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Bernice Joan Verbyla

November 20, 1936 October 8, 2019
Bernice Joan Verbyla
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Obituary for Bernice Joan Verbyla

Bernice Joan Verbyla, 82, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 8, 2019, surrounded by her husband, Robert E Verbyla; cousins, Joyce and Bud Klosterhoff; and friends, Lyn and Ritchie Blanford.

Mrs. Verbyla was born in Dover, NJ on November 20, 1936 to the late, Warren L. and Muriel Smith Anderson. She grew up in Wharton, NJ and studied at Upsala College, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Old Dominion University. She was a member of the first graduating class at Morris Hills Regional High School in Rockaway, NJ and had the distinction of being the first graduate to be hired to teach English at the school. Being an avid writer, she became the school’s director of the prestigious Central Press that furnished weekly news stories to the Newark Star Ledger, the Morristown Daily Record, and the Dover Advance. She also produced a 30-minute radio program for a local radio station. After marrying and relocating to Portsmouth, VA she taught at Western Branch High School and at Alliance Christian School where she taught English and Music and served as Guidance Counselor.

Mrs. Verbyla was a renowned musician, a career beginning in New Jersey at the St Johns Methodist Church where she directed two choirs and served as organist. In Virginia, she directed the choirs and was organist at the Alliance Church. Her recordings are still used in a variety of services and ceremonies. Her most recent activity involved the authoring and publishing of a historical biography of her great-aunt Beatrice Mae Tonkin entitled Aunt Mae’s China.

Mrs. Verbyla was predeceased by a brother, Evan Anderson. She leaves many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends to cherish her memory.

Services will be held at a future date at the Portsmouth Alliance Church, now called Crossroads Church under the service of Rev. Doug Ellenburger, and Rev. David Garrison. Burial will be in the Verbyla Family Plot in Lenoir, NC.

Arrangements by Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth, VA.

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Event Information

Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

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