VELMA NORA (GROMEAUX) DAVIDSON, WEISS) ROHR BAUGH, died Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, just 27 days short of her 100th birthday, at Wood view Nursing facility with her daughter, Kathleen by her side. Born Dec. 3, 1912, in Monroeville, Ind., she grew up in a large farm family. She started school at age 4 in a one-room school house in Jefferson Township (Maury School.) She had to quit school after 8th grade to help her family. As a young woman, she moved to Fort Wayne to work and would take the inter-urban home to Monroeville for the weekend. While working for Schlagel Radio, Fort Wayne, she represented the company in a beauty pageant sponsored by various industries in town. She was Miss Schlagel radio and loved to tell people she was a beauty queen. (This earned her the nickname "Queenie".) Her first marriage was to George Davidson and they had a son, Donald. That marriage ended in divorce and she juggled all of the challenges of being a single mother with a child. With the support of extended family she was able to provide a loving environment for Donald. After her job at Schlagel, she joined Magnavox and had a 43 year career with the company. She had various jobs including group leader and tool crib manager. While at Magnavox she met Kenneth Weiss who was working there during the Second World War. They married and had a daughter, Kathleen. Velma nursed Ken through a long illness at home and came up with many creative ways to do home care. Ken died of cancer in 1962. In 1965, she was set up on a blind date by mutual friends of Howard Rohrbaugh. She was reluctant to meet him but agreed to the date. She married Howard in 1965 and became a stepmother to his four daughters, Helen Ann, Betty, Pat, and Linda. She and Howard loved traveling and spending weekends at their lake cottage. In 1995, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and survived surgery. Every year, on the anniversary of her surgery, she sent a thank you card to her surgeon. Howard became ill in 1997 and, again, she used her home nursing skills to care for him. Howard died in 1998 and Velma continued living in her own home, with her dog, Pip. A series of falls and fractures led to her having to be in skilled nursing. Her home was always a central feeding station for birds, dogs, squirrels and geese. She never met a creature she did not like. She did not kill spiders or flies. She always captured them and released them outside. She loved cooking and loved family holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. She was thoughtful and always remembered to send family and friends birthday cards. She had a soft spot in her heart for children. Her Catholic faith was important to her. She prayed two hours a day for the deceased. Her list included family and friends and celebrities. She said the rosary daily and wore a rosary around her wrist. She will be missed by those who remember her. She is survived by daughter, Kathleen Weiss (Cathie Rowand); and stepdaughters, Helen Ann Brett of Michigan, Betty Perrey of Angola and Pat Casey of California; grandchildren, Kenneth (Melissa) Davidson of Indianapolis, Kevin (Glenda) Davidson and Karen Lyda, both of Florida, and Cheryl Bailey of Fort Wayne; brother, Carl Gromeaux of Decatur; many nieces and nephews; and also, her dog Pip, who misses her belly rubs. "We will miss her hugs and kisses, especially her big lipstick kisses on the cheek." She was preceded in death by her parents, Elie and Agnes (Gibson) Gromeaux; sisters, Goldie Baker, Teresa Thomas, Marcella Reuille, and Pearl Girardot; brothers, Leslie, Merlin, Elmer, and Gaylord; son, Donald; and stepdaughter, Linda. Mass of Christian Burial is 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2213 Brooklyn Ave., with calling one hour prior. Father Tim Wrozek presiding. Calling also from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at D.O. McComb & Sons Lakeside Park, 1140 Lake Ave., with a Rosary at 4:15 p.m. Burial in Catholic Cemetery. Preferred memorials to Masses, Parkview Hospice or to the Howard T. and Velma N. Rohrbaugh Scholarship Fund at Ivy Tech. To sign the online guestbook, visit


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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Nov. 9, 2012