Dolores Vera Yetka (nee Smith)

Dolores Vera Yetka (nee Smith)

Dolores Vera Yetka (nee Smith) was born on April 5th, 1936, to Anna and Alfred Smith of Jersey City, NJ. She was the youngest of three, with two older brothers Frank and Hubert. As you would expect from older brothers, they called her Sissy.

Dolores met George Arthur Yetka when they were teenagers growing up in Jersey City. Even though George was “going with a lot of girls” back then, Dolores was his sweetheart for life. She became Dolores Vera Yetka when the two were married June 18th, 1955, just weeks after her 19th birthday. Not long after, their family of two grew and grew as their nine children were born. Now Dolores was Mom, and so much more!

With the family growing and in need of space, George and Dolores purchased an old farmhouse in Middletown, NJ. The work and effort to improve and return the house to its former glory was no small feat. Stories of Dolores stripping wallpaper and burning lead paint off the original crown molding are legendary in the Yetka family. What remained after those years of work is not just a house, but a beautiful home to this day.

With nine children comes an endless need for food, clothing, and entertainment. Mom cooked, sewed outfits, and played and sang the richest music into her children’s lives. This was more than a household, but a haven, not only to the children, but to the dozens of friends that were welcomed in without hesitation.

When George decided he was going to start a mechanical contracting company of his own in 1973, Mom was at his side every step of the way. From a humble start being run out of the barn on the property, the George A. Yetka Corp grew into a small part of their legacy. By the time of their retirement, the family now spanned 3 generations, as the grandchildren started coming. Mom was now Little Nanny (since her mother was Big Nanny), and soon just Nanny.

Nanny and Pop spent their winters in the Virgin Islands, on the boat they loved, “Trust Me.” They traded the boat for an R.V. and saw the U.S. from Florida to Alaska, and back again. Summers were spent gardening or sitting by the pool in the back yard. There were always a few weeks spent in Bar Harbor, Maine. No matter where they went, they were together, and their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids were sure to join.

It’s impossible to describe Nanny briefly. Her gaze was both piercing and delicate, as I suppose a mother of nine must be. Both sweet and stern. With her hands she created home, paintings, quilts and clothes, taking such care in her craft. Her voice impressed in many ways, from her lovely singing voice to the way she would shout “George!” throughout the house whenever she needed him. Though she undoubtedly whispered his name just a few days before their 63rd wedding anniversary, lying in bed as she said goodbye to her sweetheart one last time.

After pouring into her family, and her family pouring into her for several more years, Dolores lay in bed in the home she and George built, surrounded by those who called her Sissy, Mom, or Nanny, there to say goodbye one last time.

Dolores is predeceased by her dear Husband, George; by three sons, Greg, Wayne, and George II; and by one grandson, Jason and son-in-law, Scott Hieber. She is survived by her daughter, Susan, and her husband Thomas Bucks, of Holmdel, NJ; daughter-in-law, Debbie Jo, of Holmdel, NJ; daughter Cheryl, of Tinton Falls, NJ; son Scott and his wife Nancy, of Navesink, NJ; daughter Lisa and her husband Stephen Schultheis, of Tinton Falls, NJ; daughter Jennifer and her husband Michael Herdeen, of Holmdel, NJ; and daughter Christine of Manasquan, NJ; her 21 grandchildren, and their dear spouses, fiancés, husbands and wives; and her 26 (soon to be 29) great grandchildren.

Visitation will be Sunday, October 2nd from 2-4 pm & 7-9 pm at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701. Funeral Service will be held Monday, October 3rd at 10 am at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Fair View Cemetery, Middletown.



Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740