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Verna F. Van Cleave, 88, of Eureka, Kansas, and a longtime former resident of Galesburg, Kansas, passed away at 1:30 a.m., Thursday, November 1, 2018 at Greenwood County Hospital in Eureka, Kansas. She was born July 21, 1930 in rural Chase County, Kansas to Everett and Grace Thelma (Trussell) Berends. As a young girl, she grew up and attended school in rural Chase County. At the age of 10, she moved with her family to Parsons, Kansas where she graduated in 1948 from Parsons High School. On August 14, 1949, she and Kenneth C. Van Cleave, Jr. were married at the Galesburg United Methodist Church in Galesburg. Following marriage, they moved to Manhattan where Kansas State University and she worked in the Kansas State University agricultural office. Following Mr. Van Cleave’s graduation from college, the couple moved to Marion, Kansas for six years. In 1956, they moved to Eureka where they made their home and raised their family until 1995. While living in Eureka, Verna worked for the Greenwood County Health Department as a secretary until retiring. Following their retirement, the Van Cleave’s moved to their farm at Galesburg where they made their home until returning to Eureka in 2016. She was a member of the Galesburg United Methodist Church. In earlier years, Verna was instrumental in organizing the Lioness Club in Eureka where she served as the first president and was still a current member. She was also a current member of the Lions Club in Parsons and a Melvin Jones Fellow with Lions International. Verna loved to quilt. Through the years, she had made 157 quilts, many of which were gifted to her family and friends. She also enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, and needlework. Survivors include: Her loving husband of 69 years, Kenneth Van Cleave, of the home; Two Sons – Larry Van Cleave (Nancy) of Kansas City, MO and Gary Van Cleave of Pomona, KS; One Daughter – Cheryl Sowder (Jeff) of Toronto, KS; Six Granddaughters – Stephanie Nelson (Jamie), Lindsay Hill (John), Holly Van Cleave, Hannah Van Cleave, Addison Van Cleave, and Hope Van Cleave; Five Great-Grandchildren – Corinne Nelson, Sutton Nelson, Reid Nelson, John “J.J.” Hill, and Hudson Hill; One Brother – Darrel Berends (Claudette) of Sparks, NV; Two Sisters – Thelma Wertz of Parsons, KS and Mary Lou Chapman of Parsons, KS; and numerous Nieces and Nephews She was preceded in death by her parents, a stillborn son, Vernon Van Cleave; one brother, Harold Berends; and two sisters, Shirley Griffin and Evelyn Cooper. Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, November 5, 2018 at the Galesburg United Methodist Church. Burial followed at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Galesburg. The family received friends from 2-4:00 p.m., Sunday, at the Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons. Memorials are suggested to the Galesburg United Methodist Church or the Greenwood County Hospital Foundation. These may be left at or mailed to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, KS 67357. Online condolences may be left at

The Eureka Herald

PO Box 590

Eureka, KS 67045

Phone: 620-583-5721

Fax: 620-583-5922