Sally Anne "Sylvia" Veregge
1946 - 2012
Surrounded by her family and friends at home, Sally [Sylvia] Ann Veregge passed away peacefully on September 22, 2012. Born in Lodi on April 27, 1946, the second child of Charles Albert and Ann Antoinette [Mineni] Veregge Jr. she immediately became known as Sally. Sally is survived by her brother Charles Albert III and his spouse Patricia, her nephew Charles Albert IV and spouse Rachael, her step-niece Gina Schmeusser, step-nephews David Pruitt and Sam Pruitt, as well as several cousins including Denny [Vicki] Mineni of Modesto and many close friends including her long time dear friend Jerome Woehl also originally from Lodi, the Kearns family [Maureen Saunders, Lorraine, Tricia, Janet and Kenny and their families] originally met in Fresno, dear friends from graduate school including Martin, Gina and daughter Jennifer Moss, and Larry Denner. Sally is survived by many friends at San José State University and the First United Methodist Church of San José who treasure the time they shared with her.
Sally thoroughly immersed herself in education and the integration of education within the world. She did so as a lifelong learner, graduating from Lodi Union High School, UC Davis with a BS in Biology, a MS in Biology and BS Nursing degree from CSU Fresno, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. She brought her strong educational background and eclectic working background [high school biology teacher, hemodialysis technician, medical/surgical nurse] to the Biological Science Department at San José State University [1984] where she taught a wide variety of courses rose to the rank of Professor and Chair of her department. Quietly innovative as a professor, Sally collaborated with others to create interdisciplinary curricula such as one of the first Professional Science Masters in the country [Masters in Biotechnology] providing students strong internship opportunities in the Valley, and working closely with the hospitals and clinics in the area to build and support a Clinical Laboratory Science program. Sally was a loved and respected teacher. She treated every student as if they were her only student. She spread the ability to learn and the love of learning to thousands of students. She engaged students in her research laboratory as well. Students from high school, undergraduate and graduate students worked collaboratively to tackle the impact of gonadal steroids on the brain including estrogen's impact on epilepsy. Sally was also a longstanding organizer and contributor to Expanding Your Horizons which served over 800 young girls every year to encourage them to pursue studies and work in science and engineering. She was a "Teacher-Scholar" at SJSU and was named 2002 "Woman of Achievement" award at the 28th Annual Women's Fund of Silicon Valley among many academic honors. She threw herself into extensive service at both the university and her church communities.
Sally always saw the positives in people and situations.  Beyond words, this was often expressed by her trademark smile that she used frequently. We will keep Sally in our hearts and minds by remembering how she enjoyed life and respected and helped others; how she was always strong in spirit and conviction, lived life to the fullest, and cherished her family and friends.
Sally wished to thank her medical team and caregivers in San José, Stanford, MD Anderson and UC Davis for their care and attention as well as her loving friends and family who assisted her as she sought to live each day to the fullest.
Services will be held on Wednesday, September 26, at 10 am in the Wesley United Methodist Church at 566 north 5th St, San José (408-295-0367). Sally will be interned in Lodi, California. Contact Oakhill Mortuary for details. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to the First United Methodist Church of San José or the Biological Science Department at San José State.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Sep. 25 to Oct. 2, 2012.
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28 Entries
Miss you Sally!
February 3, 2013
SALLY - MEMORIES by Jerome Woehl

Sally Veregge and I first met in about 1963. She was a pretty, tomboyish young lady. Sally was fresh out high school intending to attend UC Davis; she was bright and a good student. She was understanding, calm and caring. We spent time playing tennis, hiking and bicycling. We discussed life, people and God, along with our plans, hopes and dreams. We dated several years until she decided that I was a distraction from her education and career goals.

About 35 years later, Sally sent me an e-mail. We had lost contact, but here she was, a new member of the same bicycling club as me. For two decades, since joining SJSU, she had lived in MY town and we never crossed paths. In getting together, I found she was still bright, caring and understanding. We spent hours talking about old friends and their progresses. Now, with years of hindsight, it was interesting to see what people had done with their lives and how so much of it was predictable, just from looking at them as youths. She observed how the choices we made then will have so much effect on us later.

Since I am in a relationship with Teri, Sally and I ended up simply being friends. Sally recently semi-retired; some of her plans were to do some long deferred home improvements. Helping her with that was a pleasure. For me, it was much better than going to movies or concerts. Sally joked that in a decade, Teri, Sally and a bunch of other women admirers would end up sitting in a rest home watching me scurry around, fixing their wheelchairs and tending the garden. But there were changes.

