1918 - 2012
Rosina Menzia Chvatal died peacefully on Nov. 12, 2012, at the age of 94. She was born Sept. 12, 1918, in Roscoe, S.D., to Conrad and Margaret (Zimmerman) Menzia. She was the third born of 17 children.
During Rosina’s early childhood, the family moved to Prosser, where she attended elementary school. After her mother’s death in 1932, she and her identical twin sister, Perpetua, were sent to St. Joseph’s Boarding School in Sprague, Wash., where they remained until graduation in 1936.
Following graduation, Rosina attended St. Elizabeth’s Nursing training from 1942-1945. She worked at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Yakima during January 1945 and then cared for her sister who was ill with rheumatic fever for four months before entering the Army. She served 14 months as an Army charge nurse on hospital trains traveling out of San Francisco to Chicago. She received many different unit patches from the soldiers she cared for and displayed them proudly on the liner of her military coat; this coat was one of her most treasured belongings. Upon her discharge from the Army, she attended college at Gonzaga University on the GI Bill and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing education in 1949, one of the first female graduating classes. She spent the next eight years teaching nursing at Sacred Heart Nursing School in Spokane. She always enjoyed her annual visits with her former students who live here in the Valley.
She was introduced to her future husband, Edward Chvatal, by her sister Margaret, who bought eggs from Ed’s father in Milton Freewater. They were married in 1958 and moved to the farm in Touchet, where they raised their three children: Lucy, Frances and Edward Jr. Her years on the farm were spent happily caring for and feeding her family and friends. One never left hungry and always had a nice visit when you stopped by the house. She was happy to share the abundance that came from their garden and took pleasure in processing whatever she could! She was an active member in Lo-Wa-To card club, the Lowden Study Club and St. Theresa’s Alter Society.
She is survived by her three children, Lucy Floren (David), Frances Chvatal (Ron Kammer) and Edward Chvatal Jr. (Kelly); her grandchildren, Margaret Kammer, Camille Kammer, Macy Chvatal and Nicholas Chvatal; her sisters ,Theresa Sturhman, Frances Hargrove and Rosemary Rief; her brothers, Raymond, Jack and Joseph; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 43 years; granddaughter, Meredith Anne Chvatal; brothers, Ralph, Stephen, Cornelius, Leo and Herman; and sisters, Christina Buechler, Perpetua Murray, Josephine Chapman, Margaret Ritari and Barbara Anderson.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, from 1 p.m. until after the Rosary at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The Rosary will be recited on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at 3 p.m. also at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home with Sister Helen Mason officiating. The funeral Mass will be on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at 2 p.m. at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Tyler Smedley, celebrant. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or charity of choice through the funeral home.
Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.