Verna Mae “Whitey” Ehret went home on December 13th after ninety nine years here on Earth. She is certainly having a joyous reunion with her parents, Emma Cook Ehret and Frank J. Ehret and especially her beloved son, Robert “Bobby” Gabriel Farrington, III. Verna left behind her daughters, Sutzie Whitman and Jerri G. Smitko as well as her daughter in law, Elaine Farrington, son in laws Peter Smitko and Doug Whitman and her “Rock”, Roxanne Sevin. Verna has six grandchildren, Aleta O’Connor, Heidi Landry, Madeline Farrington, Scott Landry, Maxwell Smitko and Mackenzie Theriot, ten great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren. Verna leaves behind her two devoted little companions, Rose and Alex, who gave her such comfort. Both are suffering from from broken dog hearts.
Verna was only 4’11 and weighed about a hundred pounds but if you had to choose someone to lead you into battle, she would be the one. She had your back, even if she had to stand on a chair to do it. She had determination, grit and resilience and used those qualities to overcome the obstacles that were put in her path as well as those she created.
Verna mastered many things. She was a taxidermist, a seamstress, made beautiful ceramics and given a hammer and a few nails could build anything. She could ride a horse at full gallop, bareback, standing up; raised every farm animal there was, tending her hens and giving away “colored” eggs until not long ago. Verna was at home in the woods or the swamp and taught her children to hunt, fish and prepare their catch- her court bouillon, crawfish bisque and turtle sauce piquant were legendary.
Verna was an enigma and could shoot the bull down the bayou or hold court at the country club (of course dressed to the nines and always in high heels). If you needed to know how to set a table for a formal luncheon or any of the other finer points of etiquette, there was no need to consult Emily Post, Verna knew.
She was proud of having been a Girl Scout troop leader for many years and gave freely of her time to others. She also gave freely of her knowledge and opinions, wanted or not. One mantra was “if you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all”, and of course, her way was the right way.
Verna imbued her children with the need to be self sufficient – always saying “…when you go to college”, not “if”. Never having had the opportunity herself, she was extremely proud that all three of her children did in fact graduate from college (not that they really had a choice).
She was at once tender and ornery, vulnerable and strong, diminutive but larger than life. Verna was fiercely protective of those she loved and we all loved her just as fiercely in return. She will be missed.
Special thanks to Samantha, Chanel, Carissa, Catherine and Binky for the love and care they gave Verna in these last few months.
Graveside services will be held at the Hook and Ladder Cemetery in Gretna at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 19th.