Verda Mae Dale died on October 17 in Amherst, Mass.. She was born on July 31, 1916 in Protection, Kansas and later grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Coldwater where she attended a one-room schoolhouse.
Verda rode a horse many miles to Coldwater High School freshman year and graduated valedictorian in 1934. She worked her way through Kansas State University with a $150 loan from the District Federated Woman's Club. On August 6, 1942 she entered the U.S. Army Women's Army Corps where she rose to the rank of captain, commanding a 600-woman company in Georgia.
After graduate school at Cornell University on the G.I. Bill, Verda became an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she served as State Extension Specialist in home management, specializing in accommodative kitchen design, and directed a Peace Corps training program.
After earning a doctorate from Michigan State University, she became chair of the home economics department at the University of Hawaii in 1972. At 95 Verda was honored by the Women’s Fund of Hampshire County with a “Standing on Her Shoulders” award. At 101 Verda continued her near sixty-year membership in Zonta Club working internationally to advance the status of women worldwide.
Other memberships include The Orchid Society, which named the “Verda Dale” orchid after her and the Thursday Club of South Amherst. Verda will be remembered for her cheeky sense of humor, horse sense and easy-going “that’s all right” attitude, ikebana, unique arced home and garden and lotus pond which attracts admirers far and wide.
Verda is survived by her niece, Karen Johnston of Brandon, FL and her nephew and his wife, Dale & Brooke Eldredge of Fayetteville, AK and her friends and neighbors to whom she was family. Interment will be in Protection. No local service is planned. A gathering in her name will take place from 12 PM to 2 PM on January 7, 2018 at the Eddy’s in South Amherst (275 Pomeroy Lane).