At her home, on Sunday, July 4, 2010, Veronique Marie Viehbeck passed peacefully through death into eternal life.
At her side was her constant caregiver and companion, daughter, Gladys, while in the few weeks leading up to her passing, she had been surrounded by family members from Ottawa and Thunder Bay.
Veronique faced her short illness and impending death with the same deep faith, quiet dignity, strength, and courage with which she always approached life.
Born April 21, 1916 in Woodridge, Man., Veronique was the fourth of eight children of Hungarian immigrants, Andrew Hora and Elizabeth Hoffman Hora.
On Oct. 17, 1931, she married Franz Xavier (Frank) Viehbeck who, as a young man, had arrived in Woodridge from Germany to work with his father on the CNR.
Marriage was accompanied by many relocations to remote railroad communities along the CNR line, including Keego, Huronian, Abiwin, and Raith, culminating in the final move to the excitement of electric lights in Emo, Ont.
The Northwestern Ontario wilderness was not without numerous challenges for a young bride and while Veronique was no exception, she was always up to the task.
In 1935, on a dark and frigid January night, she gave birth to their first child, Frank, in the caboose of a CNR freight train as it thundered from Abiwin towards Fort William.
Sadly, the baby succumbed to pneumonia in McKellar Hospital several days later, but Frank and Veronique subsequently were blessed with three other children, Marvin, Gladys, and Allan.
She took pride in her home-making skills and excelled in cooking, cleaning, baking, gardening, preserving, and quilting. A generous and hospitable woman, Veronique delighted in welcoming friends and strangers alike to her home and in sharing with others the fruits of her labours.
The arrival of four grandchildren brought great joy to the lives of both Veronique and Frank, and they took enormous pleasure in visiting with them and in keeping track of their academic, athletic, and other endeavours through frequent phone calls.
Grandma’s tales of “roughing it in the bush” never ceased to impress and inspire her grandchildren. They admired her formidable survival skills and appreciated her sense of fun, her adventuresome palette, and her willingness to participate enthusiastically in child’s play with them.
Veronique also enjoyed her years of work at the Emo Hospital, her travels, her church involvement, and her card games. She was the last surviving Charter Member of the Catholic Women’s League of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Emo.
She was predeceased by her husband, Frank, in 1992; her infant son; Frank, in 1935; her son, Marvin, in 2001; and all of her siblings, Ethel Ross, Emma Munson, and Anna, Louis, John, Andrew, and Julius Hora.
She is survived by her loving family members; daughter, Gladys of Emo, Ont.; son, Allan along with his wife, Celine, son, Kyle, and daughter, Anne, all of Ottawa, Ont.; daughter-in-law, Barbara Viehbeck of Thunder Bay, Ont.; and Barbara and Marvin’s children, son and daughter-in-law, Davis and Rena Viehbeck of Thunder Bay, Ont. and daughter, Sarah Viehbeck of Ottawa, Ont. with partner Rob Gottschalk of Toronto, Ont.
Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
In keeping with Veronique’s wishes, cremation already has taken place.
A memorial Mass of the Resurrection celebrating the well-lived life of this humble lady will be held Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church (Jessie Street in Emo), followed by interment at the Emo Cemetery and then a reception in the church hall.
Flowers are gratefully declined. But for those who might choose to do so, in memoriam donations may be directed either to the Northern Cancer Fund, 980 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, Ont., P7B 6V4 or to the Emo Health Centre c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
Online condolences may be offered at