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Verna L. Roberts(August 6, 1921 - October 1, 2012)

Verna L. Roberts

August 6, 1921 ~ October 1, 2012

RIVERSIDE, CA - Verna L. Roberts, a former resident of the Monterey Peninsula and a former state officer in the Order of Eastern Star, passed away on October 1, 2012, following a brief period of declining health. She was 91.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Darrell (1997), and a son, Max (1990).

Darrell was a retired Army major and a retired school teacher and golf coach at Pacific Grove High School. Max, known to Peninsula audiences for acting, writing and directing in local theater, was an Emmy-nominated member of the creative team for the TV show, "Pee-Wee's Playhouse."

Verna is survived by a son, Bill, a freelance writer in Prunedale, CA; a sister, Delaine Hill of Mill Creek, WA; and three generations of nieces and nephews.

Verna lived in Pebble Beach, 1963-1993. She also lived in Del Rey Oaks, 1953-1956, when her husband was a student at the Defense Language Institute and while he was deployed to Iran.

She and her husband were members of Pacific Grove's Ocean Spray Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, where they were Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron in 1967. In 1982, Verna was the Grand Warder of the Grand Chapter of California OES. She was involved in Grand Chapter again two years later when Darrell was Grand Sentinel.

They were members of the First United Methodist Church of Pacific Grove and of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club. They volunteered in many church, school and community events, including the AT&T Golf Tournament and staffing the polls on Election Day.

She worked as a teacher's assistant at Gladys Stone School in Marina for many years, and later volunteered at Gateway Center of Monterey.

Verna Louise McPherson was born on August 6, 1921 in Everett, WA. After graduating from Everett High School in 1938, she held various secretarial jobs in Everett, Seattle, Anchorage, and San Francisco. In 1945 she joined the American Red Cross, serving in Paris, Wiesbaden and Vienna. She operated a teletype machine, sending and receiving messages for GIs, and did club work. In 1946, she became a secretary in the U.S. Occupation in Japan, where she met Darrell. They were married in Tokyo in 1947, and went to Shanghai for their honeymoon.

For the next 15 years she devoted herself to motherhood and the duties of an officer's wife, and periodically returned to the paid workforce. There were two periods of single-parenting when Darrell was deployed overseas - a year of combat in Korea and a year as a military advisor in Iran. The family lived in Europe, 1958-1961, after which Darrell retired from the Army. In 1963, they settled in Pebble Beach.

Verna and Darrell traveled widely throughout their lives, including across the U.S. and Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, China and the Panama Canal.

In 1993, they moved to Tucson. In 2002, Verna moved to the Air Force Village West retirement community in Riverside. In her last years, she enjoyed bridge, crafts, exercising, reading, watching golf, community events, and spending time with friends and family.

In keeping with her request, there will be no service. Her ashes will be spread on Monterey Bay.

Published in The Monterey Herald on Oct. 7, 2012
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