Verna M. (nee Billard) Gruendyke, of Whittier, was promoted to Glory, January 23, 2020. Her immediate family members include her son, Randall (Nancy) of Whittier, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Verna was preceded in death by her husband, John (2016), and son, Scott (2007).
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Verna was raised in Beverly Hills and as a teenager became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Upon graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Verna was admitted to the University of Redlands where she became an active member of the Alpha Theta Phi sorority. At Redlands, Verna also met her husband, John, to whom she was married for fifty-nine years. Throughout her adult life, Verna worked as a school teacher in San Diego, California, Hepzibah, Georgia, in Santa Fe Springs, and in Whittier where she was employed by the East Whittier City District, as well as Whittier Christian Schools. Throughout the 1960s, 70s, Verna was involved in a variety of civic organizations including PIH Womens Auxiliary, PEO, and Mar Vista Elementary PTA. It was also during this time that she was a dedicated fan of East Whittier Intermediate and California High School athletics.
Verna was an active member of Granada Heights Friends Church in La Mirada. Since 1959 she served in a variety of roles but especially enjoyed her work as a perennial group leader for Womens Bible Study. Verna was the consummate hostess and a loyal friend. She nurtured her many and varied relationships over lunch and by telephone, as well as through cards and letters. Verna will be missed for her bright smile and infectious laugh, as well as her undying love and unfailing prayers.
A memorial service will be held February 4, 2020 at 2 p.m., Granada Heights Friends Church, 11818 La Mirada Blvd. La Mirada, CA. A private interment will take place earlier in the day at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, CA.