Verna Anne Wells was the third child of Vernon DeLoss and Florence Mills Wells. She was born April 14, 1933 in Wichita, Kansas, in the home of her grandparents, Dwight Perry and Sarah Catherine Boyer Mills at 158 N. Sedgwick.
She grew up on a ranch near Aetna, Kansas, in Barber County, with her older sisters Marion and Elaine and younger sister Ellen. When she was young everyone called her Verna Anne. Verna Anne liked helping her father rounding up cattle or getting little things, like when there was something wrong with a cow. By the time she was 12, she was doing everything he needed. When she was older, sometime before she started high school, her father started calling her Anne. Decades later her sister, Elaine, was asked if she remembered when she started using Anne instead of Verna Anne. Elaine replied, “When she told us to.”
Anne attended the one room Aetna School. Myrtle Moore was her teacher for the first 6 years and encouraged her to write. One story that she wrote about Ricky-Tiky-Tavy, an orphan squirrel that they raised, was published in a children’s magazine. Anne continued to write in adulthood taking correspondence courses and having stories published in magazines.
Horses were an important part of Anne’s life on the ranch. She was a bold and accomplished rider. When she would go out to bring in the milk cows she would sing to them - Songs like “Marching Down to Georgia” and “When the Desert Sun Goes Down.” She often rode to the river to watch the sunset and to see the herd of wild horses that were descendents of the sulky racing horses raised by her grandfather and great-uncle.
One day when Anne was 10 another big horse started kicking out at the smaller horse that she was on and kicked Anne in her left shin. This injury became infected and she was given penicillin by Dr. Yasuta at the Achenbach Hospital in Hardtner. She healed fine but had a scarred dent in her left shin forever more. Later, Anne overheard her father tell her Aunt Ellen and Uncle Cuse that penicillin had saved her leg and possibly her life.
Anne attended Kiowa High School. She had a beautiful voice and won awards in district choral competitions.
She married Avery Wilson November 6, 1949. They moved to a farm in Spring Township, Harper County. Three children were born to this marriage: Peggy Anne, Janet Sue and Larry Eugene. She was a member of Burchfiel United Methodist Church.
Anne received her GED July 5, 1971 and completed the Homestudy Program in Principles of Administration of Long Term Care Facilities and passed the State Board examination on the first try. She worked for Care Facilities throughout Kansas including the communities of Hardtner, Westmoreland, Winfield, Haven, Sedgwick, Macksville and St. John.
Anne was an avid reader and passed this love along to her children. In later years, listening to audio books provided her with much pleasure.
Anne inherited her mother’s love of gardening. She took great satisfaction from digging, planting, and tending both vegetables and flowers.
Her hidden talent for painting was discovered as an adult. Barns and landscapes were her favorite subjects.
Anne married Maynard Robertson October 18, 1997. They divided their time between her farmette in Belpre and his home in Adams. In 2008, Anne sold her place in Belpre and moved to Anthony.
Maynard passed away in September 2009.
She spent her last years at Anthony Community Care Center and passed away December 27, 2018.
She is survived by her children Peggy Newsome (Ray); Janet Wilson; Larry Wilson; her grandchildren Chris Newsome (Melissa); Jon Newsome; Nick Wilson (Nadia); Kevin Wilson (Jane); Avery Wilson; great-grandchildren Evelyn Newsome and Grant Wilson. Step-children Maynard Robertson, Jr., Keith Robertson, Kent Robertson and Bonita Bradley (Brent) and many step-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren. Her sisters Elaine Hoge (Lee) and Ellen Circle (Harry). Many nieces and nephews and friends.
The family wishes to express their thanks and gratitude to the caring staff at Anthony Community Care Center, Rivercross Hospice, and special friend Sunny Gates.
Funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 30, 2018 at Prairie Rose Funeral Home in Anthony. Visitation will be held 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Private burial will be at a later date at Greenwood Cemetery, Belmont.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Anthony Community Care Center or Anthony Senior Citizens and sent in care of the funeral home.
Prairie Rose Funeral Homes, 602 E. Main St., Anthony, KS 67003, is in charge of arrangements.