Cover photo for Verna M. Farris's Obituary
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Verna M. Farris

Verna passed away Monday, March 22, 2021 at her home in Plainwell.

She was born September 8, 1935 in Lake Odessa, the daughter of John and Dorothy (Kyser) Brake. Verna was a Lake Odessa High School graduate and attended Huntington College in Indiana. She had owned and operated Plainwell Church and Office Supply with her husband. She also worked at the Lantern Christian Bookstore in Kalamazoo, Copies Plus in Plainwell with her son and was the secretary at First Baptist Church in Plainwell for many years.

Verna enjoyed sewing, quilting, painting, taking nature walks and vacationing with her family. More than anything she loved being a devoted Gigi to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and adopted family. She was an avid soccer fan and loved attending and cheering for her grandchildren at all of their activities. Verna loved her family and looked forward to attending the Brake Family Pig-Fest every year.

She was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Plainwell and was a Sunday School teacher and Awana leader. She was the first Sunday School teacher for each of her grandchildren.

On August 22, 1954 at her family’s farm in Clarksville, she married Dewey Farris who passed away in 1987.

Surviving are her children, Debbie (John) Coombs of Wayland, David Farris of Plainwell, Vicki (Garry) Snyder of Plainwell and Bob (Kelly) Farris of Plainwell; 12 grandchildren, Dustin, Kim (Andy), Josh (Lacy), Kristen (Brian), Jason, Kayla (Sallu), Kyle (Samantha), Katie (Jon), Alyssa (Andrew), Jenna (Joey), Derek and Jacob (Kenedie); 7 great-grandchildren, Oakley, Natalie, Madi, Paisley, Abi, Ryder, Mason and Sawyer; siblings, Ruth Stadel and Jack (Jan) Brake along with many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; granddaughter, Stephanie and brother, Robert Brake.

According to her wishes cremation has taken place.

Burial of ashes will take place at Hillside Cemetery.

A celebration of Verna’s life will be held at a later time.

Contributions in memory of Verna may be made to First Baptist Church of Plainwell Awana and Youth Ministry Program.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Terry vanLent

March 22, 2021 at 5:29 pm

Was so sorry to hear of Verna’s passing…she was such a lovely lady. I got to know her thru her copy business . I am praying for comfort for her family during this time of loss.


Toni Moore

March 22, 2021 at 6:14 pm

So sorry to hear of your dear Moms passing. Prayers and thoughts to all the family. She did an awesome job, her kids are all wonderful people. May she Rest In Peace.


The Herbert Family

March 22, 2021 at 6:22 pm

Verna was the best of the best…. she had a knack for making us feel like we belonged with your crew. We miss her already and are praying for comfort for all of you who were blessed to call her family.


Bill & Karen Bomar

March 22, 2021 at 6:53 pm

Dear Farris family… Bill and I are so very sorry to hear of Verna’s passing. She was one in a million – one of the sweetest, kindest, friendliest women I’ve ever met. Vicky, I’m so very glad you introduced me to your mom all those years ago at Gilkey. I’ll remember her always. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very sad time.



March 22, 2021 at 7:04 pm

So sorry to see of Verna’s passing.


Steve and Tasia Stamos

March 22, 2021 at 7:16 pm

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Farris Family!

Steve and Tasia Stamos


Nancy Lyons

March 22, 2021 at 7:28 pm

Farris family Gramma will be missed by Nancy & Ron Lyons. She was a very special lady. Always knew she

would be at Soccer games. Prayers are with the family. God Bless


Terri and Ron main

March 22, 2021 at 7:44 pm

So sorry to hear about vernas passing she was such a loving and caring person heaven has gained a great angel


Linda Zeinstra

March 22, 2021 at 7:44 pm

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Farris family. Verna was always so nice to me and my kids when we hung out with Kelly and family. She leaves quite a legacy of love and faith. Hugs to the family❤


Katherine Hageman

March 22, 2021 at 7:45 pm

I am saddened to her of your mother’s passing. She was always such a nice friendly person. She always took time to chat with me when we would run into each other. My condolences to the family.


Kathy & Hugh Brockway

March 22, 2021 at 7:48 pm

So terribly sad to hear of your Mom’s passing. Verna was always warm & welcoming. I’m sure I’m not alone in cherishing her friendship over the years.. her wisdom & cheerful kindness were always just what we needed. And that spirit remains in each of you children & grandchildren.

Love to you all.


Theresa Sours

March 22, 2021 at 8:05 pm

My heart just sank as I saw the notice of her death. My thoughts are with her children at this terrible time. I know them well and they will stand firm as they grieve the loss, knowing it’s been a blessing to live their lives under the wing of such a strong and caring woman. She will be missed by so many who were touched by her during her life on earth.


Doug Beauregard

March 22, 2021 at 8:12 pm

I’m sorry to hear of her passing. She was a joy know. She will be greatly missed.


