Nadine Marie Ketzak was born in Cleveland to Peter Paul Ketzak and Helen Udics on November 8th 1945. She received her sacraments at Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Garfield Hts, OH. She lived on Bancroft Ave, along with siblings Julie Ann and Thomas. Her father passed in 1966 from heart disease; her mom passed in 1972 as a result of an auto accident, which was deeply disturbing for Nadine. Her brother Tom passed in 2011 of natural causes.
She attended Marymount High School and was graduated in 1964. She worked at several jobs and started her post high school education before marrying Gerald Staraitis in September, 1970. They were married only a few months before his work led them to moving to Naperville, IN. She worked as a legal assistant and later transcribed medical data. It was there that she had their first child, Julie Marie Staraitis in 1972.
After three years, the couple moved to Heath, OH, near Columbus, which made them much closer to family and friends. A daughter Jaime Marie was born in 1976, followed by a son Jason Alan in 1977. Nadine was devoted to her children and made sure that they were exposed to active lives including sports, scouts, swimming and dance for the girls. She participated in their school lives as a board member of the Parent Teacher Association. In addition, she volunteered in the community group Newark Area Jaycee-ettes, eventually serving as President and receiving several awards along the way. Later, she returned to Community College to begin her work towards an associate nursing degree.
But a work transfer had them moving from Ohio to Ft Wayne, Indiana in 1984, after eleven years. Moving at this point in the children's lives was much more difficult, leaving friends, school and home. But she guided the children as a new opportunity to meet new friends and explore a new community. And the family continued to meet on camping trips with Heath friends, as well as returning to the Cleveland area to visit family and friends during holidays.
Nadine supported the children by being active in their schools PTAs and serving on the subdivision's home owners' association board. More importantly, once the children were settled in, she re-started her work at the Community College studying for her nursing degree and working at the local hospital.
After four years in Ft. Wayne, work again called for the family to move in 1988 to Naperville, IL, about 35 miles west of Chicago. She attended DuPage Community College and was graduated with a nursing degree, became a Registered Nurse in 1990, and began a twenty year career in the Oncology/Medical Department of Edward Hospital. Working with cancer patients was hard, not only physically but heart breaking seeing patients suffer various treatments and many times losing their battle. Being older than some of the new nurses, she often gave up many of her weekends and holidays so others could be with their families. She was known for her kindness and fun to be with.
She also volunteered with Brownies, Girl Scouts, Ft Wayne and Naperville HOA boards and diabetes awareness programs. She enjoyed playing racquet ball and later on spinning class. She and her husband enjoyed travelling the Caribbean, Europe and Hawaii, but, especially loved visiting daughters and families in Massachusetts.
The importance of education was paramount in the children's lives. Each one was graduated from a University, although rehabilitation from a 1996 automobile accident delayed Jason's work. Nadine stayed with him through the weeks in the hospital and many visits while in rehab. Almost losing him was very hard for her.
Both Julie and Jaime were married, moved to Massachusetts and had children. Keith and Craig (Julie) and Andreia, Eliana and Orlando (Jaime). Nadine loved those five grandchildren dearly and would do anything for them. Since they lived hundreds of miles away, it was difficult to visit more than once or twice a year, and not at all for the last four years. Fortunately they came to visit us every summer and Christmas allowing us the joy of watching them grow and mature.
Health problems began taking a toll. She suffered from various medical issues involving diabetes, her heart and kidney. After twenty years at Edward Hospital, she simply could just not go on. Within days of her retirement, she was on dialysis; and in two years received a kidney transplant. Infections became a dominant problem which eventually brought on a type of blood cancer requiring blood transfusions at times. She faced her medical problems gracefully and with a strong will to overcome, to survive, to see and love her five grandchildren grow and mature. She fought bravely and her doctors were much impressed at how well she endured. Her love, kindness, generosity and forgiving nature will be sorely missed.
May God have mercy on her and bring her to everlasting peace with Him.