Felicite Augusta "Miss Gus" Verner

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  • "I remember her well at Watkinsville Elementary, she was..."
    - Susan SaxonSingleton
  • "A true Southern Belle if there ever was one. What an..."
    - Gary Lee
  • "I am truly blessed to have known such a wonderful person,..."
    - Tamanika Rooks
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    - Mike and Joan O'Kelley
  • "Miss Gus: A huge thread in the fabric of education,..."
    - Chuck Williams
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Felicite Augusta Verner
Felicite Augusta Bryan Verner, "Miss Gus",93, of Watkinsville, GA died on 14 March, 2014. Augusta was born on August 5, 1920 in Smithville, GA.
Mrs. Verner was the daughter of the late Moses William Bryan and Musa Eudora Usry Bryan.
She was a school teacher by profession. She taught school in Rome, GA, Hastings, FL, and Oconee County Schools in GA.
Mrs. Verner was instrumental in bringing Head Start to Oconee County. Augusta started (and was the first teacher) in the Special Education Program in Oconee County.
She loved people, especially children. She thrived on their individual achievements and successes. She dealt with many children who were passed over by others. All children were valuable in her eyes and dear to her heart.
Hugs cards were received, often with a hug, by many, many people over the years from Gus.
Mrs. Verner attended St. Petersburg (FL) Junior High School and graduated from St. Petersburg SR. High School. She was one of few girls in the Pilots Club. She was in the Civil Air Patrol and was prepared to watch the Florida coast during war time. She also was in the Fencing Club and competed in an outfit she made! Her great grandchildren were excited by her "sword" (as were her children in earlier days).
Augusta graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors Degree in Education.
She worked toward her Masters. While at UGA she rode in the trunk of a car to Atlanta to "storm the capitol" as the students wanted to ensure that UGA would remain on the accredited list of schools. She told of sneaking a watermelon in to Creswell Hall in the night.
She met "the love of her life", Edwin Lee Verner in a mud puddle on a possum hunt. On 7 March, 1943, Edwin became her husband at the US Navy Chapel in Norfolk, VA as Edwin's leave had been cancelled.
Mrs. Verner was a Foster Parent and made a difference in the lives of those children. She loved to walk for miles on end until she lost a leg due to cancer in her eighties. She was delighted to be wheeled about town by friends in her chair. She never tired of these outings.
She also mentored children after her retirement as long as her health permitted.
Augusta had great faith and a deep love of God. She always pointed up when one shared troubles with her.
She was inducted in to the Oconee County Education Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Verner was the recipient of the Retired Educator of the year for 1999/2000 for Clarke-Oconee. She was given a citation for distinguished service by the Georgia Federation Council for Exceptional Children for her "High Calibre Professional Contribution to Exceptional Children and Youth".
Mrs. Verner was selected as an "Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America" for 1972.
She had been a faithful and contributing member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
She was a member of the Watkinsville United Methodist Church in Watkinsville, GA and also attended the Hoschton United Methodist Church in Hoschton, GA.
Mrs. Verner was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a son, Edwin Bryan Verner, her brother, William Franklin Bryan, a sister, Charity Joshlyn Link, and great grandchildren , Elizabeth Huff, and triplets, Julia, Scott, and Jeremiah Murray.
She is survived by her daughter-in-law, Nancy Byrd Verner, son, Lemuel Henry Verner of Watkinsville, and daughters, Ellen Irmeth Thurmond (Mack)of Canton ,MI, and Becky Baxter (Frank) of Watkinsville. She was also survived by her grandchildren,Christy Verner, Rebecca Holcomb, Wendy McHale,Lee Verner, Misha Turner, Jeff and Brett Thurmond, Scott, Matt, Russ, and Reid Murray and Tessa Turk-Baxter.
She is survived by two sisters, Susie Ruth Hilliard of Florida and Ada Pryor Speranza of Connecticut, and three sisters-in-law, Daisy Verner MacLean of Braselton, GA, Sara Breedlove Verner of Rutledge, GA, and Ann Stephens of Florida and many beloved nieces and nephews.
She left 23 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren.
Her family wishes to thank her friends and family for love given and kindnesses shared over her lifetime. Know that you were loved by Gus.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, 18 March, 2014 at Lord and Stephens West on Jimmie Daniel Rd. in Bogart, Georgia from 5 -7pm. A memorial service will be held at the Watkinsville First United Methodist Church on New High Shoals Rd in Watkinsville , Ga on Wednesday, 19 March at 11:00 am.
Flowers are optional. Memorials may be sent to the Foster Care Association of Oconee Co , Inc/Gus Verner Scholarship Fund at Oconee State Bank, PO Box 205, Watkinsville, Ga 30677 or ESP (Extra Special People) at PO Box 615, Watkinsville, GA. 30677.
Lord & Stephens West is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com

Funeral Home
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home - West Chapel
1211 Jimmy Daniel Road
Watkinsville, GA 30677
(706) 549-3342
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Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Mar. 17, 2014
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