Vera McQuiston Cawein entered into rest on November 20, 2023 at the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Hospice in Wilmington, NC, at the age of 96.
She was born in Monticello, New York to Charles Laurie Morman and Mathilda Ramage Morman. She was predeceased by two husbands, William McQuiston and August “Gus” Cawein, daughters Nancy O’Dell and Patricia McQuiston, son Jeffrey McQuiston, and step-son Glenn Cawein. She was also predeceased by her siblings Charles (and wife) Sylvia Morman, Eleanor (and husband) Ralph Gerow, Edna (and husband) Martin O’Connor, and James Morman.
Fierce determination was Vera’s hallmark, beginning when she overcame childhood polio and went on to win medals in local swimming competitions in her hometown of Newburgh, New York. As a young woman, she worked late nights as a Multiphone disc jockey, playing records requested by patrons through jukeboxes connected to a headquarters by telephone line. She took a position as a welder during World War II, and became a bank loan officer at a time when the job was usually reserved for men.
After raising her children, she began a new life chapter as a small business owner. She built Middlehope Cleaning Village into a thriving laundromat and car wash before “retiring” to Wilmington, North Carolina, where she purchased a food shop called The Gifted Gourmet in Chandler’s Wharf.
In her spare time, she loved to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider, often devoting many hours to making hats for premature babies and quilts for senior citizens in nursing homes.
She had a quick wit and enjoyed making others laugh, which she did right up until her last days.
Vera is survived by her daughters Rachel (and husband) Ted Linhart, Jacqueline “Gail” Cawein, Deanne Sepulveda, granddaughter Michelle “Shelly” Plunkett, nieces Eloise (and husband) Richard Warfel, Maria (and husband) Bobby Gold, dear friend Rebecca “Birdie” Robinson, as well as seven grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 11:00am at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newburgh, NY.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Vera’s name to St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she was a member, or the Pender County Humane Society in Burgaw, NC at the link below at “Memorial Gifts and Donations”.
Please leave memories and condolences for Vera’s family by signing the Tribute Wall below.
Services in care of Wilmington Funeral & Cremation – Wilmington Chapel – 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099