In the fall of 1933, Vernell Eldora Klose was born near the Irby community in Haskell County, Texas to her parents, George and Dora. On the family farm, she played with dolls, gathered eggs, and picked cotton in the fields. She often told the story of hiding behind her mama's dress because she was a shy girl.
Vernell attended dances at Sons of Hermann Lodge Halls. That would lead her to meet her husband, Horace Driver, at a dance in Old Glory. A romance developed and the two married and began their family with a son, Bennett Driver of Abilene, Texas, and a daughter, Lori Hobbs, of Perrin, Texas. The family moved frequently around the oilfields of West Texas and New Mexico finally settling in Hamlin, Texas.
Vernell's love of flowers formed her into an avid gardener. She found great pleasure in gardening because her garden reflected her deep connection to family and friends, as she conserved the cuttings and seeds they shared with her. One seed, gifted from her daddy, grew into a mighty pecan tree bearing the pecans for pies she enjoyed baking for most of her family gatherings.
After a divorce, Vernell met and married Bill Lester and settled down into Abilene, Texas, until she was widowed. The couple shared a love for square dancing, yard work, and sports. Vernell, a devout New York Yankees fan, watched the televised games to support her beloved team.
Vernell kept herself busy as a volunteer for various civic and church activities. Primarily, as a volunteer at the Rose Park Senior Citizens Center in Abilene. Three days a week she collected cash and counted out change. Then, she would spend hours passing time at table games, mostly cards or 42 dominoes, with her friends at the Center.
She laughed easily, teased, and spoke kindly to people and was a great listener. She was partial to the shy antics of little children and often spoke to them, perhaps because she was a shy girl from Irby and wanted to help them grow out of their shyness, just as she had.
Vernell passed into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the evening of June 24, 2020, at Abilene Regional Medical Center suddenly after a brief illness.
Vernell is survived by Bennett Driver and Lori Hobbs (Gary), her grand-daughter, Rashel Moss (Kyle), and great-grandson, Miles. She is loved and missed by many.
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