Cyrilla M. Mischanko, 82, of Valparaiso passed away on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 surrounded by loved ones in an environment of worship and peace. She was born on August 3, 1940 in Topeka, Kansas to Edward & Ina (Braden) Etzel. Cyrilla grew up in Topeka as the second of four children. She would always recount fond memories that she shared with her three loving siblings in childhood and throughout her life into adulthood. Cyrilla worked hard in school, in her jobs, and in helping her family as she was growing up in Topeka, often spending the summers picking vegetables in her grandparents’ garden. She was a loyal sister who always looked out for her siblings, advocating for their well-being. She worked for Akey Bakery during high school. Cyrilla graduated from Hayden Catholic High School in 1958 and later was employed as a switchboard operator for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. She moved to Northwest Indiana in young adulthood. There Cyrilla enjoyed cooking, enhancing her yard with beautiful flowerbeds, taking care of her dogs and cats, and raising her two children, Edward and Joann.
Cyrilla made her career as a clerk with the Valparaiso Post Office from 1981-2011. Prior to this, she worked as a cook at the local elementary school. As a connoisseur of all genres of music, she maintained a collection of CDs that knew no bounds. She especially enjoyed listening to smooth jazz and would always have it playing in her home and in the car while driving around town. She had a keen sense of humor and would love to make people laugh. Her fascination with hummingbirds also resulted in a menagerie of collectibles. Cyrilla loved watching movies, especially Hallmark movies, and enjoyed making suggestions to her friends and family about new movies to watch. She was a lover of strawberries and would often order waffles or crepes with extra strawberries, always asking for a “heaping mound” of them!
Cyrilla enjoyed teaching her family how to make some of her staple food items to pass the love along throughout the years. She relished going to the same spot on the beach in Outer Banks, NC as often as she could for large family reunions with her siblings and their families. She loved to hear about what her family members were doing and where life was taking them, and she was always there cheering them on along the way. She enjoyed helping her family to know of all the latest useful gadgets and items that she would hear about, to help make their lives easier. Cyrilla loved children and considered their laughter life’s greatest pleasure. She got immense joy from doling out large piles of candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. She was generous with her time and always tried to help her family through tough seasons. She would often show up unannounced with coffee or some kind of treat in hand to relieve her family with a little bit of joy after a long, hard day.
As Cyrilla’s kids began having children of their own, she became known as “Nana,” and was the biggest supporter of her grandchildren. She was always up for playing board games and would do anything to make them smile. It was common for her to show up with bags of clothes for her four grandkids as they were growing up. She loved shopping for them and making sure they had everything they could ever want. Her grandchildren had so much fun having sleepovers together at Nana’s house. It was her joy to show up for all of their events and celebrations, beaming with pride at their activities and passions.
During the last several years, Cyrilla lived in the Pines Village Retirement Community where she loved to hear all about the lives of the nurses, staff, and residents who became a big part of her life. She enjoyed asking them questions about themselves and was excited to hear all about what they were doing and experiencing. It was not uncommon for her family to hear stories from staff and other residents about how often she would talk about her family and how proud she was of them. There certainly were so many little things that made Cyrilla exactly who she was, and she will always be so dearly loved.
She is survived by her children; Edward (and wife Pam) Mischanko of Portage & Joann (and husband Tod) Woods of Valparaiso, grandchildren; Christina Mischanko, Samantha Mischanko, Taylor (and husband Preston) Williams, & Grayson Woods, siblings; Judy (and husband Jim) Treiber, Becky (and husband Don) Miller, & James (and wife Bobby) Etzel, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A visitation will be held at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Road, Valparaiso, IN 46383 on Saturday, November 5, 2022 from 4-6 pm with a Memorial Service immediately following at 6 pm, Pastor Shawn Evans officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is an organization that Cyrilla passionately supported.
In this time of loss, please know that my heartfelt prayers are with the family. Joann, your mother was an extraordinary person, always exuding complete devotion to her family. She will always remain in the memories you treasure. -Love, Mary Anne Cicco
We are so sorry to learn of your Mom’s passing. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. -Carl, Louise, Eileen, Laura and Mike Neis
Joann and Family. My condolences on the loss of your mother. (I just got word of it) May God send you strength and comfort in the days ahead. With sympathy, Carol Rolfe