Vita Willeke, RN, MSN, Ph.D, passed away peacefully and went to her heavenly home on Saturday, May 16, 2009.  She was born in Pueblo, Colorado to Robert and Lillian (Sedita) Perricone.

Vita is survived by her husband of 50 years, Gus Willeke, children, Diana (Bret) Smith, Amy Willeke, Sandra (James) Hunt, Donna (Gary) Hanusch and Dan (Lanita) Willeke; and sister Mary Jo Pagano (Jerry) Stewart. She also leaves her six grandchildren, Gary (Kimberly) Hanusch, Alexandra, Nicholas and Hayley Hunt; Lauren and Lane Smith, numerous nieces and nephews and a host of friends. Vita was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, Nick Taulli, and nephew, Bob Pagano.

For more than 50 years, Vita devoted her life to helping others.  As a nurse, she cared compassionately for hundreds of patients in the Emergency Room, in nursing homes, mental health units, hospice care and other health care facilities. As an educator, she taught a myriad of student nurses not only superior technical skills, but the value of a healing touch. Her holistic approach to care included meeting all needs – physical, emotional and spiritual.

 

In her life, Vita accomplished much. She looked at the world around her and never found an obstacle she could not conquer.  At 50 years young, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Angelo State University.  Five years later, she earned a Master of Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso.  In 2005, she proudly completed her Ph.D in Pastoral Counseling from Life Christian University of Florida and began a private counseling practice, continuing her lifelong calling to help heal others.

On top of all this, she devoted many hours to the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Crisis Intervention Unit, where she was in the very first class and helped those when need was the greatest. She also was a member of the  Domestic Violence Coalition, the San Angelo State School Ethics Committee and the Volunteer Services Council, and the ASU Retired Faculty Organization.

Vita’s Christian faith was infinitely important to her. She faithfully attended Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral and was a member of the Carmelite Prayer Group.

Her varied life experiences, positive outlook and zany sense of humor led her to develop a wide variety of good friends from all walks of life. She was renown for a good practical joke, yet was extremely hard-working, skilled and dedicated. Above all, Vita was immensely compassionate.  She will always be remembered by family and friends as a shining example of the right way to live and love.

Arrangements included recitation of the rosary at on Tuesday at Johnson’s Funeral Home and funeral mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, both in San Angelo.  Burial was private.

If you wish to make donations in Vita’s memory, please consider the Mount Carmel Hermitage in Christoval, Texas or the Tom Green County Crisis Intervention Unit in San Angelo.