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Verna Mae Brands

1956 ~ 2018 (age 62)

Verna Mae Brands came into this world on May 12, 1956, to Marvin and Alma (Bolt) Rozeboom in Pipestone, MN. She and her siblings enjoyed life on the farm northeast of Leota.

Her first place of education was at Leota Christian School. After graduating from eighth grade, she continued her learning path at Southwest Christian High School. After high school, she attended Dordt College where she earned the secretarial two-year degree.

After attending Dordt, it wasn’t long before she married her high school sweetheart in 1976, just two week’s earlier than her sister Brenda’s wedding. She and Pete Vanden Berg settled on a farm northwest of Edgerton. Three daughters were joyfully added to make them a happy family living on their farm. 

Verna’s first years of employment began at Fey Industries. It was her job to keep the workers happy by printing off their paychecks! She was good with numbers, computers, and time management.

Her work at Fey’s had to stop while she gave her attention to caring for Tonya (daughter) who was diagnosed with cancer in 1988. Though attempting to keep life normal, a new normal began, including many trips to Rochester for a period of four years. Tonya passed away in 1992 at the age of twelve.

In 1996, Verna and Pete were blessed with a son, which helped take away some of the sting of losing Tonya.

After some years of heartache Verna and Pete separated their ways, Verna moved to Edgerton, and became a single mom. She spent time working at Juba’s and Pipestone Publishing, followed by going back to work at Fey’s for several years, only to be laid off in 2010.

In 2009, Verna and Allen Brands were married. This blended family of seven children and eventually eighteen grandkids kept them busy constantly. She also was employed as the church secretary, and began a daycare in 2012. She had a lot of patience as she sometimes dealt with many children at once. 

In May of 2017, she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. This began a fairly short journey, including surgery, chemotherapy, and trips to Sioux Falls. She was very grateful for food brought in, and the rides she received! She was determined to live her life!

Even though Verna’s life had many bumps on the road, she never complained, she just endured the events that happened, facing them as a matter-of-fact. 

Verna attended church at First Christian Reformed Church. She loved to sing in the church choir, going to practices even when she did not feel well.

Those who remember Verna and knew her well, knew her as someone with a great sense of humor, and her gift of gab. Michael remembers her saying: don’t be such a “poopsock” (that was the most colorful word she ever used.) Verna made sure to make her chocolate chip cookie bars at all the family get-togethers, so she wouldn’t disappoint her grandchildren (Emma).  

She loved her husband, children, and grandchildren very much. In Allen’s words, “she was a special woman!” 

She is lovingly remembered by her husband, Allen, and their children Jodi (Cory) Dewitt , Brandon, SD, Sara (Dustin) Van’t Hof, Luverne, MN, Michael Vanden Berg, Edgerton MN, Sara (Phillip) Johnson, Farmington, MN, Zachary (Sarah) Brands, Slayton, MN, Abby (Erik) Danko, Edgerton, MN, Luke (Jade) Brands,  Edgerton, MN; 18 grandchildren; her father, Marvin Rozeboom, Edgebrook, Edgerton MN;  three siblings, Jim (Eileen) Rozeboom , Brenda (Bill) Kooiker , Cheryl (Jake) Moss,  and Pete VandenBerg and many other loving friends and family members. Verna is preceded in death by her daughter, Tonya Vanden Berg, and her mother, Alma Rozeboom.

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