Verda R. Hansberry
OBITUARY: Verda R. Hansberry 1919 ~ 2017
Verda R. Hansberry was born on August 19, 1919, to Lavina and Fidele Guenzi on a farm in Logan County, Colorado. She died on February 5, 2017, in Seattle, Washington.
In between those dates, she graduated from high school at the age of 15 and earned her library certificate by the age of 20. She worked for the Denver Public Library and went on to be the Basin County Librarian in Wyoming.
She married Orvus L. Hansberry on August 22, 1944, in Sterling, Colorado, and moved to various Army airfields for the rest of World War II. After her husband’s discharge, she moved with him to Seattle, Washington, his birth place. She worked for a short time for the King County Library System, but stopped working when her first child was due. She returned to the library world in 1956, joining Seattle Public Library for the remainder of her career.
She worked in the Mobile Outreach Department, headed the Circulation Department and ended up as Deputy City Librarian, in charge of the Central Branch. She was acting City Librarian in 1975. She also was president of the Washington Library Association in the early 1980s and was active on committees of the American Library Association.
She retired from earning a wage in 1981 and dedicated the next decade or so to her twin interests of traveling and genealogy. She traveled all over the world, bringing back slides of her travels to share with her friends and family. From white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon, to trekking in Nepal, to visiting with the penguins in Antarctica and the polar bears in Canada, she made lasting friends with a web of fellow-travelers. Her last major trip was by boat down the Mekong River, where she was cherished by the Vietnamese staff because she was so old and so active. She was 91 at the time.
She was the driving force in publishing 3 genealogy books about her father’s family, her mother’s family, and her husband’s ancestors. She also wrote a chronology of the Seattle Public Library. She was a member of a number of organizations, and enjoyed swimming at the YMCA.
Her last few years were troubled by falls and Alzheimer’s disease.
She is survived by her two sons, Russ (Kitty) Hansberry of Keller, Texas, and Doug (Patti) Hansberry of Beaverton, Oregon, and by her daughter, Anne Hansberry of Seattle, Washington.
A celebration of her life will take place on February 10, 2017 from noon to 1:30 at The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA. She will be inurned at Forest Lawn Cemetery at noon on March 3, 2017. The address is 6701 30th Ave SW, Seattle, WA.
Any donations in her memory should be made to either the Seattle Genealogical Society or the Seattle Public Library Foundation.
Published in the West Seattle Herald section of the Westside Weekly, February 17, 2017.