Sally got that funny lump on her arm; cancer. But shucks, you cut it out and on you go. Well ... maybe we should do radiation ... Oh, and how about chemo too? Maybe, just maybe ... it's not a trivial thing. An uncle once told me, "When you retire, don't make too many plans. Things seem to change. Maybe something else comes along. Maybe you end up grandchild sitting. Maybe you get sick." Well, Sally had simple retirement plans. One project we started was to redo her front planter area. She wanted a little area as an herb garden. But her arm was already painful when we redid the irrigation. Then I got the dirt prepared. Soon, she no longer had the strength for us to go shopping for plants. After much delay, I decided to buy them myself and plant them. At least she could see them from her bed, where she had to spend more and more time. It would be nice for her to see a reminder of me in growing, living things. We made a list. The project never finished.

A few weeks before Sally passed, I read a news article grandly announcing that science had almost completely proved that God doesn't exist. They went through all the wonderful discoveries in molecular science and continued on through evolution, concluding with explaining the "Big Bang" beginning of it all. It was wonderful, being able to know everything and explain how it all randomly happened. But I read it and found it interesting that to me, it proved even more that there is a God, an intelligent being, who designed all of it.

Obviously, there are many opinions about God. But for me, one of the biggest evidences of the existence of God, was watching Sally live and die. Sally, a scientist, had a strong belief and faith in God. Her life showed calm, purpose and direction. She was concerned about, and actively helped, others. Sally was not selfish; she had simple tastes and cared for our little planet. When she got news of the "C" word, how could she not be devastated by it? However, she showed strength, peace and calm in dealing with all of it's setbacks and misery. She had a deep conviction that someone bigger was in control. She would do her best. No matter what happened, she was ready and accepting of it.
Jerome Woehl
February 2, 2013
It is of great sadness to hear of Sally's passing. She was my cousin who I had in recent years found online and have written to from time to time. Catching up on family news. I hadn't seen her since I was young and enjoyed our brief emails. She always asked about my father (her uncle) and other family members. She was a very nice and caring person. You will be missed.
Tamra (Veregge) Baugh
November 20, 2012
Sally was instrumental in the creation of a new program for Clinical Laboratory Science. Our program is now 10 years old and thriving. Sally went out to recruit clinical sites and convinced them that training our students was the right thing to do. She gave us a start and continued supporting the program for the past 10 years. I will never forget how Sally could make a person feel like anything is possible. She convinced me that I could get my Masters and become the permanent program director. She had a certain quality to her voice that conveyed a combination of great intelligence, practical know-how, strength and compassion. I will never forget her impact on my life and our entire community.
Sue Gayrard
October 18, 2012
We only knew Sally briefly, but she made such a wonderful impression on us. We went rafting together on the Green River in Utah and she and I took a spill in the icy cold water while paddling together through a rapid in our rubber ducky. She came up with a huge smile on her face and then asked me "how did that happen?!" We saw her a few months ago and she was full of hope and encouragement. What a great person. Her warmth and smiles will be missed.
Bonnie and Jim Poulos/Brooker
October 1, 2012
I knew Sally through her participation in the United Methodist Women's (UMW). I always enjoyed her wisdom and her smile and her warm-heartedness. It took some doing to get to know Sally as she was quiet and unassuming.What a joy though when one took the time as Sally was intelligent, thoughtful, caring and fun! I will never forgetmy surprise when I saw her one day driving around in her Miata sports car! Sally knew how to live-a model for us all. You will be missed!
Theresa Wilson
September 30, 2012
I have many sweet memories of Sally from my childhood. Sally was one of my sister's buddies from grade school, Brownies, and high school. She was one of those friends you remember, because she treated this kid sister with respect and always had something nice to say. I am so very sad for your loss, but I know, as the many people whose lives she has touched, that you will have beautiful memories to recall when you think of her.
Donna Ehrhardt Mann
September 28, 2012
Dear Family
Sally and I were best friends growing up in our neighborhood.
We were called the two tomboys and we were so proud of that.
From staying up all night to watch the sunrise to just goofing around,
we had the best of times.

