Michelle Catherine Verwiel, resident of the Landings Community made her transition from this life to eternal life on August 23, 2022. Michelle was born on July 14, 1989, in Savannah, Ga. to very loving and nurturing parents, John and Gabriela Verwiel. Her maternal grandparents, Dr. George and Yolanda Negron and paternal grandparents, Bernard and Mary Rose Verwiel also played an integral part in her life as it related to her religious education and her understanding the importance of having strong personal values and strong family relationships. She embraced her faith at an early age at the Saint James the Less Catholic Church where she was baptized and confirmed. She attended Saint James Catholic School from kindergarten through the eighth grades where she excelled academically. She completed her education at Windsor Forest High School graduating in 2007. Her exemplary leadership and organizational skills were shown through her active participation in Windsor’s National Honor Society, Senior Class President, Spanish Club and the Varsity Girls’ Basketball and Volleyball Teams.
As a high school student, she was also a member of The Chatham County Youth Commission where she was very involved in many leadership and community service programs. Upon graduation from high school, she pursued her undergraduate degree in Social Work graduating Summa Cum Laude from Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio. She completed additional graduate studies also in Social Work graduating from Loyola University, in Chicago, Illinois. Because of her love of travel, her adventurous spirit, and her passion of service she taught English for two years in both Ecuador and Thailand before entering the military where she served for ten years as a Captain in the United States Army Reserve. She later became employed as a social worker with the Veterans Administration. She gave outstanding service both as a social worker and advocate for military veteran’s mental health needs.
Michelle will be remembered as a well-rounded individual who enjoyed paddle boating, hiking, and traveling. She was a kind and exemplary mother, daughter, sibling, and family member. She embraced with much love and care of her recent new role of mother to her young daughter Esther. Her presence and sharing with the family at many family gatherings and family trips brought much joy and laughter. Her consistent volunteering and support with The Martin de Porres Society, to which her maternal grandparents were the founders, made her family very proud that she had embraced the family’s legacy of serving the needs of the disadvantaged. Also, her compassion and support that she gave to military veterans and their families has left a lasting mark of distinction.
She was a special blessing to both her family and to the military community. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Dr. George and Yolanda Negron and paternal grandparents, Bernard and Mary Rose Verwiel. She leaves to cherish her loving memories: her daughter, Esther Yolanda Verwiel, and Esther's father, Matthew Baumann; parents, John and Maria Gabriela Chavez-Verwiel; siblings, John Victor Verwiel (Jessica) of Fort Benning, GA. and Christina Verwiel of Savannah; aunts and uncles, Anna Chavez Kittredge (Patricia), Gray, Maine, Teresa White (Jim), Silverthorn of Colorado, Victor Alfredo Chavez of Columbia, South America, Bernie Verwiel (Moe) of Chicago. Ill., David Verwiel of Chicago, IL, Joe Verwiel of Savannah, and a host of extended family members and many friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at St. James Catholic Church. A private burial will be held.
I am so very sorry for your loss. I am a former co-worker of Michelle's from GA and the program there was so fortunate to have her. She will be missed.
- Katy Terry, Littleton, CO
I know Our Heavenly Father will provide His deep peace and strength at this time for you and yours. Michelle is a beautiful soul who committed her life to serve others in so many ways. May you always feel her presence because she is still with you all.
- Kelly Hunt and Family, Savannah, Georgia
My heart is broken for Michelle, Esther and her entire family. I was Michelle's colleague and supervisor when she worked in Seattle. I loved working with her! She was a ray of sunshine and provided a lot of joy and laughter on our team. She had a beautiful, kind and giving soul. I miss her presence on earth but I believe that she is in Heaven surrounded by the comfort and love that only Jesus can provide. May God bless you all and comfort you during this difficult time.
- Emily Jex, Spokane, WA
I had the opportunity to work and get to know Michelle when she worked at the VA in Seattle. She was such a sweet person that lit up the room when she walked in. She will be missed so much. I am mourning alongside you and I'm keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time.
- Beatriz Florez, Seattle, WA
I can’t imagine this loss. My heart and my love and prayers go out to her family and friends. What a beautiful life she had.
- Lori Verwiel Crupi, Alpharetta, GA
Gabby, John and family, I am heartbroken to read about Michelle’s passing. The world has truly lost a fabulous woman that excelled in so many ways. May your memories of happy times carry you all through the days ahead. Sending prayers and love.
- Berta McRae Youngblood , Savannah , GA
My deepest sympathy for the family. I knew Michelle when she was a Cadet at Xavier. It is an honor to have known her.
- Steve Harmon, Bellbrook , Ohio
On behalf of the former faculty and staff of Windsor Forest High School, I wish to express the sadness that we are all feeling at the loss of Michelle. She was a lovely young woman with so many life accomplishments and so much yet to give. Our prayers are with you, her family, as you traverse these difficult days and months ahead.
