Velma Ruth O’Neil Waechter

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- Velma Ruth O’Neil Waechter, died Sept. 4, 2013.

Vel was born March 3, 1929, and raised in Salem, Ohio. She was a graduate of Salem High School and completed her RN degree at Salem City Hospital. She moved to St. Petersburg and married Richard Waechter in 1949. They started a family in 1951, having eight boys and a girl.

First and foremost a devoted wife and mother, Vel later went back to school, starting college again at age 54. She graduated in 1986 with her bachelor’s degree in education and then taught at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School for the next eight years.

Never one to sit still, Vel spent 12 years as a cub scout den mother, and three years as a girl scout leader. Her volunteer time seemed endless, donating countless hours to St. Jude’s Church and School, Bishop Barry/St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Suncoast Hospice and Kairos Prison Ministry.

Her legacy lives in the hearts of her nine children, 32 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren. It also lives in the hearts she touched every day of her life.

Visitation will be on Friday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady’s Chapel at St. Jude’s. A prayer service will take place at 7 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Cathedral of St. Jude (main sanctuary).

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Suncoast Hospice or to the church of your choice. Online memorial and guestbook at


(Paid obituary)