Vera Wiitala (1926 – 2021) death notice – Lunenburg, MA

Beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother


Vera Esther (Haanpaa) Wiitala, 95, a longtime resident of Lunenburg and formerly of Fitchburg, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at the Sterling Village Nursing Center, surrounded by her loving family.

Vera was born in Fitchburg, MA on July 1, 1926, daughter of the late Erland and Hilma (Maennpaa) Haanpaa. She was also predeceased by her son, Donald R. “Butch” Wiitala, Jr.

Vera grew up in Fitchburg, one of seven children in her family. She worked for many years as a seamstress at Margaret’s Doll Clothes, as well as at Cluett Peabody in Leominster and Thunderbird Motor Lodge as a housekeeper in Fitchburg. She was an active member of the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Leominster for many years. Vera loved to sew, crochet, cook and sing. She especially enjoyed spending quality time with her beloved family, for over 50 years at their camp in Brookline, NH. It was a special place for her, watching her grandchildren and great grandchildren learn to swim and spend the summer enjoying the outdoors and celebrating her birthday and other holidays. Vera loved animals and held a special place in her heart for her golden retriever “Trevor”, “Gracie” and more recently “Little Gracie”.

Vera will be remembered by her children, Sandra “Sandy” Testa of Fitchburg, Judith “Judy” Powell and her late husband Raymond of Lunenburg, MA, Kathrine Lally of Fitchburg, MA, and David Wiitala and his wife Donna of Lunenburg, MA. . ; his daughter-in-law, Sandy Wiitala of New Ipswich, NH; twelve grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to her parents and son, Vera was predeceased by her three brothers, Eero Haanpaa, Arno Haanpaa and Lauri Haanpaa; as well as her three sisters, Elma “Blondie” Lashua, Jennie Morse and Helen Varney.

Visitations will be held in the Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and Fitchburg Chapels of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 243 Water Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420, on Monday, October 25, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. His funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m. Interment at Forest Hill Cemetery, Mt Elam Road, Fitchburg, MA will follow.

In memory of Vera, consider a memorial contribution made to an animal shelter of your choice.

To leave condolences online or to plant a tree in Vera’s memory, please visit our website at

John F. Masciarelli, James M. Hebert and Terresa Shea, funeral directors.

See the Vera E. Wiitala online memorial

Posted by Sentinel & Enterprise on October 24, 2021.

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