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Vanessa Nalepa

$48,803 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 559 people in 4 months
Created February 17, 2019
This page has been setup on behalf of Frank Nalepa, whose wife, Vanessa, passed away on February 16, 2019. Vanessa had an amazing smile, infectious laugh, and the ability to make everyone around her feel loved.  She was fiercely devoted to her son, Davis (7 months), and her husband, Frank. Vanessa was loyal to her friends and family. She touched the lives of her students with her creativity and passion for teaching. Vanessa’s fun-loving nature drew others to her. She will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.  Vanessa had been battling breast cancer since September 2018, and died of complications of an infection. As the family begins to think about the future for Davis, funds will be put away for his education. Any amount you can donate will help. Additional information concerning a funeral will be posted when that information is available.
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From Frank:
I am so thankful for all of the support from everyone to help my son and I through this time. Thank you to all of those who donated and sent thoughtful wishes our way.

Today is Ness’s birthday, she would have been 36. Vanessa always said it was her birthday month and she meant it. I always laughed at her about it. She did love her birthday though, the balloons, cake and getting together with other people to have fun. We are celebrating her day today with a small party and a Red Velvet birthday cake that she loved so much!
I have attached the story I wrote, about our life together. This was displayed at her funeral. I hope by reading this you can see how amazing she was and how much she meant to me.

Our Life

I met Vanessa in May 2008 when I was starting my student teaching at Ries Elementary School. I got to know Ness more when I was asked to sub for a fourth grade class that needed a teacher for a few weeks. Since she taught fourth grade, she helped me get ready to teach everyday. It was not until September that we started hanging out outside of work and dating. One of the first times that we hung out was when I offered to pick her up from the airport, she was coming back from a trip with her friend Sarah from Arizona. She was wearing her big glasses and her short black shorts, she was beautiful. She brought me back a rain stick, a present I still have today. Our first official date was at Kabuki, a sushi place in Town Square. I became very close with Ness’s friends D, Katie, and Ryan when we started dating. I got to know D real well because Ness lived with her, so I was over at her apartment every day. One morning I will always remember is when I started a fire in the kitchen and had to use a fire extinguisher to put it out. It was quite a mess. I will always say that I stayed very calm during the whole situation, but D disagrees. Ness and I would spend the next couple of months getting to know each other by taking trips to California together or with Katie and Ryan. I met her friend Sarah when we drove to Sacramento for a Halloween party, I was dressed as Will Ferrell from Semi Pro and Ness was dressed as a sexy sailor. We went to a PF Chang’s for dinner where everyone else seemed to be all dressed up but not for Halloween. We did not fit in but it didn’t matter. After dinner, we attended a Halloween party at a bar, it was a new experience for me.

While we were dating Ness had school track break from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve. So after Thanksgiving she flew home to spend time with her family and friends. I was having a difficult time not seeing her and would talk to her every night on the phone. So I flew to Sacramento in December of 2008 to see her. We went to dinner and then for a walk. I told her that I never met anyone so amazing and asked her to marry me. That was the best thing that ever happened to me! We thought about getting married that weekend but decided that it would be better to wait so our family could be there. The next morning we drove to Antioch to meet her family. That Christmas I asked Ness to come home to Pennsylvania to meet my family. We decided to go snowboarding and Ness fell and broke her tailbone. That was her introduction to my family, a broken ass. She never complained a bit. She was special.
Ness moved in when she came back from Christmas break and we started planning the wedding. On April 4th 2009, we got married on a beach in Santa Barbara, California. It was an amazing day. We played volleyball with our families on the beach and enjoyed each other. Ness was the most beautiful wife I could have ever asked for. We spent part of our honeymoon in Santa Barbara and the rest on Catalina Island. I couldn’t have been any happier.

About a week or two before we got married we got our dog, Gizmo! He has been our little guy for the past 10 years and we both love him so much. It was always easy to remember how long we were married because it was how old Mo was. We bought a house in the summer of 2009 and over the past 10 years had the time of our lives. We took trips to Miami, Hawaii (three times), Myrtle Beach, Walt Disney World, Costa Rica, Belize and numerous trips to all parts of California. Ness and I loved the beach and all I wanted to do was make her happy. One of our favorite vacations was our trip to Costa Rica. We went four wheeling through the jungle, I was the last person in the line and Ness was in front of me. At one point going around a turn my four wheeler got stuck and stalled because of the rain. I was sitting there for about 3-5 minutes before the guide came back to find me. He was laughing because he said that Ness had thought I went off the edge of the cliff.

When Ness told me that we were having a baby I was more than surprised. It took me awhile to understand the situation, but it made Ness the happiest person in the world. All she ever wanted was to be an amazing mom and raise a child. She was by far the best mom anyone could ask for. She would talk to Davis all the time. When Davis was about 2 months old, she was walking him around the neighborhood and having a full on conversation with him. My friend Jake drove by and witnessed this conversation. He stopped his car and shouted “he doesn’t understand anything that you are saying”. He said that she just laughed and laughed. I would watch her hold Davis in front of the mirror in our upstairs bathroom and sing and dance with him. They both smiled so much. She would be the one to stay up late and let me sleep so I could go to work well rested. I was spoiled.

When Ness was going through chemo and in the hospital she would always joke and say that I would never be able to handle this. I was a baby when I was sick and was terrible at getting shots. She was so strong and was always able to keep it together even during such tough times.

Ness would always let me choose the movie, choose the restaurant, sit in isle seat on our plane rides, watch what I wanted to watch on TV (even if I had seen it 100 times), or have the last piece of food. She would make me laugh by walking over to food I was eating and pick it up, lick it at and say, “my germs”, put it down and walk away. Anytime someone met Ness, I was told how amazing and beautiful she was. I knew that I had gotten extremely lucky for Ness to choose someone like me. I never thought that I would have been ever able to marry someone as beautiful and caring as Vanessa. She was and will always be my best friend!

I Love You Ness!!

Frankie Poo
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Thank you for the continued outpouring of support. The services will be on Friday, 2/22. There will be a visitation from 4pm-7pm, and the funeral service will be at 7pm.
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/las-vegas-nv/vanessa-nalepa-8175909
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$48,803 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 559 people in 4 months
Created February 17, 2019
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