Verna Mae Rogers made the transition from her life on earth to her spiritual life on December 10, 2015 at Holy Rosary Hospital/Hospice Care in Miles City, Montana as she was surrounded by family members.
Verna was the fourth of five children born to John B. and Willie M. (Jones) Earle near Waynesboro, Mississippi. Her mother drowned in the Chickasawhay River in 1927; her father proudly kept the family together, even through the dark years of the Depression. After leaving the family home in 1940, Verna lived with friends in Alvin, Texas to be near her sister, Nobie in the Houston, Texas area. It was in Alvin that Verna met her true love, Joel B. Rogers. She and Joel were married May 8, 1947 at the home of some dear friends in Alvin. They became parents to two daughters, Jo Ann and Dyon.
Joel enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and was given duty assignments in New Guinea, and Perth, Australia. In the meantime, Verna became a “Rosie the Riveter” for General Dynamics in Ft. Worth, Texas. Joel continued his military service after the war, transferring into the U.S. Air Force and continuing until his retirement in 1970. Verna was the epitome of a military wife – during Joel’s deployments she handled all aspects of maintaining a home and when he returned from his deployments she then handed the reins of the head of the household back to Joel. Verna made the most of the various moves, always looking for the advantages of each duty assignment. She also retained her strong roots in the family home in East Texas.
Verna was a Christian and attended services at the Eastern Hills Church of Christ in Athens, Texas for many years. She enjoyed cooking, her chickens, guinea fowls and geese. Verna was also very proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and enjoyed learning of their accomplishments.
Verna was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, and her daughter, Jo Ann. She is survived by her daughter, Dyon “Dee” (Rick) Abbott. Her survivors also include her former son-in-law, Charles (Nita Young) Lohrke of Weatherford, Texas; her grandchildren Kris (Angie) Lohrke of Miles City, Montana; US Navy Senior Chief Kevin (Esther) Lohrke currently assigned to the USS John Stennis; Amber (John) Fuller of Huntsville, Texas; Tanys Abbott (Shelby) Ross of Othello, Washington; Shanna Abbott of Miles City ; and granddaughter-in-law, Jessica Vezina Lohrke of Smithfield, Rhode Island. Verna’s great-grandchildren include Sydnee Lohrke of Bozeman, Montana; Alyssa Lohrke, Kole Lohrke, and Hannah Lohrke of Miles City, Montana; Gracen Fuller and Carson Fuller of Huntsville, Texas; Emma Lohrke of Smithfield, Rhode Island; Mikayla Ross and Katelynn Ross both of Othello, Washington also a number of nieces and nephews.
A memorial will be held for Verna at the Miles City Church of Christ, 215 N. Winchester Street on Sunday, December 13th from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.