haanpaa, Arno Haanpaa, and Lauri Haanpaa; as well as her three sisters, Elma “Blondie” Lashua, Jennie Morse, and Helen Varney.

   Visitation will be held in the Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and the Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 243 Water Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 on Monday, October 25, 2021, from 9:00am to 11:00am. Her funeral service will begin at 11:00AM. Burial in Forest Hill Cemetery, Mt Elam Road, Fitchburg, MA will follow.

   In memory of Vera, please consider a memorial contribution made to an animal shelter of one’s choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vera Esther (Haanpaa) Wiitala, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Monday
October 25, 2021

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and the Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes
243 Water Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420

Funeral Service
Monday
October 25, 2021

11:00 AM
Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and the Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes
243 Water Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420

Committal
Monday
October 25, 2021

11:45 AM
Forest Hill Cemetery

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