It is with profound sadness that the family of Verna Gibson announces her passing in Zephyrhills, Florida, on Monday, March 7, 2016. Verna was in her 76th year.
Verna was the dearly beloved wife of Sandy Gibson of Iroquois loving mother of Cathy (Neil Huffman) of Merrickville and Shelley (James Byers) of Iroquois, and cherished grandmother of Will and Maddie Huffman.
Verna will be greatly missed by sisters Reta Marchand (Lawrence Merkley), Lila (Bill Jollota), and Norma (Harold Steinburg), by her brother Billy Lewis (Kelly), and by many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Verna was born on June 30, 1940, in Brinston, Ontario. She was the fourth of 14 children born to Bill Lewis and Irene McCooeye. She went to public school in Hainsville and high school in Iroquois.
As a young woman, Verna was a mill worker at Burnell Sportswear in Prescott, a waitress at the Daffodil Lunch restaurant in Iroquois, and a creeler and office clerk at the Caldwell Linen Mill in Iroquois.
She also cared for the children of several friends and family members.
Later, Verna worked as a clerk at the Brinston General Store, Swiss Canadian Pastry shop in Prescott, the Iroquois Locks gift shop, and Gilmer Pharmacy in Iroquois, where she worked for many years before retiring.
Verna met Sandy in 1958, and they were married on April 11, 1959.
During their 57 years of marriage, they resided in Brinston, Smiths Falls, and Prescott for short periods of time, but most of these years were spent living in their Stampville home, which Verna’s father Bill Lewis helped Sandy build in 1961.
Over the past several years, Sandy and Verna were snowbirds, spending many of their winters under the warm Florida sun, in the Dade City/Zephyrhills area.
Sandy and Verna had two daughters, Cathy and Shelley. Like everything she did, Verna was a very dedicated mother. She was so very proud of their accomplishments in school and in life, and supported them in every way possible as they grew up.
She loved her sons-in-law, Neil and James, as if they were her own boys, and laughed along with them when they teased her endlessly.
Verna also loved being a grandmother, and she was a fabulous one; nothing made her happier than to spend time with Will and Maddie, and when she wasn’t with them, she took great pleasure in telling friends and family members about all of their activities and accomplishments.
Verna was a “people person” and making other people feel special and loved was her true life’s work.
She lived for the chance to get together with family and friends, to share meals, play cards and games, or just visit. She loved lavishing family and friends with gifts and always marked a loved one’s birthday or anniversary by sending a carefully-selected card.
She loved music, especially traditional country and western, and a favourite past-time was to attend concerts at local fairs. As a young woman, Verna taught herself how to play the guitar, and she loved to sing and play with family and friends.
Although Verna’s last few years were difficult, she approached her challenges with grace and courage, never giving up because she needed to continue with her life’s work of caring for others.
She continued to live life to the fullest every day, serving family, friends, and community until her peaceful passing at the Gulfside Center for Hospice Care in Zephyrhills, Florida on March 7, 2016.
Friends were received at the Marsden McLaughlin Funeral Home in Iroquois on March 14 and 15, 2016, followed by interment at the Hanesville Cemetery.
In memory of Verna, contributions to the Canadian Cancer Society would be gratefully appreciated by her family.