Letters for a Mother
"What has been so beautiful in the last three months are the letters I've gotten," said Vivian Kolpak, about her daughter, Vanessa, 21, a financial researcher at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. "Those are the things that say more about her than even I could say." Some excerpts:
"I had difficulty believing that she would not appear in some unexpected place to comfort our aching hearts," her music teacher wrote.
"I can't think of a more brilliant young woman, someone who had so much poise and grace, and someone who made people melt with her smile," a former employer wrote.
"I feel that Vanessa's presence in my life allowed me to see that beauty, kindness and good that could only emanate from someone higher," wrote a friend from college.
"Vanessa said, `If I knew that of all of my friends, someone had to have something bad happen to them, I would want it to be me,' " wrote a confidante from high school. "I was shocked by her statement, what did she mean? She explained that she had been so blessed with a great family, all of her needs had been met, she was healthy, bright, and had known good friends, and so she was comfortable with one day having to suffer."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 22, 2001.
Kolpak, Vanessa Lynn Przybylo A Missing Victim of the Sept. 11th Tragedy There are extraordinary and special people in the world who touch and enhance all who come in contact with them. They are the lambs of God, the Angels on Earth and lovers of life. Vanessa is one such person. Her selflessness, warmth and laughter elevate the spirit of the moment. Her confidence and encouragements strengthen the weakened and vulnerable. Her intelligence and passion for knowledge teach and motivate the confused and misdirected. Her love of family and friends is unconditional and expressed with openess and frequency. Her smile is a constant gift to friends and strangers alike. God has blessed us with Vanessa and because of her, our lives have been enriched. We, the lucky one, have had moments in time that are irreplaceable and will forever be cherished. Vanessa's early education was at Queen of All Saints and the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She attended St. Ignatius College Prep and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University (with her major in economics and minors in Philosophy and theatre). She was hired by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods as a financial researcher in mid-August of this year. Outside her academic career, she was a Suzuki Violinist for 13 years, an equestrian, on the debate team, golf team and a member of the Chicago Catholic Forensic League placing 1st in original oratory. She was on the National Honor Society at St. Ignatius and achieved the recognition as a National Merit Scholar. Her father Paul Kolpak (of the law firm of Kolpak and Lerner in Niles) and mother, Vivian Kolpak (co-owner of the White Eagle in Niles), brother, Todd and sister, Alexis are conducting a memorial visitation on Friday, October 19, 2001, at the Colonial-Wojciechowski Funeral Home, 8025 W. Golf Rd., Niles from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, October 20th, at Queen of All Saints Basilica on Devon Ave. (East of Cicero), at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Vanessa Kolpak Fund, c/o Associated Bank, 5200 N. Central Ave., Chicago, IL 60630, appreciated. 847-581-0536 www.colonialfuneral.com Sign-Guest Book at www.suntimes.com
Paid Notice published in THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES on 10/18/2001.