Verna Winona Simmons Rich passed away at the age of 98 on February 13, 2021 while residing at Wheelock Terrace in Hanover, NH. She was born April 22, 1922 to Harold & Beulah (Rowell) Simmons in Union, Maine. While growing up her family moved to Gardner, MA where she attended Gardner High School. Her love for Maine was well known, she returned often and always considered herself a “Maniac”.
Verna was married to Everett Bradbury Rich for 57 years, until his passing in 2000. They married 30 days after meeting each other at the Whelan’s Drug Store in Gardner, Ma. There is a wonderful story the family treasures about the “gloves he lost” and his reaching out to her to “recover them”. Verna was proud of her riveting job at Grumman Aircraft during World War 2 while Everett was serving. During those service years they lived in MA, CA & WA before returning to Lyme to raise their family.
She was a member of the Lyme Center Ladies Aid and attended the First Baptist Church in Lyme Center where she was a member of the choir. She worked at the Everett B. Rich Agency for years and later volunteered at the Converse Free Library. Her feisty spirit and independent nature were well known and will be missed. She was a nature lover, bluebird and Monarch butterfly enthusiast, gardener, and crafter. She loved tooling around in her Saab and was known to have a “heavy” foot. We have heard many stories of her blowing thru one stop sign in particular “that should not be there in the first place” and zipping past Lyme PD.
She was predeceased by her husband Everett, her son Stephan, her parents, and her sisters Shirley Binnell & Nola Kay Knox. She is survived by her sister Burdena (Deanie) Baldwin of Elgin IL, son Brian & Jodie, her three grandsons Aaron, Tyler and Justin and their families (which include 8 great grandchildren) and several nieces & nephews.
A graveside service will be held in the Spring. Memorial contributions may be made to Converse Free Library, 38 Union Street, Lyme NH 03768.
The family wishes to thank the Wheelock Terrace staff for their compassion and incredible care for many years (several funny stories have been told in recent days of her time there), Bayada Hospice for the past 11 months of support & care and Janet Smith (her companion and caretaker for years) for her loving kindness.
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