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Teacher, stay-at-home mom had giving spirit

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Vera Eisaman was like a second mother to Greensburg’s Mike Guidas.

He’d been doing odd jobs at the Eisaman home since he was 13. Both of his parents died by the time he turned 18, and the Eisaman family took him in and made sure he got through college.

“They basically unofficially adopted me into their family,” he said.

It was the kind of compassion that characterized Mrs. Eisaman’s life.

“That selflessness, that having and sharing … and giving me every opportunity in the world,” he said.

Vera Slezak Eisaman, 92, of Greensburg died Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in St. Anne Home.

She was born Feb. 17, 1926, in New Alexandria to the late Fred J. and Gertrude Schmitt Slezak.

After graduating from Penn State University with a degree in home economics, she taught at Belle Vernon High School and New Stanton Junior High.

She became a stay-at-home mom.

She taught adult sewing classes, volunteered with the Westmoreland Hospital Auxiliary for more than 50 years and ran the canteen for the Red Cross Bloodmobile.

“She felt a strong desire to still want to be out in the community. Volunteerism is where she found that calling,” said her daughter, Susan Yakubisin.

She was a masterful seamstress who made clothes for all her children.

“I don’t think I had a store-bought piece of clothing,” Yakubisin said.

Mrs. Eisaman and her husband, Jack, were avid travelers. When visiting their son Andy, who was stationed in the Netherlands, the couple took a train tour of Europe. They were in their 70s.

“They were off,” Andy Eisaman said. “They each had a backpack.”

Mrs. Eisaman’s family and friends called her “the picker” because of her knack for finding treasures among what looked like trash at garage sales and the like.

“I would always look forward to Christmas … and it was always the picker gifts that I was most excited for,” said Renee Eisaman, Andy’s wife.

Mrs. Eisaman was always ready with a word of advice.

“She was a great listener. She loved to hear other people’s stories and take it all in,” said her granddaughter, Anne Yakubisin.

Mrs. Eisaman was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, John “Jack” Edgar Eisaman and son-in-law, John M. Yakubisin.

She is survived by her children, John Eisaman Jr. and his wife, Connie, of Bluffton, S.C., Susan Yakubisin of Greensburg, former Greensburg Mayor Karl Eisaman and his wife, Carmen, of Greensburg, and Andrew Eisaman and his wife, Rene, of St. Charles, Mo.; granddaughter, Anne Yakubisin of Wynnewood; and friends as close as family, Michael Guidas, his wife, Diane, and sons, Jake and Nick.

Family and friends will be received from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg.

Parting prayers will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home followed by a funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Church.

Interment will follow in St. Clair Cemetery.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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