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 https://www.thenaturalfuneral.com/obituaries/ 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 https://www.thenaturalfuneral.com/obituaries/
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.