Verna B. Nash

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  • "To all of Verna's family, I send my deepest sympathy. I am..."
    - Donna McGullion
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    - Debbie Thouin
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SOUTH HADLEY - Verna B. Nash, 92, died peacefully Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at home surrounded by family and friends. She had moved from Amherst to Loomis Village 14 years ago after suffering a stroke.

Wife of the late Dr. William A Nash, devoted mother to Rebecca Nash McKay (Rob) of Chicago, Illinois, and Phillip Nash (Margaret) Florence, beloved grandmother to Julia and Elizabeth McKay, Will, Abigail and Isabella Nash, and sister of the late Rev. Victor and Molly Baer of Lititz, Pennsylvania.

Verna was born in Landisville, Pennsylvania, and studied music from an early age. She received her bachelors of music degree from Grinnell College in Iowa, and masters of music in music literature with a major in violin, from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

She began her professional career as a music cataloguer at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. After marrying Bill, they moved to Gainesville, Florida, where she was concertmistress for the University of Florida Symphony, as well as playing in numerous quartets. She also began teaching violin to younger students.

Following a move to Amherst and while attending a national music conference, she learned of the Suzuki method of teaching music. After meeting Dr. Suzuki at the conference, she hosted a reception at her home to introduce him to local Suzuki teachers in the area. Verna embraced the Suzuki method for the remainder of her teaching career. She was concurrently performing with the Pioneer Valley, Greenfield, and Guilford Barn symphonies. She was a founding member of the Western Massachusetts Suzuki Institute for young violin students and in 2009 received the prestigious Nathan Gottschalk Memorial Award from The Pioneer Valley Symphony. She was a member of the American String Teachers Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the Music Teachers National Association. Verna was also an active member and officer of the Amherst Women's Club for many years where her commitment to the importance of education led to her involvement with the scholarship committee.

In recent years, she has been a member of the Loomis choir and has enjoyed continued trips to the symphony. Her positive spirit and joy for life will be missed by all.

She leaves behind her children, grandchildren and many very special caregivers who enabled her to live a happy life with joy these past few years.

Visitation will be held Friday, July 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 19, at 10 a.m. at South Congregational Church of Amherst.

Obituary and memorial register at

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Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-3407
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 17, 2014
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