Vera Mae Pollard Hand


(Feb. 2, 2001)

Vera Mae Pollard Hand, 72, died Friday, Feb. 2 at Riverton's Memorial Hospital of complications from cancer.

She was born Feb. 20, 1928, in Riverton, daughter of Paul B. and Irma (Bybee) Pollard, and was raised by Paul and stepmother Gertrude. She attended Riverton schools and the University of Wyoming.

She married Harold R. Hand of Riverton. They raised their two daughters, Lee Ann and Jay, in Powell.

She was librarian at Northwest College and the Park County Branch Library in Powell and hosted "Children's Story Hour" there.

She then returned to the University of Wyoming and graduated in elementary education.

She began teaching in Lander at North Side Elementary, continued in Powell at Westside Elementary and finished her career at South Side Elementary in Lander, where she was recognized for initiating the school's first student council.

She retired from teaching in 1991 and returned to Riverton. She loved retirement, traveling to Mexico, the Panama Canal, Russia and British Columbia; raising her flowers and her two adopted stray dogs, Angel and Shadow. Vera also loved the opportunity to build so many friendships through active membership in PEO, Reach to Recovery, The Coffee Club, The Top of the Hill Gang and St. James Episcopal Church, where she was active in the Daughters of the King, Altar Guild and a lay reader.

Her approach to life was one of generosity and service to others. She delighted in supporting the community by sharing her passion for reading while instructing the illiterate, counseling cancer patients and volunteering at the Riverton Food Bank. She treasured her family, her dogs, her friends, Sinks Canyon, her clubs, her church and her God. Despite her illness, she lived each day to the fullest with bravery, courage and spirit of survival.

In addition to her two beloved dogs, Angel and Shadow, survivors include two daughters, Lee Ann Hand-Francik and husband Keith of Cody and Jay Ellen Hand of Chicago, Ill.; one brother, Jack A. Pollard and wife Lavonne of Riverton; one sister, Margery Richardson and husband John of Kansas; a sister-in-law, Helen Mitton of Casper; former husband, Harold R. Hand of Powell; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her father, Paul B. Pollard; her mother, Irma H. Pollard; her stepmother, R. Gertrude Pollard Kittle; her stepfather, Harley Kittle; and a brother, Billie Pollard.

Cremation has taken place. Memorials can be made to Help for Health Hospice, P.O. Box 808, Riverton, WY 82501, or to St. James Episcopal Church, Riverton.