Our beloved Vickie Marie Wasilko passed away on June 27after a six-month bout of cancer. She was born September 15, 1951, at Cottage Hospital to Darleen and John. Her father was a Santa Barbara police officer who was injured in the line of duty. Her grandfather was one of the founding Holidays of Holiday Hardware, at 810 State Street.
Vickie grew up with her best friends: Michael, Bonnie, and me. We played in the walnut fields (now the YMCA on Hitchcock) and only came home when the streetlights came on.
Vickie started playing softball at a very young age, and we played together on the Bellwood Junior Belles. After many years of continuous playing on “A” league teams, she was admitted into the Santa Barbara Women’s Softball Hall of Fame. She felt so honored to receive this recognition. She kept playing softball until she was 50.
Her brother, Michael, taught her to surf at an early age. She loved the water and was never without an ocean, lake, or pool nearby. She was so strong and beautiful, with her bright green eyes and her dark brown tan. She taught her dogs to surf with her. Then she had her daughter, Shilo, who was always at the beach or at her mom’s softball games.
Vickie was an artist as a landscaper. She would take a tiny, bare patio and turn it into an oasis with fountains and palms. She stayed in the landscaping business her whole life, working at golf courses, country clubs, and private homes.
She moved to Colorado with Jennifer Moreland, who preceded her in death. Then on to Las Vegas to take care of our mom and dad as only Vickie could. She had such a love for life, she made every moment a memory. She will have to be remembered for her humor. There are so many stories about Vickie and the things she did that made people laugh so hard it hurt.
Vickie spent at least three months out of the year living with Tracy Sig and me at Timberwinds, our ranch, in Twin Oaks, California. She landscaped the 20 acres and never tired of the work she wanted to do.
She had such a love for her sister Bonnie and had to call her at least three times a day to see if there was “any news?”
She became a grandma, and her life then focused on her first grand-boy, Nicco. Vickie had her sidekick in life now; they were inseparable. He called her CooCoo, and they went everywhere together. When she was later joined by her second grand-boy, Gianni, her life was fulfilled. Nicco and Gianni are, by the way, both excellent baseball players.
Vickie cherished her youngest sister, Sonya, and Sonya’s two kids, Dezirae and Joel. Sonya was always there, day or night, if Vickie needed anything.
Vickie’s final goal was to make Michael’s party in Carpinteria after he retired from the City of Santa Barbara in May. She was there to show everyone that cancer could not keep her down; she would keep up with the best of them.
Vickie leaves behind family and friends who loved her dearly. Thank you to Mel, Dottie, Merlin, Pam, Moe, Nicole, Shanene, Lisa, Rick, Scotty, Joan, Arnie, Cindy, and Vickie’s faithful boxer, Champ; nephews Brody and Skyler, niece Bianca, sister-in-law Janet Wasilko, and uncle Gil Holiday, Jr. Let us not forget who gave Vic many loving, pain-free days: Mary Huntly, a dear family friend who was in charge of MSA Hospice in Las Vegas.
A celebration of her life will be held at Santa Claus Beach, south side. Share stories and join us in a paddle-out at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. Look for the balloons.
The parties will not be as fun, the jokes will not be as funny, but the memories are priceless. The next time you see a dragonfly, wonder if it is Vic just saying hi.