Cover photo for Lester Verley's Obituary
Lester Verley Profile Photo
1914 Lester 2012

Lester Verley

October 22, 1914 — October 6, 2012

Lester Ephron Verley passed away October 6, 2012 at the Avera McKennan Hospital after suffering a stroke. He would have been 98 years old on October 22. Lester was born October 22, 1914 at Hooker, South Dakota, one of six children born to Myron and Katie (Lodde) Verley. The family moved to Hurley where Lester graduated from high school in 1933. He married Antoinette M. Bruflat of Centerville in 1938 and they had three children, Marguerite, Gerald and Darryl. Lester held various jobs during the Depression including working for the WPA where he was paid $300 a year. In 1941, he was recruited for a special course at SDSU where learned math skills that were necessary for fine calibration of machinery used in aircraft wing manufacturing. Lester was detailed to work at the GoodYear Aircraft Company in Akron, OH and classified as a skilled person necessary for the war effort. At the end of 1945, the family moved back to South Dakota. The Bank of Hurley kindly lent Lester the money to buy drilling equipment and set up Verley Well Drilling at Centerville. He and Toni raised their family in Centerville and were active members of the community and Mother of Mercey/Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Lester served as Mayor of Centerville for six years, a volunteer fireman, Treasurer of the Centerville Baseball Team, President and Treasurer of the Turkey Creek Gun Club, and President of the Swan Lake Improvement Assoc. He was a Grand Knight of the Knight of Columbus and a member of the Odd Fellows prior to moving to Sioux Falls in 1996. He filled his time volunteering at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. He considered this his last career and loved being helpful as a part of the Avera community. He accumulated over 9000 hours of volunteer work and achieved several awards. He said he met so many interesting South Dakotans from all over the state. Lester is survived by his children, Marguerite ?Peg? Bailey and Darryl (Jeanne) Verley; 6 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren; one brother, Lloyd of Canton. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Toni, in 1984, his son, Dr. Gerald M. Verley in 1996, and four siblings, Alfred, Clarence, Gladys Kroger and Florence Buskohl.
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