Tim Grinwis

March 22, 2021 at 9:12 pm

What an amazing person! Verna was one of the first to welcome me into the Gilkey Family my first year as a teacher! She was always there for her grandchildren. What a huge supporter of the Farris Family, spokesperson, and role model. She was always kind to everyone. I appreciated her presence all the time! Her legacy can be seen in her children, grandchildren, and now through her great-grandchildren.

My heart goes out to all of the Farris Family!


Cindy and John Boncosky

March 22, 2021 at 9:30 pm

We are so sorry for your loss in our praying for comfort and peace in these times for you and your entire family!



March 22, 2021 at 10:15 pm

My deepest sympathy to you and yours. What a wonderful woman…a strong woman of faith. She sure left a impression on many of us. Hugs and prayers,

Pam McQueer (De Bruyne)


Bob Miles

March 22, 2021 at 11:23 pm

Bob,Kelly and David Sorry to hear of the passing of your mother, she was an outstanding lady. I always enjoyed talking with her, she was always so friendly and sweet.


Susan Robb

March 23, 2021 at 1:26 am

So sorry about your mom. She was such an awesome person. Got to know her and the family when I went to First Baptist in Plain well. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.❤


Paul Grimm

March 23, 2021 at 5:43 am

The word Matriarch comes to mind when I think of Mrs. Farris, she did such a great job raising her children, I remember talking to her many times at Church and how proud she was of each of them , I’m sure she is hearing the words “Well done thou good and faithful servant” .


Karla & Mike Labby

March 23, 2021 at 8:11 am

Dear Farris Friends, Sorry to read about your Mother’s passing. We never met her but she raised a wonderful family. Enjoy your memories.


Jane Pearson

March 23, 2021 at 8:25 am

Verna always brought a smile to my face. She was a caring, loving woman. She leaves behind a wonderful legacy in her family. I am grateful for her life. I am sending my love to all the Farris family.


Jackie Ransbottom Stack

March 23, 2021 at 8:42 am

Bob, Katie & Farris Family,

I am so saddened to read of the passing of your mother and grandmother. Mrs. Farris was the kindest, dearest soul. She never missed a football game or activity at PHS (neither did Mr. Farris). I will always remember that about both of them. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and in the days ahead. We have lost a fine lady, and God has gained an angel.



March 23, 2021 at 11:24 am

Our condolences to everyone Verna touched. I know there were many. She was a very special lady. She will be missed. So very sorry for your loss.


Jeffery Emmons

March 23, 2021 at 12:15 pm

So sorry for your loss. Our dad passed away on Monday also. I’m sending my prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.


David Klein

March 23, 2021 at 12:54 pm

Verna was quite possibly the easiest person on earth to talk to. An absolutely wonderful person that will be missed by all that knew her.


Art and Judy Gaylord

March 23, 2021 at 1:22 pm

Dear Farris Family,

We are so sorry to hear of Verna’s passing. She was always so friendly and every occasion we had to talk with her made the day brighter. She will be remembered fondly. Our deepest sympathies to all of you


Jan Marshall

March 23, 2021 at 2:27 pm

So sorry for your loss, she always made me feel welcomed whether at Copies Plus or at her home. My condolences to Dave and the Farris family.


Mary S. Harris

March 23, 2021 at 4:04 pm

Prayers go out to Verna’s family. She will be missed a lot. I loved helping her with Sunday School class.

I am glad to know Verna. She taught me how to make a T-shirt quilt.


Linda Mollitor

March 23, 2021 at 8:33 pm

We were sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother. Bob and I are praying for your family. Your mother was a precious jewel.

Bob and Linda Mollitor


Richard and Dawn Ueck

March 23, 2021 at 8:37 pm


Sorry for you and your families loss. Prayers and thoughts are with you and your family!!


Darwin and Nancy Evers

March 23, 2021 at 9:49 pm

What a wonderful, godly, loving person. She will be missed by many. How she must be enjoying her new heavenly home


Brian and Dawn Roblyer

March 24, 2021 at 7:35 am

As a fellow Gilkey family with the Farrises we also came to know Verna because she was ALWAYS at all the events. Our prayers are with all of you, that your mourning be as beautiful as Verna’s smile.


Mary Ellen Ellen Scott

March 24, 2021 at 7:50 am

So sorry for your families loss, she was a very sweet lady. Sending hugs and prayers to the family.


Judy Gates Hayes

March 24, 2021 at 10:31 am

To the family. Your mother was amazing. I so happy God placed her in part of my life. Keep her memories close to your heart and she will be with you always. Prayers for all of you.

