Verna J. Zuttermeister (nee Kuppersmith) passed away in the early morning hours on May 27th, 2023 in Aurora, CO at the age of 81. Born on November 28th, 1941 in New York, NY, Verna was the daughter of Mildred “Midge” Fiebert and Morris Louis “Leibe” Kuppersmith. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Jack Kuppersmith, and her husband John Paul Zuttermeister.

Verna was a smart and compassionate woman who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, especially when needing to advocate for others. She enjoyed adventure, international travel, her canine friends, and deep conversation. She dedicated her life to the service of humanity.

Verna’s nursing career spanned over 50 years. She began her initial training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York at the age of 16 and eventually became a Clinical Nurse Specialist, specializing in psychiatric nursing in the underserved population. Verna earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Wyoming and Master’s Degree from Boston College. She began working at Wenatchee’s Central Washington Hospital in 1984, impacting thousands of patients and many nurses and physicians over their careers. Beyond serving in the Medical Unit and ER, she also precepted Wenatchee Valley College nursing students.

In 1995, Verna attended the “The United Nations Fourth World Conference On Women” in Beijing, China as a member of Hilary Clinton’s delegation focusing on women’s health issues.  Verna also generously spent time completing a medical mission in a remote village hospital in Honduras to serve the local population. Here she helped deliver babies, manage machete cuts, and traveled to other local villages to provide basic healthcare. This is also where she met Gerson, a 15-year old boy, who she eventually brought back to Wenatchee and provided an avenue to complete his education in the U.S.

In 2013, NCW Nurse Week honored her as the Nurse of the Year for Volunteerism. Along with serving the community in her nursing capacity, Verna also spent many years volunteering with other local organizations, including the Bruce Hotel and Women’s Resource Center and served as the latter’s Board President. She fostered a number of children through the Children’s Home Society of Washington.

Verna is survived by her daughter, Christine Maxmeister (Marc Maxmeister), her grandsons, Alexander Maxmeister and Baby M (due 6/5), her son, David Zuttermeister (Cathy Fairbanks), her brother, Aron Kuppersmith (Diane Kuppersmith), her sister-in-law Carol Kuppersmith, her sisters-in-law, Mary Jean Zuttermeister, Tricia Zuttermeister, Cheryl Zuttermeister, and her brother-in-law Robert Zuttermeister.

A Celebration of Life will be held in August in the Wenatchee area. Please visit for further details later in the spring. To prepare for the celebration, the family welcomes the sharing of your memories, stories, and blessings. Please leave a voicemail or text on Verna’s phone (509-421-2997) or a comment on the website prior to July 29th.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society or the Women’s Resource Center in Verna’s name. The family is also in process of setting up a nursing scholarship at WVC and will provide updates when further details are available at

May you be at peace and continue your good works in the Abhá Kingdom, mom. I love you and you will be missed by many.

A Celebration of Life for Verna will take place on Saturday, August 5, 2023 from 11:30 am-1:30 pm at Pybus Market in the LocalTel Event Center (3 N Worthen St. Wenatchee, WA 98801). This will be a potluck lunch, so please bring your tastiest treat to share along with your stories and memories of Verna! Please RSVP to Christine Maxmeister ( by July 22, 2023.
Drinks, ice, plates, and utensils will be supplied.

14 thoughts on “Verna J. Zuttermeister”

  1. Deepest sympathy for you all in the loss of your dear Verna❤️.
    I feel blessed to have known Verna since I became. a new grad nurse on the Medical Unit in 1985. Verna was my Nurse Clinician & quickly became my mentor & sweet friend.
    I wish you a great rest dear Verna & will miss having lunch & sharing life’s stories!
    So thankful she was closer to you. Christine the past year! Loving thoughts & prayers for peace go out to all those who loved Verna during this very sad time.

  2. Verna will be missed by me everyday. She was amazing, so smart, very intuitive. I thank God Verna and I were friends. The seminars, the symphony. I learned about the Baha’i faith, and so many other spiritual lessons from Verna, and vice versa. I would love Verna deeply every day of my life and stick by the family.

  3. Verna was one of the Sweetest, most Caring women I knew. She was a Light unto the world Love and condolences to her family.

  4. I worked with Verna and was inspired by her thoughtfulness, knowledge and “never say ‘can’t’ spirit

  5. I don’t think I ever met Cousin Verna, but she was an inspiration for me. Growing up in NY I had the urge to do something different with myself. My mom’s accounts of cousin Verna living in Nebraska, Washington, and other states gave me the idea that I could travel and do things differently from my friends and my family. I wish I could have known her. I think that we would have been great friends. On a trip to Washington I was actually in her town, but we I didn’t realize it until after. It is funny how someone could influence you without ever even having met them.
    Cousin Gary Rossen

  6. Verna was a force to be reckoned with! Verna inspired me to continue my nursing education and sometimes that can be a lonely endeavor.
    I only felt support and a little push.
    Her life was full and she left our world better as a result.
    That is all anyone could hope for. ❤️

  7. I was an Emergency Physician at Central Washington Hospital. Dealing with medical problems was easy, but solving social problems was much harder. Everything got easier in the mid 1980s when Verna was a case manager. She had a vast network she could call on to help solve patients’ social problems, and it was always comforting to discover Verna was on duty when I started a shift. She was also a wise voice on our hospital ethics committee.

  8. I met Verna in the early 90’s and got to spend time with her at many events. A wonderful caring person. A good friend and source of inspiration and knowledge.

  9. I worked with Verna in the Emergency Department at Central Washington Hospital in the early 2000’s. She had an amazing heart and a passion for nursing that was truly inspiring. I knew if I came to her with a patient issue that she would move mountains to solve the problem. She touched the lives of so many. You will be missed, Verna. Thank you for your endless compassion and generosity.

  10. I think Verna would welcome this new journey to the unknown-she was fearless, smart , very down to earth. We all benefitted from her vast knowledge and how she cared for everyone no matter what. She would say she had a rich and wonderful life and we all got to be a part of that. You are still here in all of us. Thank you Verna!

  11. My friend Verna

    I so appreciated her wisdom from knowledge and experiences, soft suggestions and warm affirmations. I was on the receiving end of some hard lessons also

    Verna gifted me a poster that reads “There is no room in their future for prejudice” from the Baha’i

    I framed and hung in my home where it remains to this day. My children from various backgrounds, grew up knowing our lives experienced that prejudice at times. I shared some of some of those stories with Verna who understood and gave me solace.

    Rest easily and well.

  12. I’m at Verna when I moved into the Bruce hotel. I was very newly clean it’s over and very newly diagnosed with a bunch of medical problems. I was also going through a very rough depression patch. Verna was very kind to me and answered my questions in a no nonsense non-sugar-coated way which I truly valued. On a couple occasions she did tell me to suck it up and honestly that was what I needed to hear at that point in time. I will miss her daily. I don’t think I would have stayed with my sobriety if I had not had her to seek advice from in the darker days. Thank you Verna!

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