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Vergene Juanita (Wardrip) Smith/Higgins daughter of Clarence Wardrip and Mae (Marsh) Wardrip was born in Ringgold County, IA in 1921. She lived her childhood south and east of Delphos and moved to Benton her senior year. She graduated from Benton in 1940.
In June 1940 she married Carroll Holden Smith. To this union two children were born, Karolyn Jean and Kayla La Rea. She spent 35 years on a farm south of Mount Ayr. She enjoyed gardening and was an accomplished seamstress. While on the farm they would often join friends and play a card game called pitch until the break of dawn and then go home and do farm chores. They moved from the farm to town in 1976 due to Carroll’s health. He passed away 1988.
In November 1992 Vergene married Frank Edwin Higgins (commonly known as Buck) in Las Vegas, NV. They made their home in Mount Ayr, enjoying dancing, ballgames and family activities. Due to Buck’s health, they moved into Maple Ridge Assisted Living. She continued to live there after Buck’s passing. She kept herself busy making many quilts, sewing for others and tending to plants on the back porch.
In December 2013 she was awarded a “50-year pin” for service in Eastern Star. She was also a member of Rebecca Lodge.
The majority of her life was spent attending the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr.
Vergene passed away on January 24, 2021 at Mount Ayr Health Care. Preceding her in death were her parents; her husbands, Carroll and Buck; three sisters, Viola Deibert, Vera Hartschen, Vesta Shaha and brothers-in-law, Arthur Deibert and Rex Shaha.
Those who remain to cherish her memory are daughters, Karolyn Herren (husband, Kenneth) of Beaver Dam, WI and Kayla Main (husband, Gary) of Post Falls, ID; two granddaughters, Kelly Herren Kreuziger (husband, John) and Krista Herren Donahue; two grandsons, Scott Main (wife, Julie) and Greg Main (wife, Ming); 11 great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service has been established for the First Christian Church. Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.
Services were at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.
Officiating was Pastor Darin Dolecheck.
Casketbearers were Jack Donahue, Cody Donahue, Courtney Donahue, Megan Donahue, Kurt Shaha and Dave Crigger.
Honorary casketbearers were Gary Main, Kenneth Herren, Krista Donahue, Kelly Kreuziger, Scott Main and Greg Main.
Burial was at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, IA.

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