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Veronica Clara (Knapik) DeSantis

1922 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Veronica Clara (Knapik) DeSantis Obituary
Veronica Clara (Knapik) DeSantis

Reno - Veronica Clara DeSantis, 96, a long time Reno resident, passed away surrounded by family on January 11, 2019, at Chateau of Sharmar Village Retirement Community in Pueblo, CO. She was born August 2, 1922, to Michael and Elizabeth (Baloga) Knapik in Thompson, part of the Klondike Coal Fields of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was the 5th of 12 children.

When Veronica was 2 months old, a coal strike was called by union boss John Lewis and the family was evicted from their company housing. They lived in a tent city set up by the US Army, Red Cross, and Salvation Army in a local farmer's field. The strike was settled in April 1923 and the miners' families returned to their company housing and jobs.

Veronica had an adventurous spirit, moving to New York City immediately after graduating high school and then to Rome, New York, where she met her husband Carl while working in his family's restaurant. In 1950, Carl and Veronica opened the 3 K Sisters Restaurant in East Syracuse with her sisters, Elizabeth and Louise and their spouses. In 1954, Veronica and Carl moved west to start anew. After spending a night in Salt Lake City and hearing the next day's weather forecast, they decided to settle in Reno rather than Las Vegas. Veronica worked as a waitress in many of Reno's iconic hotel restaurants including Newt Crumley's Holiday Hotel, the Ponderosa Hotel-Casino, Jessie Beck's Riverside Hotel, the Lancer Restaurant, and ended her career at the Eldorado Hotel/Casino. After living on Harvard Way for many years, Veronica and Carl built their dream home at Lake Tahoe, where they enjoyed hosting holiday celebrations and parties for friends and family. She was a long time member of Beta Sigma Pi. Veronica filled her spare time with a variety of craft projects and took special pride in her gardening. She loved going out to dinner with family and friends, and there was always lots of laughter.

Veronica was preceded in death by her parents, husband Carl Paul DeSantis, brothers John, Michael, Philip, Andrew, and Billy, sisters Anne Doane, Elizabeth Sheahan, Margaret Josephine Gorczyca, Louise Salzer, and Delores Warner.

She is survived by wonderful blending of families which include: Her children Andrea (Tony) Clark, Carl Michael (Karen) DeSantis, and Angeline (Russ) Jackson. Grandchildren Jennifer (Greg) Batchelder, Carlo DeSantis, Teri (Bill) Henderson, Kathleen (Michael) Scott, Jim and David Clark, Patricia (Colby) Ballingham, Laura (David) Watts-Vial, and Brandon Jackson. Great-grandchildren Talya and Harlequinne Batchelder, Lythia (Tyson) Hawkins, Harold and Colin and Scotty Henderson, Bridget and Elizabeth and Benjamin Butler, Josephine and Grace Clark, Henry and William Ballingham. Brother Charles (Winnie) Knapik. And many friends who became family to her.

Veronica and Carl recognized the importance of education. They insisted their children attend college and all three graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno. They started a family tradition which continues today with their children, then grandchildren and now great-grandchildren learning to ski in the Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program. Memorial contributions can be made to the Program. Veronica will be missed by all who knew her. A celebration of life will be held in the coming months in Reno.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Feb. 10, 2019
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