Juanita's Story

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POLAND - Juanita Blair (Vitz) Neese, passed away Feb. 4, 2018, at St. Vincent Clay Hospital in Brazil. Juanita was born Jan. 14, 1935, to the Rev. Raymond and Pauline (Blair) Vitz in Toledo, Ohio.
She graduated from Wiley High School in Terre Haute in 1953. Following graduation, she worked as a secretary at Chesty Foods until she moved to Poland, Ind., when she married William C. (Bill) Neese on Jan. 15, 1956.
Juanita loved to serve others. As a member of Zion United Church of Christ in Poland, she volunteered in many different capacities. She was a local Girl Scout and 4-H leader. She assisted many families with acquiring needed medical equipment through her work with the Medical Equipment Committee of the Tri-County Community Club. She was proud to be a charter member of the Pioneer Mrs. Home Economics Club for over 50 years.
She organized a lending library and managed a Thrift Store at Kattman's General Store in Poland. Juanita enjoyed traveling but had a fear of flying so she organized bus tours to various locations. She was an avid photographer, documenting the lives and events of friends and family.
Juanita enjoyed music and art. In high school she played the violin in the orchestra and sang in choir. She was also a talented artist, and continued to sketch until recently, even after her hands were stricken by debilitating arthritis.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of nearly 60 years, William C (Bill) Neese; and daughter, Elaine Berkowitz, Stamford, Conn. She is survived by her daughter, Janet (Mike) Van Nevel of Alexandria, Ky.; son, Gary A. (Michele) Neese of Poland; son-in-law, Harry Berkowitz of Stamford; and two grandsons, Cole Neese and Sam Berkowitz; brother, Calvin (Lita) Vitz of Center Point; nephews, Mark Vitz (Karen), David Vitz (Elizabeth), Brian Vitz (Erin); a niece, Ashlee Vitz Schroeder (Bryan); and seven great-nieces and a great-nephew.
Services will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at Zion United Church of Christ, Poland, at 11 a.m. Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. until time of services.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made in lieu of flowers to Serving on the Streets, P O Box 783, Brazil, IN 47834. Contact online at:
Published on February 5, 2018
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