*This feature first appeared in The Budget’s July 19, 2017, Local Edition.
Veronica Spidell has always been a bit of a thrill-seeker, but perhaps her craziest idea was the time she decided to go skydiving during college. At the time, Spidell was working at the Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union, and her supervisor had purchased a gift certificate for her husband to go skydiving at Canton Airsports in Alliance but didn’t want to go with him. Being the thrillseeker she is, Spidell agreed to accompany him.
Spidell said it was an experience like no other. “We were over 20,000 feet in the air, and you walk over to that door and there’s just no looking back at that point. You just free fall,” she explained. “That free fall is an exhilarating experience, but the feeling of gratefulness that you have when the parachute opens and know- ing that you’re going to make it safely to the ground is like no other.”
After her two daughters get a little bit older, Spidell said she wants them to be able to experience different kinds of adventure and plans to incorporate more activities into the family’s vacations like whitewater rafting. It’s something she had done several times as a young adult and really enjoyed. One thing she would still like to try parasailing.
Full name: Veronica Jeanell Spidell
Current residence: Strasburg
Family: Husband Tommy (married since 2003); daughters Amelia and Olivia; also hosted a foreign exchange student from Mexico for the last year – Saul Aguilar
Hobbies: I love to read, and basically right now we follow my kids with sports, so it’s whatever season they’re in.
Favorite television show(s): NCIS
Favorite movie(s): Top Gun
Last book I read: I usually have three going at a time. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch; The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls; Sum It Up by Pat Summitt
First job: Waitress at Randall’s Restaurant in New Philadelphia
Worst job: I haven’t had a worst. My hardest work was done in the Child Welfare system.
Favorite childhood memory: I loved when my mom would take me to the library. I’d bring home stacks and stacks of books.
Favorite music: Natalie Grant; Lauren Daigle
Favorite food: Penso’s Pizza calzone
Best idea(s) I ever had: Marrying my husband
Three words that describe me: Organized, helpful, involved
I am known for my: Willingness to help
I’d give anything to meet: I admired Princess Diana for her graciousness, for her commitment to her children, and for her service to the people. I would have loved to have met her.
I try very hard to hide the fact that: I always try to do one more thing which often makes me on the cuff of being late to my next event or meeting.
The career I fantasize having is: I always wanted to be a wife and a mother. I’m happily both. The jobs that I have held over the years permit me to have our family life. It has been a bonus that my jobs have been able to make positive impacts in the communities that I serve.
If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is: The “stuff” we acquire isn’t important. The relationships that we have with God, our grandparents, parents, spouse, children, and friends need to be priority. Our values and our character and how we serve others is more important than how much money we have in the bank.
People would be surprised to know that: I still get nervous when I sing in front of a crowd.
If I could give any gift to anyone in the world, it would be: An adop- tive family for every child in our foster care system.
If given the opportunity, I would ask the president: To exponentially increase the funding to the Child Welfare System so that we can provide the highest quality services to the children and families in need; to make it a priority to eradicate Human Trafficking; to make it a priority to put into place what is needed to end the opiate crisis.
People tell me I remind them of: My mom
Choose a movie title for the story of your life: The Path Less Traveled
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why? To heal. There is so much physical and mental hurt in the world and to be able to heal someone from their pain and suffering would be an awesome superpower in my opinion.
Organizations: Strasburg-Franklin School Board; Dover Foursquare Church; Strasburg-Franklin PTA
The One & Only is a weekly personality profile that features individuals well-known in the local community. Do you have a suggestion for someone we should feature? Let us know by calling 330-852-4634 or emailing email@example.com.