Tracy Rae Podpeskar, age 43, a lifelong resident of Virginia passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020.
She was born on July 14, 1977, in Wausau, Wis., the daughter of Lee and Mary (Jameson) Podpeskar. Of all her many achievements, Tracy’s biggest accomplishment, and the one that she was most proud of was to be the mother of her two amazing daughters, Jordan and Hayden. She bragged about them to all who knew her and loved to share the achievements of her two smart, independent young women.
Tracy was a fun-loving, down-to-earth, loyal, strong and caring person with a fabulous sense of style and an extensive shoe collection. She lit up a room and brought people together with her vivacious and charismatic personality. She was a wonderful and devoted mother, daughter, sister, friend and colleague. She loved spending time with her friends, family and her new puppy, Luna, and enjoyed hosting gatherings in her newly created Tiki Bar, traveling, cooking, and golfing.
Tracy was a graduate of Virginia Roosevelt High School. Thereafter, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Criminology. Tracy then attended and received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law, graduating magna cum laude, all while raising young Jordan as a single parent.
Before, during and after law school Tracy was employed by the Trenti Law Firm in Virginia, working her way up from legal secretary to law student intern, to associate attorney, to partner in the firm in 2012. Tracy practiced family law at the highest level, both as a skilled and zealous litigator for her clients and as a talented and effective mediator. Through her professional life, Tracy gave the world a glimpse of her compassion, fearlessness and dedication helping countless families and children through her work both in the courtroom and in the community.
Some of Tracy’s professional associations and memberships include the American Bar Association, the Minnesota Bar Association, and the Range Bar Association, of which she had been a past president. Tracy also served as the Chair of Range Ethics Committee and as a Board Member of the Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota, and was selected as a North Star Lawyer, an honor given to attorneys who provide 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services in a year. To her close fellow Iron Range attorneys, she was a gracious organizer and host for many a “Range Lady Lawyer” gatherings, where she made everyone feel welcome.
Even while managing a busy career and raising her daughters, Tracy made time to give back to her community by participating as a mentor with the Upward Bound Mentor Program and serving on the Board of Directors and as Board Chair of the Apple Tree Learning Center. She was a member of the Hope Community Presbyterian Church in Virginia, where she taught Sunday school.
Tracy is survived by her mother, Mary (“Papa Richie”) Podpeskar of Virginia; her daughters: Jordan Skalko and Hayden Skalko, both of Virginia; her brother, Jay Podpeskar of Britt; her uncle and aunt:, James (Polly) Podpeskar of Lake Vermilion – Tower; and the father of her children, Justin Skalko of Minneapolis; as well as extended family, and many dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Lee Podpeskar.
A public visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia. Tracy’s family will hold a private family funeral service. Bill Bauman will officiate the funeral ceremony at the Bauman – Cron Funeral Home in Virginia, and interment will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial contributions to the Tracy Podpeskar Memorial Fund at the Frandsen Bank, 501 Chestnut St. Virginia, MN 55792.
Family services provided by Bauman-Cron, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia. To share condolences online, please see: www.baumanfuneralhome.com.