Maria Hernikl, 98

Maria Hernikl, 98, went peacefully to her savior on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, at Cedar Community. Maria Varga was born May 5, 1915, in Poloskefo, Hungary to Lajos and Katalin Varga. She was raised in a small village; the only girl among five brothers. Early on she rose to the challenge as a strong willed tomboy. In 1927, the family moved to Budapest for better educational opportunities. At School she excelled in math, but soon learned she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket and was asked not to sing.

Her boot maker father insisted Maria learn the much-hated skill of sewing. After her marriage to John in 1935, they worked together in the furniture industry. Upon coming to the United States on Dec. 25, 1956, they established John’s Decorators where Maria’s sewing became a necessity and blessing. As a lifelong business woman, Maria still found time for knitting, crocheting and reading books/ recipes. More importantly, she welcomed many friends into their home for authentic home-cooked Hungarian meals and stories. The stories were living history lessons of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution which included hardship, capture, escape and finally freedom.

Maria is survived by her son Alex (Mary Sparks) Hernikl, nieces, nephews, and friends in Hungary, the Netherlands and the United States. Maria was preceded in death by John, her beloved husband of 70 years, as well as her parents, brothers, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and nephews. Maria was honored to be called grandma by the Allen and Louise Schut family … Lindy, Andrew and John. She treasured her enduring friendship with her “sister” Georgianna (Mike) Brath.

Special thanks to the many friends who visited, especially Mary (Dave) Schleif. Our deepest gratitude goes to those at Cedar Community in Silverbrook for the love and care given to Maria for over three years. Thanks for the surrey rides, the bingo prizes, and mostly for the opportunity to participate in her faith.

Please, no flowers, consider Holy Angels School Trust instead.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church (138 N. Eighth Ave., West Bend) with the Rev. Gerald Brittain officiating. Visitation will be Saturday at the church from 12:30 p.m. until the time of Mass at 2 p.m. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery on Main Street.

Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online guestbook and condolences may be expressed at