I'll miss you my friend.
Sharon (Becker) Fregien
Sharon (Becker) Fregien
September 27, 2012
As so many have said, Sally was a wonderful colleague and friend. She will be missed by so very many.
Gail Evans
September 27, 2012
Sally, I just could not find the right words to say earlier. This is hard for me and especially Daddy and Mom. You and Dad have been best friends since before he married my mom and adopted me as his daughter when I was 3.
You took on me and my mom just as my Dad did when I was 3 and mom was a struggling single mom.
You were always there for my dad as his best friend in the whole world for over 40yrs and I don't think people will ever understand what you meant to my mom and dad and me because they weren't there to experience the love and laughes and hard times we shared as a family.
You were there for my parents so many years and especially the hard ones with all my surgeries and uncertanties with my life. You were there for me and helped dad and mom get through all the surgeries with your love for me and support and especially medical experience helping dad decide what was best for me. I remember you being there when I was a little girl and scared and you making me laugh and stopping me from being scared and crying, It never, until I was an adult, occured to me how much you had on your plate and all the great things you were doing in your life because you never let me know, you were just my big sister "As dad would put it." YOU WERE AND STILL ARE "MY SALLY". I could go on forever and I love you and miss you so much and I regret not spending more time with you after I left home at 17. But I do appreciate our private conversations that we had when I was growing up and fed up with my parents, lol. You never betrayed me or anything I ever told you, even though Daddy was your best friend.
Rest in Peace Sister Sally and you will deal with my crazy butt again! I love you!!!
Jennifer Moss-Coffman
September 27, 2012
I'm heartbroken to learn of Sally's passing. She was a wonderful colleague and friend. I am thinking about a time when she shared a story with the SJSU teacher scholar group of showing a cross section of a cow's brain to her students one at a time, tracing the lines for each one and she had the sudden feeling that she was giving communion. So true, she brought together her love of people and her love of the natural world in a way that had a spititual impact on students. She will be missed by so many.
Jo Sprague
September 26, 2012
Sally was one of my professors during my senior semester abroad, in Bath, England. I will always remember her for her true kindness, passion for education, wonderful smile and laugh. She enriched my life and the lives of so many ... she will be truly missed.
Lori McAllister
September 26, 2012
Sally, you will be dearly missed. Your positive it-can-be-done attitude, even in the face of so many obstacles, your professionalism and down-to-earth sensibility, and the energy you brought to the biology department at SJSU will be among my memories of you. Though just a small memory among all of them, I loved the winter holiday parties at your house with so many of us crammed in, and others spilling into the tent on the back porch -- and then santa claus, looking quite a bit like you, bringing a bag of presents, a white elephant for all. Thank you for your mentoring, the example you set, and your presence. You lived a great and admirable life.
David Matthes
September 26, 2012
Very sorry to hear of Sally's passing... She was quite a sportswoman in high school and a friend... See you on the other side Sally....
Dan Schueler
September 26, 2012
Hello Family-

I had the pleasure of knowing Sally while I receive my masters degree at SJSU. She was incredibly supported and always a pleasure to be around. My condolences.
Stephanie Smith
September 26, 2012
I knew Sally from church and though we did not have many personal interactions, I always found her to be a lovely person with a warm smile. The more I learned about her, the more fascinating she became but of course I couldn't learn much from her in our time together as her humbleness kept her from talking about herself at great length. From what I've read and heard since, she was obviously an extraordinary person who touched many lives. I'm honored to have known her for the time I did and keep all those who mourn her passing in prayer.
Benerva Suarez
September 26, 2012
Sally was my mentor as new faculty at SJSU. She gave me my first chance at teaching, and helped me along the way. I will forever be grateful for her guidance, and I am completely stunned to have to live in a world where she will not longer be there to help up-and-coming teachers and students. My thoughts are with her family and friends.
Adrienne Brundage
September 26, 2012
Dear Family,
I have known Sally since Kindergarten at George Washington, and always enjoyed seeing her at reunions. She was one of the nicest classmates and so thoughtful. That is such a wonderful photo of her. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Sincerely, Patsy (Gundershaug) Lithco
Patsy Lithco
September 25, 2012
you will be missed, thanks for always being there. Tell Sox I said hi!!!!
Linda Olson
September 25, 2012
Thanks for giving me the opportunuity to pursue graduate school at SJSU and for being a great advisor, mentor and friend. You will be missed.
Webster Lincoln
September 25, 2012
After hearing the news, I am at a complete loss for words. Dr. Veregge was my greatest mentor, volunteering to take me into her lab as a mere freshman in high school. She had a great big smile that lit up the world around her, and she was always by my side through the thick and thin.

My family and I constantly keep you in our prayers, and I will forever hold you dearly in my heart.

Signed with love,
Nikhil Buduma
September 25, 2012
Such a dear person and wonderful teacher. Sally, you will be missed very much.
Tiffany Hernandez
September 25, 2012
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
Anna Babakhanyan
September 25, 2012
Sally -you will be in my thoughts forever. What I remember most were those times in the senate. Sally always gave her advice so warmly during these days. Love the picture selected!! Warmest thoughts to all those who loved Sally. Sharon
Sharon Parsons
September 25, 2012
Dear Sally, I cherish the memories of laughs and frustrations we shared over dinner at Grande's before our evening classes. Thank you for your many contributions to the students at SJSU and for being my colleague and friend. I miss your smile!
Vida Kenk
September 25, 2012
Thanks for being a great mentor!
Uzma Mumtaz
September 25, 2012
Jennifer Moss-Coffman
September 25, 2012
Love you big sis, I will see you again some day.
Jennifer Moss-Coffman
September 25, 2012
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