Miss Vernen L. Liles
Miss Vernen L. Liles, longtime Austin resident, died on December 14, 2012. She was 90 years old. Daughter of the late Thomas S. and Lula A. Liles, Vernen was born near Munday in Knox County, Texas on March 12, 1922. After graduation from high school in Stanton, Texas, Vernen attended business college in Lubbock. She spent most of the WW II years working in the Fort Worth bomber plant of Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corporation, and was always proud of having helped to build the B-24 Liberator bomber and the first B-36 bomber. Vernen began her university education by attending night classes at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and in 1946 enrolled in the University of Texas
in Austin. She received her Bachelor of Journalism degree from UT in 1949. Employed in writing and research by the Texas State Historical Association on the UT campus, Vernen received her Master of Arts degree in History from UT in 1953. She was a contributing editor to the first three volumes of the TSHA's Handbook of Texas, in which more than one hundred of her articles appear. She did further graduate study at the University of California in Los Angeles. Vernen taught Journalism at Mississippi Southern University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she also served as faculty advisor to the campus newspaper and yearbook. Returning to Austin in the early 1960s, she held several editorial positions in state departments. She joined the social sciences faculty of Huston-Tillotson College, Austin, in 1968. Before retiring from H-TC in 1987, she taught American, Texas, and European history, as well as courses in U.S. and Texas governments. Vernen was asked to initiate H-TC's first course in Physical Geography of the United States, which she did and taught, along with Cultural Geography of the World, until her retirement. In addition to a long college teaching career, Vernen's life was filled by her travels abroad, her many hobbies, and volunteer work in her church. She was a member of the Northwest Hills United Methodist Church in Austin, where she held many offices on the board of trustees, the administrative board, and various committees. She leaves to mourn her passing her niece Cynthia Toscas and her husband Wayne of Pismo Beach, California; grand-nieces Stephanie (Coupeville, Washington) and Jennifer (Hacienda Heights, CA) and grand-nephew Mark (Seal Beach, CA). Her only sibling Vernice P. Liles died April 1, 1987 in Anaheim, CA. The family is grateful for the devoted care Vernen received in Manor Oaks Nursing Center in Rockdale and the attention to her needs by the caring professional staff of Odyssey Hospice. Burial will be in Capital Memorial Gardens in Austin. A graveside funeral service will be at 10 AM on Friday, January 4, 2013. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the memorial fund of the NW Hills United Methodist Church.