Vera May Zwar August 24th, 1927 - November 17th, 2022

Vera May Zwar, 95, of St. Joseph, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at her home.

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, with time of visitation held prior, from 10-11 all at First Baptist Church, 902 Broad St., St. Joseph. Inurnment will take place in Breedsville Cemetery, Breedsville, MI. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel, St. Joseph. Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at

Vera was born Vera May Starback on August 24, 1927, to her mother, Lulu May Starback and father, Raymond Axel Starback in her grandparents’ home in Breedsville, MI. Vera graduated from South Haven Central High School in 1944, at the age of 16. She immediately went to work at Standard Coil, in Bangor and Du-Wel, in Bangor making parts for the war effort from 1944-47. Upon returning home from WWII, Frederick Zwar, for the second time asked Vera out on a date and she accepted. (The first, when she was just 16, she told him, “No, I’m too young!”) Fritz and Vera were married on June 7, 1947, at the Breedsville Methodist Church in Breedsville, MI. After apartment living, the couple moved into their new home, built by Fritz and relatives, in St. Joseph with their son, Daniel. They also welcomed a daughter, Bonnie here. Fritz and Vera were each other’s spouses, best friends, travel and help mates for 62 years until Fritz preceded her in death on February 24, 2009. Vera remained in her home until her death just as she always hoped to do.

It was Vera’s greatest joy to love Jesus and share the message of salvation to those she loved and those she met. She was a true prayer warrior and a longtime member of First Baptist Church, St. Joseph, MI. She had a gift for family gatherings, making holidays special, gardening, sewing, music, baking, canning, cleaning and sharing her knowledge with her family and neighbors in patiently teaching. Another joy was her love of all of the babies in our family and could barely wait to hold, rock and sing to them. Over the years, she volunteered for many church, school and community organizations. She accepted the job of church secretary of First Baptist Church, St. Joseph from 1977-2002. A highlight upon retirement was a trip she made with her childhood girlfriend, Evie Nelson when they flew to Sweden to visit with their Swedish relatives and experience everything Swedish like their grandparents in Breedsville exposed them to.

Vera is survived by her son, Dan (Cindi) Zwar, daughter, Bonnie (Mark) Kelly; grandchildren, Sally (Chris) Passaro, Katie (Sam) Lopez, Caleb (Ashley) Zwar, Kristin (Jake) Robinson and Sara (Dan) Birochak; great-grandchildren, Zachariah, Taylor, and Julia Lopez; Crosby and Presley Zwar; Ryder, Abraham and Frederick Robinson; Thomas Pantelleria, Sana Birochak and her two remaining siblings, Peggy York and Joe Starback. She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Lulu Starback; husband, Fritz Zwar and brothers, William and Robert Starback.

Though Vera will be dearly missed and often thought of, we rejoice knowing she is with her Lord and reunited with those that passed before, especially her beloved husband, Fritz.