Verna Mabel (Wismer) Veikle
October 11, 1920 – October 30, 2020
Verna Mabel Wismer was born at her family’s home on the farm in the Wilbert area, October 11th, 1920. She was the fourth child of Harvey Nash Wismer and Mabel (nee Marshall) Wismer. She was the adored little sister of Florence, Marshall and Wilbert. All her siblings farmed in the Wilbert area and family was central in Verna’s life.
As a child Verna was drawn to music. She was ten when her father brought home a piano. This was the beginning of her life as a musician. By the time she was twelve she was teaching piano lessons for 25 cents per lesson. Verna was talented and motivated. At sixteen she received her Associate in piano from the Royal Toronto Conservatory. (She actually earned the certificate at fifteen, but the regulations stated you had to be sixteen to hold an ARCT.) She played for church, community events, and with her brothers, played music for local dances, sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee of $5.00.
Verna and Ole knew each other from the first days of their lives, born two days apart and growing up on farms within ¼ mile of each other.
Verna attended Wilbert School until Grade 8, completed Grade 9 and 10 by correspondence and Grade 11 and 12 at Dufferin School. Her relationship with Ole grew during that time as she would often ride to school in the Veikle cutter with Ernie driving the horses and a group of other neighbours and classmates riding along.
Verna attended Normal school in 1941, with an interest in teaching, and a yearning for the musical opportunities available in Saskatoon. She taught school for one year in Saskatoon and one year in Baldwinton and then decided to pursue music full-time. She returned to Saskatoon where she studied with Dr. Lyell Gustin which opened many doors for her. She had a successful music career performing and teaching in Saskatoon. One of the highlights was performing on CBC radio. She earned her Licentiate of Royal School of Music in 1944.
While Verna was teaching and studying, Ole became a pilot for the Canadian Air Force, stationed in Canada and then in England. Verna often expressed that it was a difficult decision for her to decide which of her two loves to choose: continuing her music career in Saskatoon or marrying her longtime sweetheart and returning to farm life.
After Ole returned from the war, they married on July 16th, 1947. Ole and Verna loved each other, worked together and made a good life with each other.
Their first child, Ole Bruce, was born in October, 1948. Larry Harvey was born in 1951. At the age of 3, Larry suffered from a rare paralytic disease and passed away in hospital in Saskatoon in 1955. Lynn Edward was born in 1954, Faith Florence in 1956, Marshall Wright in 1958 and Glen Odmar in 1961.
A family of this size required a large garden. Verna was always determined to put all of her produce to use. One harvest, despite being in obvious labour and Ole waiting impatiently in the car, she insisted on processing one more batch of pickles before she would depart for the hospital to deliver baby Marshall.
Even in her eighties, Verna insisted that she needed a large garden. It often meant she had to commandeer the assistance of two generations of offspring to plant it, weed it, harvest it and clean it up in the fall. Once the produce was in the house, she kept two freezers and a cold room filled with fruits, vegetables and preserves. Family and many friends enjoyed her efforts.
Although she opted for farm life, Verna never stopped making music. Her teaching career continued after she married and ultimately spanned more than 70 years. In addition to teaching and performing, she was active in the music festival association. She was sometimes organist and choir director at Cut Knife United Church. She was a lifelong member of the Registered Music Teachers’ Association, serving on both the provincial and national executives. Her contribution to her community through music was vast and lives on still.
Verna was a woman of great determination. She never said no to an opportunity to play or have her students perform. That often meant burning the midnight oil, but she had extraordinary energy and drive. She was always in a hurry, but was usually blessed with a good car, good road conditions and inattentive traffic enforcement.
Ole and Verna enjoyed visiting with a steady stream of guests for coffee and Verna kept the cookie tin full. They adored spending time with their fishing friends: Biggarts, Ramsays and Tylers and always had hilarious tales to tell - tales that grew more suspect as they got together regularly to share birthday cakes. They loved to dance at weddings, community events and often in the kitchen. They enjoyed visits with family, friends and returning trainees who had come from overseas to work and learn on a Canadian farm.
Verna loved Ole, she loved music and she loved being with family. In her 90s, she would ride out west to the toboggan hill and stay warm snuggled in blankets near the bonfire while the grandkids tobogganed down the hill.
She continued to play the piano right up to the age of 100, providing entertainment to the residents of the Cut Knife Nursing Home. Verna loved life and lived it to the fullest.
Verna Mabel (nee Wismer) Veikle is survived by children: Bruce, Lynn (Anita), Faith, Marshall (Darlene) and Glen (Gail); grandchildren and great grandchildren: Jodi Posovac and daughter Eva; Brett Veikle (Sachiko) and sons Zackary and Alexander; Barbara Veikle; Larry Veikle; Jason Veikle (Christine) and son Emerson and daughter Ella; Eric Veikle (Andrea) and daughter Quinn; Sarah Rout (Eric) and twins William and Isabel; Sandra Womack (Chris) and daughter Riley; Sabrina Veikle; Spencer Veilkle (Danielle) and daughter Tessa; Jocelyn Veikle; Sydney Veikle.
Verna was pre-deceased by: parents: Harvey Nash Wismer (1955) and Mabel (nee Marshall) Wismer (1960); spouse and son: Ole Edward (1990) and son Larry Harvey (1955); brothers and sister: Florence Grant (nee Wismer) and husband Ray Grant; H. Marshall Wismer and wife Edith (nee Lakness); Wilbert Wismer and wife Eunice (nee Tweten); brothers and sisters-in-law: Ernie Veikle and wife Irene (nee Berner); Esther Clements and husband Glenn; Ralph Veikle and wife Irene (nee Fior).
In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Cut Knife Care Home, C/O Town of Cut Knife, Box 130 Cut Knife, SK S0M 0N0; Please make cheques payable to the Town of Cut Knife; the Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
Cards can be directed to: Marshall Veikle, Box 219, Cut Knife, SK S0M 0N0
Canadian Cancer Society
2-630 45th St W, Saskatoon SK S7L 5W9
Charity of your Choice
Cut Knife Special Care Home
C/O Town of Cut Knife Box 130, Cut Knife SK S0M 0N0