Born on August 22, 1927, in Jamaica, NY, to Theodore and Lydia Loffler Krass, Sister Vera entered Maryknoll on September 2, 1955 from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Brooklyn, NY.
After graduating from Richmond Hill High School, Richmond Hill, NY, in 1945, she worked as a clerk at the Richmond Hill Savings Bank for three years, a secretary at Time, Inc. for a year, and a secretary in the advertising department at Fortune Magazine for a year. She also attended the Wittenberg College, OH, (1949) and the Grailville Community College, OH (1951-1953) before doing secretarial work for two years at the Missionaries of Saints Peter and Paul, MI.
Sister Vera made her First Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse on June 24, 1958, attained a B.S. in Education from the Maryknoll Teachers College, and began her first overseas assignment to Tanzania, where she made her final vows on June 24, 1964.
For the next five years, she taught English, biology, and history to students in Rosary College, Mwanza, and Marian College, Morogoro. Both schools were established by the Maryknoll Sisters. In addition, she worked at the Shinyanga Commercial School in 1966 where she taught typewriting and shorthand.
The following year, Sister Vera studied for four months at the Pitman College, London, UK, where she received a Shorthand Teachers Certificate. She then returned to Tanzania, serving there until she was called to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY, in 1970. There, she did secretarial tasks for the President of the Congregational Leadership Team and for the Communications Department until 1973. She then studied at the Maryknoll Fathers Seminary, where she received her M.A. in Theology in 1974.
To polish her Swahili, Sister Vera attended the Makoko Language School for four months in 1975 before going to Nairobi, Kenya. In Kenya, she became Office Manager of the Secretary General’s Department and Executive Secretary of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa “AMECA” from 1976 – 1980. Her work was an effort to assist the local church, supervise three junior staff members, and aid Bishop McCauley.
In 1981, Sister Vera was assigned once more to do pastoral work in Musoma, Tanzania. Four years later, she went back to the Center to do work in computer services before beginning her third career in 1991 as a home visitor in the Central Pacific Region in Honolulu, HI. With the Hana Like Home Visitor Program, Sister Vera advocated the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She also worked at the Homeless Solutions Transitional Shelter where she did social work with women and children.
In 1995, Sister worked with the Regional Governance Administration in Honolulu where she did clerical work. Two years later, she was called back to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to work as an office assistant at the Main House Council and a creative writer for the Development Department.
In 1999, due to the increasing vision problems, Sister Vera was assigned to Monrovia, CA, where she resided until returning, once more, to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY, 2008.
Sister Vera is survived by her cousin, Hans-Hermann Speidel of Markgroningen, Germany, and her sister-in-law, Ann Krass of Port Jefferson Station, NY. Her parents, stepmother, and brother George have all predeceased her.
A vespers service will be held for Sister Vera on Monday, October 19, 2015, at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at 11 a.m., also at the Center. Interment will be in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.