Mrs. Bernice Evelyn Shonka Vohoska, 90, of Longboat Key, Fla., passed away Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, while visiting her daughter in Linden, N.C.
She was born Aug. 2, 1928, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Hattie Kaplan Shonka and George Shonka. Bernice, "Bernie," attended Coe College and married her Hayes Grade School classmate, Emil Frank Vohoska Jr., on Aug. 14, 1949. His Air Force career moved them to Denver, Colo., and later to Bellevue, Neb. When he left the Air Force, they settled in Omaha, Neb., where they raised their five children in the Old Rockbrook neighborhood.
Bernice was a tireless volunteer when her children were young and was their Blue Bird and Camp Fire Girl leader. She also was a volunteer aid in reading at Oakdale Elementary School for several years. When her children were older, she went back to school at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and earned an associate's degree in gerontology while working at ENCOR for many years. She also obtained her real estate license and assisted her husband by handling the books for Vohoska Management, which specialized in renovating historical properties into apartments.
After her husband died, she moved to an apartment in Omaha's Old Market with her beloved cat (Oci), whom she walked on a leash, and was known as the "cat lady." Ten years ago, she left the cold of the Midwest and moved to her island paradise, Longboat Key, Fla., where she cherished each sunrise and sunset. She had a strong faith and enjoyed traveling, reading and tennis. Family came first and she loved the celebrations when they were all together in Omaha, Okoboji, Colorado, Costa Rica and Florida. She loved taking road trips and exploring places she had read about and seeing where her children and grandchildren lived. Her memory and mind were sharp and she was playing jeopardy, solitaire and balancing her checkbook up until the very end.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; her sisters, Georgie Skalsky and Florence Nelson; her brother-in-law, Larry Nelson; and her grandson, David Samuel Zmolek.
She is survived by her children, Denise Zmolek (Dave) of Fairfax, Craig Vohoska of Omaha, Neb., Lisa Vohoska of Oskaloosa, Rebekah Rose (Gordon) of Linden, N.C.; and Kerri Vise (John) of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and grandchildren, Amy Zmolek, Leah Hachmeister (Zach), Meg Zmolek, Thomas Jae Vohoska, Benjamin Adair (Sarah), Rachel Kelderman (Clint), John Adair, Kirby Rose, Molly Rose, Alex Vise, Chelsea Vise and Ashlee Vise; and great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Henry and Carolyn Kelderman, and Avery Hachmeister.
A private family service will be held at a future date at Sulek Cemetery in Shueyville, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Westside Foundation designated for the Vohoska Scholarship fund at Westside High School, c/o 909 S. 76th St., Omaha, NE 68114; or a charity of your choice.