Vernona Edna (Morse) Percival

Photos courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photos courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(July 31, 1890 - October 15, 1981)

The Lusk Herald
October 22, 1981

Venona Edna Percival

Edna Percival who came to Niobrara County in 1909 to live on a homestead in the Indian Creek community died last Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Niobrara County Nursing Home following a lengthy illness.

Vernona Edna Percival was born in Des Moines, Iowa, July 31, 1890. Her parents were Fred L. and Clara Ella Morse. Edna, as she preferred to be known, had one sister, Flora (Mrs. George) Boyd who died in 1945.

Mrs. Percival was educated in the Iowa Public Schools and in 1908 she married Garth Denman Percival of Des Moines. In 1909 Garth filed on a homestead on the upper Indian Creek area in Niobrara County and Edna joined him there and in Lusk for the rest of her life.

The Percivals were the parents of five children, Garth Jr., born in Iowa, and Roger, Paul, Ella Rogers and Flora Bray, all born at the family ranch.

Mrs. Percival was a real "pathfinder" of her day as she grew up in the city and moved to a Wyoming homestead to the hardest of pioneer life. She raised her family in a home with no modern conveniences. When a teacher couldn't be obtained to teach the children, she went off to summer school in Laramie, took correspondence courses and obtained a teaching certificate and taught her own children for a number of years.

The Percivals retired from active ranching in January of 1944 and moved to Lusk. Mr. Percival was taken ill in April and died in May of that year. Mrs. Percival has made her home in Lusk ever since. She was a lively and outgoing citizen in Niobrara County for all of her 72 years here. She was a member and past matron of the Order of Eastern Star and received her 50 year pin in 1979; a charter member and first president of the Lusk Federated Woman's Club; member and charter member of B.P.O. Does, Drove #64; a charter member and past president of the Niobrara County Cowbelles; a member of St. George's Episcopal Church and St. George's Guild of which she was currently secretary; a member of the Divide Tumbleweed Homemakers Club; American Legion Auxiliary, Niobrara Hospital Auxiliary, Country Club, Niobrara Historical Society, Niobrara Republican Women's Club, and in recent years a member of the County Senior Citizens. Organizations and her work in them were her main hobby. She was an avid bridge player all of her life. She and her husband's social life centered around the bridge table and as a widow it was her main diversion and in her later years cards and her friends were a special delight to her.

Memorial service was conducted at St. George's Episcopal Church on Saturday with the Rev. Charles Wallis, officiating. Music was provided by Minerva Watson on the organ and Joy Kaltenheuser, soloist who sang "My God and I," "Rock of Ages" and "Nearer My God To Thee."

Interment was in the Lusk Cemetery. Pallbearers were Don Whiteaker, Bill Percival, Cody Clark, Lloyd Rogers, Roger Rogers and Bob Ellis.

Memorials to St. George's Episcopal Church will be appreciated by the family.

Mrs. Percival was preceded in death by her husband Garth; children Garth Jr., Roger, and Ella Rogers. She is survived by her children, Paul Percival, Lusk; Flora Bray, Albuquerque, N.M.; grandchildren, Lloyd Rogers, Gering, Neb.; Dorothy Rae Whiteaker, Lusk; William Percival, Lusk; Peggy Johnson, Missoula, Mont.; Roger Rogers, Milwaukee, Wis.; and Flora Mae Clark, Lusk; and 11 great-grandchildren.

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