Vera Vaupel, 75, of Cedar Rapids, surrounded by her family who loved her, reached the end of her trail Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. An unexpected heart surgery led to complications that the strongest woman any of us knew couldn't overcome.
Vera lived for and was survived by her three daughters, Koleene Herlocker of Cedar Rapids, Lanette Rabik of Greene and Anita Cano of South Carolina. She had six grandchildren who loved her to the moon and back, and three surviving siblings, Steve Brentner, Willa Mieneke and Rudy Brentner.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Tillie Brentner; and a sister, Kveta Hansen.
She was married to Ernie Zaugg.
Vera Brentner was born Jan. 16, 1941, and grew up in Troy Mills, Iowa. She worked and retired from Rockwell Collins and then became an entrepreneur for the next 30 years. She inspired everyone who knew her and those who loved her with her work ethic and straightforward personality.
If you were lucky enough for her to take you under her wing, she would do anything for you, whether she knew you or not. Her life was focused on raising and teaching three wonderful, smart daughters who have all done their best to carry on her legacy in their own ways. She started teaching and guiding the next generation, and she will watch from heaven as they too become successful, hardworking individuals raised to do the right thing, making the sacrifices necessary for their families and the people they come across in life. If you knew Mom at all, you know she loved tending to her garden, she was committed to sending her emails, watching videos for all of us. She spent hours and hours scouring the internet and trying to help us all learn more and understand what we're all facing in the future. She was an avid Fox News fan, a Republican, and if you were fortunate enough to be on her mailing list, you know this was her way of helping us all.
Vera requested no funeral, but much to her chagrin, her family is holding an open house for us all to remember and share stories from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at 5531 Antler Dr., Cedar Rapids. She's rolling her eyes, but we know she'll be there smiling with us, all the same.
She wouldn't want anyone to waste money on flowers or memorials. She would tell you to go buy some gold and keep it for the storm ahead. Please remember she would want everyone to laugh and would do anything to cheer us through this. If you miss her, just turn on Fox News, make a warm spot for her to sit and I am sure she will join you.