- Mrs. Linda Lynes, Savannah, GA
My sincerest condolences for you at this time. You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering support. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time. I can't think of my of childhood without Michelle, Christina, and John. Love you all so much!
- Bonnie Webber , Savannah , GA
My deepest and most sincere condolences. Michelle’s cheerfulness and joy will always be a keystone memory from the time I was blessed to spend with her at Xavier. My thoughts and prayer are with you all during b these difficult times.
- Keith Wimsatt, Cleveland , Ohio
- Mary Jo Keller, Columbus , Ohio
My heart aches for you, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
- patricia verwiel, Riverside, CA
We are so sorry to hear!! Sending love and prayers to John, Gabby and family!!
- Charlie and Donna Bartlett, West Chicago , Il
We are distant cousins from Arizona, and only knew Michelle through all the wonderful things Therese told us about her. She truly seemed like a wonderful, kind soul. Her soul will live on through beautiful baby Esther, and all of the wonderful memories. Loving and healing prayers as you all grieve your beautiful daughter, sister, mother, niece and friend. ❤️
- Ray and Korin Forbes , Gilbert, AZ
I pray for peace and light during this very dark time for the family. I send my most heartfelt condolences. Former co worker of Mrs. Verweil, Terry Finlay
- Terry Finlay, Savannah, GA
I just happened to be reading my younger brothers obit, Martin who died this time last year and saw a name I remembered from SJS. Very sorry for your loss !
- Laura Sheehan , Savannah , GA
Gabby, John and family please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of Michelle. May your memories keep you going. She was a precious light in the world.
- Stacy Wheeler, Savannah, Ga
My heart aches for all of you, and especially Esther, who will not know her kind, funny, quirky, beautiful and smart Mother. Michelle will stay with us all, always young, always beautiful, always strong, and gone too soon. May you all find comfort in her sweet baby girl, and in knowing that Michelle now watches over us all with that big, loving heart of hers.
- Kim Brown, Seattle, WA
I worked with Michelle at the VA as a social worker for the homeless program. She was always so energetic and passionate. She never gave up - she treated our veterans with 100%. My prayers go out to your family.
- Michael Damon, Seattle, WA
Gabby, I am so sorry. Michelle was a great student, very studious and always positive. My prayers are with you.
- Leonard Hoke, Pembroke , GA
Our hearts are breaking for you You remain in our prayers and thoughts All our love, Beth and Al
- Beth and Al Stralka, Riverside, CA.
So very sorry to hear about Michelle. She was such a good student and teammate.She will surely be missed
- John Carroll, Bluffton, SC
I was one of many, in Michelle’s community of colleagues at the Seattle VA. Michelle put her full heart into her work. She took excellent care of Veterans as well as staff. She gave the gift to our team by providing brief mindfulness meditation sessions, which we all found so helpful. She always spoke so sweetly about her grandma & her love of family. Michelle spread kindness wherever she went and that means everything. I’m grateful for the way she was graceful yet goofy, gentle yet strong. I’m glad that Esther will have so many people to help her know that her mom was a true gem of a person.
- Lisa Farsje, Seattle, Wa
John, Gabby, and family, my heart aches for you… I didn’t get to know Michelle as an adult, but I remember her beautiful smile and gentle spirit. May you find comfort in your many sweet memories.
- Leah Colby Miller, Savannah, GA
I am so very sorry to read about Michelle's passing. I babysat her and her siblings a few times when I was a student at St. James. She was such a beautiful and happy girl. May the family be comforted during this time and may she rest in Peace.
- Megan Moore Valentine, Savannah, Georgia
Dear Gabby, John & family, I am shocked and saddened to hear of Michelle's passing as well as Yolanda's. Michelle accomplished much in her time on Earth and touched so many! I remember her happy, silly self as a little girl at your home. May all the joy she brought to you and others help to comfort you in all the days ahead. Know that many are praying for your family and all of her friends!
- Stephanie Clegg, Savannah, GA
I hadn't seen her since Xavier, and only reunited and spoke with her a little on Facebook within the past year, but nonetheless the impact of her passing is great and shows what an amazing person she was. She was so very kind, empathetic and driven. She was someone to look to as an example of the best of humanity. It's hard to believe that someone so wonderful and full of life is not here.
- Felicia Middleton, Cincinnati, OH
I am so shocked and saddened to hear of Michelle’s passing. I worked with her in Chicago’s county ER and we remained in touch after. Michelle was so full of life, adventure, and love. She was a free spirit and I admired her for her bravery, all of her charitable work, sense of adventure, and travels. My sincere condolences for your loss. Truly a beautiful, radiant soul. You are all in my prayers.
- Jill Lubarski, Huntington Beach, CA
Michelle was a very close and dear friend of mine from Windsor Forest high school. She was our senior class president and her mom was one of our teachers and biggest supporters of our class. I love you both. Rest in heaven my friend. She lived a full and meaningful life and I pray her parents, family, baby girl and friends are immensely proud of who she was and all that she accomplished.
- Quinesha Schinnery Heard, Savannah , Ga