Verna Hersh


(Nov. 24, 2005)

Former Powell resident Verna Hersh died Nov. 24, 2005, at Heritage Hall Nursing Home in Broken Bow, Neb.

She was 104.

She was born Sept. 19, 1901, east of Broken Bow in Custer County, the second of four children born to Leonard and Myrtle Oxford Hersh.

She attended rural school at Pleasant Ridge and King schools until her junior year, when she transferred to Broken Bow. She graduated in 1921. After receiving her normal training in education, she embarked on a 45-year elementary teaching career. Her first assignment was two years at Westerville and three at Comstock, Neb., where she also served as girls' basketball coach. Other schools she taught at in Nebraska were Merna East Table, Breneizer, Brady and Ortella Valley near Anselmo.

She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Chadron State College in 1959 and headed for Powell, where she taught third and fourth grade for 22 years. Upon retirement, the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce presented her with her most cherished possession — "The Lamp of Learning" — for her unselfish service to the school and community. Before leaving Wyoming, she came out of retirement to teach two more years in Hyattville.

She returned to Nebraska in 1969 and settled on a ranch 20 miles north of Dunning, Neb., in Blaine County. She later purchased a mobile home in Berwyn, Neb., and spent summers on the ranch and winters in Berwyn, living alone and caring for herself through age 100.

Her hobbies included bird watching, raising flowers, playing piano, traveling and spending time with family, friends and former students. She was an ardent reader and liked keeping family history, passing it on to the next generation.

She was an active member of the Retired Teachers Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sod House Society, Rebekah Lodge and Neighborhood HEO Club. She was a faithful member of her church and taught Sunday School, as well as being active in the United Methodist Women.

She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Vayl (Nellie) Hersh, Loy Hersh and Dean (Ethelyn) Hersh; and one nephew, Royce Hersh.

Survivors include her sister-in-law, Zella Hersh White of Scottsbluff, Neb.; three nephews, Dan (Pam) Hersh of Ord, Neb., Larry (Nancy) Hersh of Kenesaw, Neb., and Gary Hersh of Scottsbluff; one niece, Barbara Butterfield of Scottsbluff; five grandnephews, Terry of Hastings, Neb., Marty (Diane) of Roseville, Mich., Robby and friend Bob of Denver, David of Missouri and Kevin of Colorado; one grandniece, Cindy Hersh of Hastings; and many cousins, friends and former students.

Funeral services will take place Saturday, Dec. 3, at Govier Brothers Chapel in Broken Bow at 10 a.m., with the Rev. Glen Emert officiating. Burial will follow at the Broken Bow Cemetery.

Govier Brothers Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.