Alice Mae (Dame) Vernier
Alice Mae (Dame) Vernier passed away peacefully on Monday, April 10, 2023. For 95 years, Alice found delight in every day and shared it with others. When she wasn’t laughing, she was singing.
Alice was born in Chicago, IL during the Great Depression to Dutch parents, the late John and Kathryn Dame. Although her family was very poor, Alice always expressed fond, musical memories of her childhood in Maywood. She loved her brother Bob and sister Lois dearly. She cherished being part of a larger extended family, and throughout her life she found great joy in nurturing her long-distance family relationships. The youth group at Calvary Presbyterian Church was an important part of Alice’s young community life, and it was also where she met Vernon Vernier, her husband of 49 years. Alice earned a bachelor’s degree from Park College in Missouri in 1950, and she never lost her sense of curiosity.
Alice grew up to become a wonder; she was a world traveler, a peace activist, an avid volunteer, a loving wife to Vernon, a fun-loving grandmother, and an incomparable mother to Vinton, Kendra, Vann, and Vicky. The list of reasons to adore and admire Alice is endless, but here are some things that her children loved about her:
She found great delight in life’s simple pleasures – heaping spoonfuls of sugar in her coffee, gardening, family photographs, and ice cream. Alice loved her home in the log cabin on Lark Drive. She volunteered with Pacem in Terris for many years, earning the Peace Maker Among Us Award. Alice was Vernon’s “girl Friday” as he hiked the Appalachian Trail (for those of us who knew Vernon, we know this was no easy feat!). Every Halloween she dressed as a witch and served up hot apple cider from a cauldron to the Arbour Park children. Alice rode her bicycle all around Newark, and she befriended the taxi drivers who drove her groceries home. She was a Sunday School teacher and an active member of Newark’s First Presbyterian Church for 58 years. Alice traveled to El Salvador and Nicaragua during the Nicaraguan Revolution. She put on magical puppet shows for birthday parties and her grandchildren. Her love of documenting family history was only matched by her husband’s. Alice was cheerful, principled, thrifty and humble. And she had a song for everything. Alice had an endless sense of gratitude that bloomed into a vibrant purpose: love unconditionally, give generously, and advocate boldly for the poor and oppressed. She will be profoundly missed by her family and all who knew her.
Alice is survived by her children, Vinton Vernier, Kendra Vernier, Vann Vernier and Vicky Wallace (Mark); her grandchildren, Kyle Vernier (Sydney), Stephanie Vernier, Michelle Cohen (Nace), Kayla Frank (Henry), Christa Fisher (Matthew), Ryan Wallace and Kaitlyn Keller (Jason); and her great-grandchildren, Jayce Vernier, Ira Frank, Elin Fisher, Gray Fisher, Moxley Fisher, Logan Keller, Brooks Keller, and Carson Keller.
A private blessing will be held for the family at the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Garden in Newark, Delaware.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Alice’s memory to Pacem in Terris, 1801 N. Jefferson Street, Wilmington, DE 19802 or online by clicking here or to First Presbyterian Church of Newark, Attn: Financial Secretary, 292 West Main Street, Newark, DE 19711 or online by clicking here, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104 or online by clicking here.
13 Condolences for Alice Mae (Dame) Vernier
So sorry to hear about your Mom. All of us Arbour Parkers will always remember her, especially her special Halloween witches brew in her cauldron. She always welcomed all of us into your home, and treated us like we were her own children. A very special lady indeed. Love, Cindy
Words seem inadequate when it comes to expressing how much she meant to us Griffith’s. She was a joy to be around and I’m so sorry for your loss. She always had a smile on her face, and I can still remember our Halloween visits with the witch fifty years later. I enjoyed driving her and Mother to Church on Sunday’s. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who loved each day lived as much as she did. She was truly one of a kind. It would make the world a better place if there were more people like Alice Vernier on this planet. Memories are important to keep and as long as we remember her she will still live. It must be a comfort to you to know that they are reunited now and happy to be together once again.
Lynn Riley Catts
Sincere condolences on the passing of your wonderful mother. My first interaction with Mrs. Vernier was a telephone call on behalf of Common Cause. She was on my phone list and was by far the most engaged person on the list. We had many good discussions about policy and proposed legislation. She always had good probing questions. Later, I got to be her neighbor. At our first block party revival, I’ll never forget seeing her walk down the street pushing a wheelbarrow lovingly draped with a pastel linen cloth and filled with goodies to share. She was a great inspiration in her 80s riding her bike uphill on Oriole Drive over and over to stay fit. Even in recent years she stayed engaged with music and remained a delightful conversationalist. She was a special woman and I will always remember her fondly.
Alice lit up the room wherever she went & her sense of humor was legendary 😉
I will miss her beautiful heart ♥️ !! She was such a precious soul….
Mrs. Vernier was truly one of a kind. Always happy and full of joy, and she loved the woods and all the plants. She took walks through them all the time. My deepest condolences to all of the family.
Doris M. Kennedy
Alice was known by all the children in Anvil Park and they could not wait to go to her log cabin in Arbour Park to taste her
“Witches Brew that would make your toes curl up”. She loved Halloween and I learned from her that dressing in costume
as an adult was “fun” not only for the children but for myself as well. So I did and I continued to do so as the Activity Director at the nursing home which brought smiles to those who live there. Alice will always be remembered for all the laughter and joy she brought to all the children who entered her log cabin at Halloween. As my young son said, “But mommy she is a good witch” and that she was!!
Growing up as her neighbor was a blessing. Growing up as her neighbor and then friend? Unimaginable. What a sweet, beautiful soul, we will miss the light she gave us all so deeply.
ricardo d alvarez
The sweet miracle of Alice, your flowers are blooming in the woods at the cabin.
Rest in peace
Sorry for your loss. Deepest condolences from the Nelson family.
Everyone in Arbour Park thought fondly of Alice. I had been the recipient of one of her “ivy will kill your trees” talks and am a better neighbor because of it.
We were sorry for her to leave and are sorry to hear of her passing. So sorry for your loss.
My condolences to Vicky and family. I knew Mrs. Vernier from Friday nite church which was at church across from hotel dupont,about 50 years ago.She was the kindest, sweet soul🙏🏾✝️
Your mother was a fun, fascinating, and friendly lady. I’m sorry to hear of her passing. ❤️
I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Alice but my husband and I have lived in Arbour Park on Lark Drive for about 12 years. I was so sad when I no longer saw her outside tending to the weeds or chatting with a neighbor with her loyal dog right by her side. Her energy always amazed me. After reading this, I truly wish I had known her. You were all clearly so very lucky to have had her for so many years.