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Verona was born in Swift Current. Her parents were Bessie and Hibbert Covey, and stepfather Joseph Swanzey. Verona had six siblings. Her school years were filled with sports. She and her sister Alice won several track and softball competitions. Her love of softball continued with the Gull Lake Royals, and she encouraged her own children to become involved in sport.
Verona attended Normal School in Moose Jaw and began teaching at the Central School in Swift Current. She married Lawrence Forbes Anderson (Scotty) and together they had Larry (deceased), David Anderson, Daniel (Tara) Anderson, Laureen (Alan) DeBusschere and Kathryn (Bruce) Olsgard. Between babies Verona worked as receptionist at the Swift Current Hospital. The family moved from Swift Current to Gull Lake to a home gifted to them by Scotty’s parents David Forbes and Nan Anderson. Verona worked at Al’s Bakery, then started back into teaching. She taught her own children in Kindergarten and graduated to Grade One which she taught for 17 years. Her teacher colleagues became lifelong friends. After Lawrence and Verona divorced, she continued to make Gull Lake her home as a single parent. She volunteered with several community groups and was proud of her membership with the Eastern Star, the Rebeccas and St. John’s Anglican Church.
Verona married Dennis Johnston. Their extended family includes Shelley McMillan (Dennis Besler), Bev (Tim) Robertson, Glenna (Dave) Tarnasky and Donna (Nick) Kalman and their children and grandchildren. Verona loved her years on the farm with the Johnston farm community. Verona and Dennis retired to Swift Current which allowed Verona to spend time with old and new friends, including those on the Ag Ex committee. Dennis passed in 1999. After 20 years, Verona’s family, friends and St. Stephen’s church family sustained her through this time.
Sixteen years ago, Verona rekindled an old friendship with Leslie MacDonald. They married at Verona’s sister Judith Anne and brother-in-law Robert Reimer’s home in Seymour Arm surrounded by family. Her family extended at that time to Les’ children, Donna (Barry) Rusnell and Wayne (Brenda) MacDonald and their children. Her church family grew to include the First United Church congregation. At Les’ memorial, Verona recently grieved, “Les was my rock and now he is gone.”
Verona’s legacy is her kind and gentle manner, her snappy wit, and competitive, independent style. She had a steadfast interest in all the lives that crossed her path. She was loved by many, had a story to tell about everyone and revelled in their joys. Our hearts are broken. She will be missed. Verona lived a full and celebrated life with her 4 children, six stepchildren, 20 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, her sister Judy’s family, many nieces, nephews and everyone that thought of her as family and friend.
Verona was predeceased by her parents, in laws David F. Anderson, Agnes (Nan) Adlem and Victor Adlem. Her siblings, Clifford (Wilena) Covey, Margaret (Vern Mullenix and Jack) Rebman, Richard (Pat Laverdiere) Covey, Bert (Doreen) Covey and Alice (Bill) Hubert, an infant son Larry, her husband’s Lawrence F. Anderson, Dennis Johnston and Leslie MacDonald.
Please consider donating to Saskatchewan Abilities, a charity of your choice, or “Planting a Tree” in Verona’s memory. Arrangements entrusted to Warren's Funeral Home, for further information please call 1-306-773-8831 or 1-800-267-6606, or visit our website at www.warrensfuneralhome.com, and express your sympathy to family members on the tribute wall.