Long-time Sweetwater elementary school teacher, Verona Jim Younger, 99, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012.
Mrs. Younger spent most of her adult life in Sweetwater and began her Sweetwater ISD career at East Ward School (Philip Nolan), then moved to East Ridge Elementary when that new school opened. She taught first grade, although she switched to second grade for the last few years before she retired. Mrs. Younger taught at least two generations of families, and one family's six children all spent a year in her classroom. A silver platter with the engraved names of that family's children can be seen at the Sweetwater's Pioneer Museum, along with other school memorabilia her family has donated. Mrs. Younger was a long-time member of 4th and Elm Church of Christ.
One school story Mrs. Younger told that tickled her fancy and that of most listeners was about students asking her age. While some teachers would respond to that question with their actual age, Mrs. Younger always said that she was 110 years old. One day following students asking her age and hearing her answer, two little boys were overheard on the playground discussing the situation. One boy said to the other, shaking his head, “Naw, she's not 110. If she was 110, she'd have a long white beard.”
Married 74 years to J.V. Younger, an active member and officer of the Sweetwater Lions Club, Mrs. Younger enjoyed immensely the many meetings and conventions in various locales she attended with Mr. Younger.
In 2001, the Youngers relocated to the Houston area to be near their only child, Kathryn Gehbauer and her family. Mr. Younger died in 2006.
Born in Rockwood, Texas, on Nov. 13, 1913, Mrs. Younger was the eldest, yet the last surviving, child of the five siblings of the late Jim and Catherine Featherston family.
Survivors include daughter, Kathryn; grandchildren, Gary Gehbauer, Keith Gehbauer and wife Sharon; great-grandchildren, Kelsey Gehbauer, Eric Hall, Reed and Emma Gehbauer; and nephews, John and James Walker.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.claytonfuneralhomes.com .