Eleanor Kveton helped found the church and set up the board of deacons.
Eleanor Kveton, a founding member of Christ Church of Longboat Key, died Dec. 16. She was 92.
Kveton was part of a small group of Longboat Key churchgoers who founded the church in 2005 and met in temporary locations. She and her late husband Frank were instrumental in getting the small congregation up and running, and Kveton eventually established the deacon's ministry.
She already had experience from running a ministry at her home church in Long Island and was ready to start one here at age 88.
“She wasn’t sure she was up to it but she would try her best,” said Debra McKenna, who followed Kveton as the moderator of the deacons. “It was so like her. She was so honest about her abilities at that age and she was very upfront with how she felt about it, but she wanted to serve our church, our congregation and our god.”
Kveton believed in the church she helped found and displayed a strength and confidence in her faith. It helped draw other members to the church over the years. Keith and Kay Tschannen met the Kvetons 13 years ago at one of the temporary locations from which Christ Church operated for its first six years.
“We were introduced to that basically, it was (from) the friendliness of folks like Eleanor and Frank … that attracted us to the church and to the fellowship,” Keith Tschannen said.
The Tschannens got to know Kveton through the church’s bridge and book clubs, both of which she avidly attended. She read all the books far ahead of time and as she got older and couldn’t hold books well, she turned to a Kindle. After services she would get brunch at Harry’s Continental Kitchens with other members. Tenacious and determined, Kveton didn’t want to miss any time at Christ Church and was there all the time she could be.
“I don’t know that she didn’t do any of the social activities that we knew about at the church,” Keith Tschannen said.
At a small memorial service on Jan. 16 at Christ Church, Kveton’s children thanked those attending virtually and in person — “mom’s church family” — for coming. Worship was essential to Kveton, son Richard said, and Christ Church became Kveton’s second church home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kveton’s name to First Presbyterian Church Of Oyster Bay in New York, or Christ Church of Longboat Key.