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Ernestine Swidrak

August 1, 2014 12:10 am

Ernestine Swidrak

Ernestine Swidrak, 85, of Fredericksburg passed away Friday, July 25, 2014, at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Ernie was born Dec. 17, 1928, in Tennessee. She worked at Falmouth Elementary School, serving kids in the cafeteria, and volunteered in the nursery at St. Matthias United Methodist Church and Eastland United Methodist Church.

Her last job was in the nursery at the Fredericksburg YMCA, where she was affectionately known to the kids as "Nana Ernie." Her greatest fulfillment of all was working with the children.

Ernie, known as "mom" to many, loved having children in her home, while maintaining a smooth, organized, very well-run house, doing yard work, cooking meals from scratch and teaching others her secret recipes. Her home was always open to anyone who needed assistance, whether it involved a meal or a place to stay for a day, or even months.

She touched many lives in her 85 years and she will be missed. Her memory will live on in those who knew her.

She is survived by her children, John Swidrak and his wife, Portia, Brenda Chemelewski and her husband, Frank, Charlie Swidrak and his wife, Brenda, Robert Swidrak, and Patty Wheelehan and her husband, Michael; a brother, J.C. Warrick; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley Swidrak.

Services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Eastland United Methodist Church Building Fund, 10718 Courthouse Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.

Online condolences may be expressed to Ernie's family at

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