Gardening 06

Verna B Kness

November 18, 1922 ~ January 7, 2022 (age 99)



Verna B. Kness, 99, longtime resident of Poland, OH passed away peacefully on Friday, January 7, 2022 at Boardman’s Briarfield Place.  

Verna was born on Nov 18, 1922 in Knoxville, AR.  She is the daughter of the late Vern R. and Hester Selby Brown.  Verna shared stories of her years growing up on the farm and peach orchard in Western Arkansas.  

Education was an important part of her life.  She graduated from the College of the Ozarks in 1943, Case Western Reserve Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in 1945 with a BSN, and went on to receive her Master in Nursing in 1948.  She pursued her career at the University Hospital of Cleveland where she later became the Head of Nursing.  Verna was also proud to have been a part of the Cadet Nursing Corp.   

Through the years, Verna was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Youngstown, Coitsville Presbyterian Church and most recently Westminster Presbyterian Church in Boardman.  
Some of her church commitments included serving as a Deacon, Christian Education teacher and being part of the Westminster Presbytery Committee on Ministry.  

Verna was a member of the Poland community Zoning Commision, she served 20 years with the American Red Cross, 35 years with Hospice of the Valley and also volunteered as a nurse with the Youngstown Youth Orchestra.  She enjoyed visiting friends, attending bible study programs, gardening, attending plays and musicals and rooting for her favorite teams—the YSU Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Verna met her husband Lew through a beau of her’s who told Lew that if he paid him two bottles of scotch then Lew could take her on a date.  Well, on May 9, 1953 at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Cleveland , Verna Ree Brown and Lewis H. Kness were married and enjoyed 50 years together until Lew’s passing in 2003.

Verna was a strong woman of faith and an example and inspiration of how to live and age with humility, patience, humor, determination, integrity and grace.  

Verna is survived by a son, Stephen L. Kness of New Springfield, OH, a daughter-in-law Amy Kness-Whirrett of Spring Hill, TN., son-in-law Larry McCloskey of the Villages, FL, two grandchildren Kelly Rice and Larry McCloskey II, and four great grandchildren.  Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Deborah McCloskey, grandson, Stephen L. Kness II and three siblings, Bea Molinaro, Betty Davis and Selby Brown.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, January 22, 2022 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 119 Stadium Drive, Boardman, OH where family and friends may visit one hour prior to the service.

The service will be live streamed on

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Verna’s memory may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market St., Boardman, OH 44512; The Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, 1300 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Youngstown, OH 44502; Case Western Reserve University Nursing School Fund, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7035 or the University of the Ozarks, 415 N. College Ave., Clarksville, AR 72830.

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Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Verna

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January 22, 2022

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church (Stadium Drive)

Memorial Service
January 22, 2022

2:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church (Stadium Drive)

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