Wilson Vavak
Wilson Vavak
Wilson Vavak

Obituary of Wilson Joseph Vavak

Wilson Joseph Vavak 1925 - 2012 Resident of Felton, California Wilson Joseph Vavak passed away on February 23, 2012 at the age of 87. The long time Santa Cruz County resident died in an unfortunate accident while doing yard work on his Felton property when he accidently fell off a 250-foot cliff overlooking the San Lorenzo River. Born on January 26, 1925 in Oklahoma to Henry and Mary Vavak. During the depression the family relocated to Arizona in hopes of a better life. Joseph had two older brothers, Frank and Cecil, and a younger sister Lorene. When President Roosevelt put out a call to arms for World War II, all three Vavak brothers enlisted in the military. Joseph Vavak served as an infantryman in Europe assigned to the 179th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division. He was very proud of the fact that his unit witnessed some of the most intense fighting during the War. The war shaped his life as he recalled the horrors he'd witnessed and the good friends he lost. He often commented that he saw the true side of war, and not the Hollywood version. Joseph Vavak was wounded twice in combat and received a Bronze Star with the "V" insignia for valor, as well as two Purple Hearts. After the War, Joseph Vavak settled in California and began a career in construction. In the early 1970's he moved his family to a home he built in Scotts Valley. For several years he owned three properties in the area. Another home he built in the late 70's on Empire Grade in Santa Cruz and one he purchased in the early 80's on El Solyo Heights in Felton. After retiring from construction, Joseph Vavak spent his time in real estate and managing his properties as rentals. He was a very independent man and enjoyed doing home improvements and yard work up to the day he died. One of his biggest fears was the thought of losing his independence. He actually passed in a way he would have preferred, working happily on his property on a beautiful afternoon. Though the event was shocking, his family is looking at it as a sort of blessing for him. He was a stubborn man, and in the end, he got it his way after all...living a long, active life with his own independence. Emily Dickinson once wrote, "I could not stop for death, so he kindly stopped for me". His brother Cecil preceded Joseph Vavak in death. His brother Frank of Cupertino and sister Lorene Cook of Modesto survive him. He dearly loved his family, and cherished his grand kids, loving to hear how well they were doing in school and sports. His three children also survive Joseph Vavak: Susan, Michael and Deborah. He was the fortunate grandfather of 10 grandchildren; Andrew, Scott, Christopher, Amanda, Thomas, Jonathan, Cassie, Kendra, Jacob, Kristen, and three great grandchildren; Emily, Benjamin and Alexander. Joseph Vavak will be laid to rest during a private ceremony with military honors on Saturday, March 3rd at the Felton Cemetery. There he will wait for the hour in which he will hear His voice and come out of the memorial tomb to a resurrection of life. (John 5:28). The Santa Cruz Memorial Mission Chapel, 1927 Ocean Street, is handling funeral arrangements.
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