I’m remembering a wonderful couple today, Victor Joseph Mirota (1937-2015), and his beautiful bride of fifty years, Bettyann Heiney (1938-2010). They were married in their home-town church, St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, on First Street, in Dunellen, New Jersey, June of 1960. Bettyann was the daughter of Elmer and Elizabeth Heiney. Victor was the son of Stephen and Genevieve “Jean” Mirota. Victor was born in Brooklyn, New York, but the family later moved to Dunellen. These words help to sum up this loving couple – Faith, Community, and Family.
This wedding is one of the first that I remember attending, and I thought Bettyann’s wedding dress was the most gorgeous one I had ever seen! Traditional yet modern.
I’m the youngest one in this photograph, in the front, next to my sister, Veronica. I felt so lucky to be grown-up enough to attend. Afterwards, photographs were taken in the back yard of Victor’s family home. In the picture below, Victor’s younger brother is holding the door open for his new sister-in-law.
The backyard of Steve and Jean Mirota’s house was always filled with beautiful flowers, including roses. Steve loved gardening, and he also grew fruit tress and vegetables in the yard. He was one of those folk that almost never smile in photographs. Jean is beaming!
Here below, the mother-of-the-groom, Jean Pucilowski Mirota, is posing with her sister-in-law, Stefie Mirota. Back in the early 1960s women (and girls) still wore white gloves and hats to church. I love their similar summer purses!
Below are two more cousins all dressed up, too!
In this last picture Victor and Bettyann are with their maid of honor and best man.
Victor and Bettyann Mirota were very active in the different communities they lived in. Bettyann retired as a Vocal Music Teacher from the High Bridge, New Jersey schools. She had brought the joy of music to many generations, including my daughters. How I loved attending her concerts! Bettyann believed everyone could learn to sing. She was also a Director of Religion and an accomplished musician, playing the piano and organ for all of the churches she attended through the years. Along with her Music Education degree, she had a Masters in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Victor had served in the US Military and worked as a machinist. He was a Councilman in High Bridge, an avid fisherman, and a devoted member of the Knights of Columbus. He was never at a loss for words, and enjoyed telling stories and jokes. Victor and Bettyann had two sons. After being active at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in High Bridge, they semi-retired to the small community of Bumpass, Louisa County, Virginia, on Lake Anna, near Mineral. There they attended St. Jude’s Catholic Church. After a while they decided to retire further south, at Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida, near to where Bettyann’s brother lived. Their younger son moved down to help care for them as they aged and developed health concerns. There they were active at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockledge, Florida.
In June of 2010 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, but sadly Bettyann died of health complications on 4 October 2010. Beloved husband, Victor, died 5 August 2015. They are buried with their eldest son, Victor Paul Mirota, at Saint Jude’s Catholic Cemetery in Louisa County, Virginia. May they rest in peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
~ from the Saint Francis of Assisi Prayer
Copyright text and photographs 2016 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.