Vernice Blocker Paterson was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1923 in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Agnes Lynwood Faulks and Robert Lee Blocker.
She left this world on November 15, 2020, ten days before her 97th birthday. Vernice was deeply loved by all of her family and so many wonderful friends and neighbors in what she called “this lovely village we found ourselves so fortunate to discover”.
She moved to Houston, Texas with her family in 1927 where she attended school and graduated in 1940 with honors from Sam Houston High School.
She attended Saint Joseph School of Nursing in Houston, earning her nursing credentials in 1944 and subsequently earned her Masters in Health Administration from Saint Joseph College in Windham, Maine.
Vernice married USAF Captain Louis Edward Paterson “Pat” on September 5, 1944.
For the next 23 years the family crisscrossed the globe, living on a great number of military Air Fields as Pat’s transfer assignments required. Those assignments included transfers to eight different mainland states, seven years in Germany and four years in Hawaii. After finally retiring, Pat returned the family to his pioneer family home of Oregon and settled in Roseburg.
Vernice and Pat were the proud parents of Michael (Carolyn), Lee (Robin), Andrew (Cynthia), Dana (Pamela) and Heather (Randy dec.), eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
While the family lived in Europe, Vernice and Pat traveled extensively on the continent, although Pat’s military duties and Vernice’s duties in the neurosurgery unit in Germany kept them primarily in Wiesbaden where the kids all attended school.
While living in Hawaii, Vernice worked alongside Henry J. Kaiser in Health Care Planning, on the Kaiser estate as his private nurse and at his side during frequent Kaiser Enterprise board meetings on the mainland.
After leaving Hawaii for Roseburg, following Mr. Kaiser’s death in 1968, Vernice became the Administrator for Grandview Nursing Home until 1969 when she was recruited to Mercy Hospital where she was employed for the next twenty years, retiring as Vice President of Patient Care in 1989.
Vernice was a member of the National League for Nursing; American Society of Nursing Administrators; American Society of Nursing Executives; Umpqua Community College Budget Committee; and Umpqua Community College Nursing Advisory Committee.
When Pat died in 1993, Vernice moved to Linus Oakes Retirement Community.
In addition to her children, Vernice is survived by her brother Robert Lee Blocker Jr. of Hot Springs, Arkansas. She was preceded in death by her much loved parents, her baby brother R.L. and sister Colleen Blocker Cain.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Boys and Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley.
Vernice will be interred in her family plot at Walnut Grove Cemetery, Jessieville, Arkansas this Spring in a family graveside service.