“For everything there is a season.” The symbolism from this passage in Ecclesiastes describes in moving details the life of Mrs. Pete Palasota—known by many as “Venie.” Even her initial seasons were intertwined with multiple memories. Born in New Orleans to Frank and Virginia Brewis, Lavena Betty Brewis called Galveston “home” where she excelled both as student and teacher in dance classes. These talents continued through academic classes including graduation from Ball High School and attendance at Sam Houston State Teachers College. Early adult life brought marriage to childhood sweetheart Thomas Morgan Hood Jr. and the birth of two beautiful children, Thomas III and Karen. These seasons, surrounded by very meaningful moments, became altered when Thomas was killed in a B-29 flying accident over Japan during World War II, refocusing Venie’s world then on her children and their lives going forward.
Seasons thereafter contained elements of daily life as a resourceful, loving mother worked for the City of Galveston Recreation Department (later becoming its Program Director) and married a college friend, Pete Palasota in his third year of UT Medical School. After graduating and completing a Psychiatric residency, Kingsport Tennessee became their new home and his practice. Another seasonal change occurred when aging parents’ needs prompted a relocation to Abilene, Texas—their permanent home.
The longest and most promising seasons of their lives concerned leadership roles in many local, state, and national organizations and social events, including those which revolved around medical and community projects. Venie and Pete volunteered their time and talents freely by appearing and producing many plays and musical productions in the Abilene metro, thereby setting the standard for these venues. Devoted parents, they also remained involved in Tom’s and Karen’s lives as they completed their schooling and became established adults.
Throughout the seasons of her life, Venie continued to study, compose and share her writings, in particular, her true love—poetry, as the poem below illustrates:
The Quiet Time
To my loving family
Once more, the quiet time…
Tranquility she glides
Her silence spirits me away
On misty fingers of light
To a vintage point
Where I can oversee the quiet
Attuned to muted musings of the dove.
Let me drink deep of heather haze
And soft, feathered dawn.
Harshness hides in shadowed coverlet
Of passing night
Until the sun, reaching to anoint the trees,
Casts shimmering Midas light
Through spun glass leaves.
Drowsy buds lift misty faces
To yawn at the growing rhapsody
Of sound and scent and color
And I, serene,
Go forth to meet the day.
In honor of her merits as a poet, the International Society of Poets presented her with the following charter which recognized Venie B. Palasota as a “member in good standing for her support of the Society’s principles of Peace, Education, Accomplishments, Charity, Equality”
The Palasotas were also praised for their combined and individual involvements on the state level with the following official document: Pete and Venie Palasota were officially honored by The State of Texas House of Representatives “as an expression of gratitude for your remarkable contributions to the cultural life of Abilene”
Later life seasonal events included the death of husband Pete, her loyal and loving mate for 53 years, special events spent with family members and friends, and continued support for many sponsored activities. At 95 she completed her last season—Venie’s final curtain call.
Venie’s legacies, in addition to her natural leadership qualities, generosity of spirit, and academic gifts, include the following family members whom she loved and cherished with her whole heart:
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