Judy Gates Hayes


Loretta hammsmith

March 24, 2021 at 10:35 am

To the FarrIs family so sorry to hear of your moms passing

She was such a blessing to all that she came in contact with she was loved by so many and gave her love and kindness to everyone she would meet

Our thoughts and prayer are with you all

The Smith and Nichols families


Marilyn Welcher and Jerry Fenner

March 24, 2021 at 11:15 am

Bob and family – So sorry to hear about your mom. She was a wonderful person Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Thinking of you. Ma Welcher


John Jones

March 24, 2021 at 11:58 am

Verna was such an awesome person and will be greatly missed. Her smile would always pick you up when you met her. I always remember she has a little bit of mischief in her and I enjoyed being in her company. She passed on the meaning of love to all. She was a great role model and my prayers go out to all of the Farris family in their loss.


Ken and Char Madison

March 24, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May you find some comfort in all the memories.


Patty Schense

March 24, 2021 at 1:37 pm

Dear Debbie, Vicki, David & Bob, Every time I think of your Mom I just have to smile! What a sweet daughter of the King. I am very glad that she was part of my life.

My heart & my prayers are with each and every one of you & your families.

May God bless you & comfort you all.


Linda Bush

March 24, 2021 at 3:24 pm

I am so sorry to hear about Vern’s passing. She was such a sweet & kind lady! We were all so blessed to have known her! My heart goes out to each one of the Farris Family! Hold onto all of those special memories together! Thoughts and prayers to all!


Bruce Lamborn

March 24, 2021 at 8:52 pm

To the entire Farris family so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother and grandmother. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Dana & Stacey Jones

March 24, 2021 at 9:13 pm


We are so sorry to hear about the loss to your family. Stacey and I have been praying for you all during this difficult time.


Lora Kappis

March 25, 2021 at 12:57 am

Vicki,Bob, and rest of the Farris Family my heart breaks for you all. Verna was a wonderful caring lady and always brought a smile. May you find peace in your memories. Prayers for you all.


Terry and Lori Steele and the Class of 1976

March 25, 2021 at 9:24 am

Debbie & John, David, Vicky & Garry, Bob & Kelly

So Sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing ,she will be missed by many. I know I will. Hugs and prays to all.


Sue Root

March 25, 2021 at 9:30 am

My thoughts are with you all at this time. I always enjoyed talking with your mom. She was such a joy and brought joy to so many.


Brian P Merucci

March 25, 2021 at 10:15 am

Vicki, Garry and Family, I was saddened to hear the news. I am so sorry for your loss . I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time and hope you find comfort in the beautiful memories of Verna.


Verne & Pam Waterman

March 25, 2021 at 12:04 pm

To all of Verna’s family,

We send our sincerest sympathies to all of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I met Verna through the school system and the volunteer things she did for her Grandkids (at the same time as our children were going through the Plainwell School system). I was able to get to know a lot of the family too. My special memories of her were our talks at the copy shop as she was doing projects for me for either the Gilkey Parent’s Club or me personally. She will be greatly missed.


Debbi Predum

March 25, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Verna was such a sweet, gentle and loving saint, who made everyone feel welcomed. She will be greatly missed, but I am thankful for the privilege of knowing her. My prayers are for all of her lovely family.


Phillip Jones & Family

March 26, 2021 at 9:52 am

David and Family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you all in the passing of your mom. What an amazing Godly person. She always made me feel welcomed as her own. Praises to God for the time I got to spend with her. She will be truly missed by all.


Bob and Arlen Krause

March 26, 2021 at 11:00 am

To the Farris family,

It was always a joy to talk to Verna. She had a smile for everyone and a contagious laugh. Verna was a living example of Christ’s love for each of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.


Patricia Lucas

March 26, 2021 at 11:29 am

So sorry to hear of Verna’s passing. She made our family some beautiful quilts and surprised me with one just before Christmas some years ago. I always loved talking to her. She was always so kind. My sincere condolences to the entire family.

Patricia York Pallett Lucas


Diana Morris

March 26, 2021 at 6:44 pm

I am so sorry for your mom’s passing. She was such a nice woman, I am sure she’ll be very missed.

My prayers are for your whole family, God’s prayers for his strength, and grace.

God blessings,

Diana (Lancaster) Morris


Jean Phelps

March 27, 2021 at 9:57 am

I was sad to read of Verna’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with your family!

She was an amazing person and I feel blessed to have known her and your family.


Kathy and Doug Kranenburg

March 27, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Dear Bob, Vicky, Debbie, and David,

Your mother was a shining example of God’s love! She truly was a big help to me when I needed her most. My prayer is that all of you will find peace in knowing that she is with her Savior ( and getting reaquainted with your father) and that we will all be together again one day! (Psalm 112) We are lifting the whole family in prayer.

Sincere condolences,

Kathy and Doug


Mike Swope

March 31, 2021 at 1:12 am

Bob, Vicky, Debbie, David, Your Mom was one of the kindest people ever, anywhere. Once you were friends with anyone in her family, then you became family too, and that’s the way she made me feel whenever I saw her. As you know, you were extremely lucky to have such a woman in your lives. Love to all of you. Hope to see you later this year.


Marilyn Noble Lamborn

March 31, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Debbie, Bob and the rest of the Farris Family:

I never had the pleasure of meeting your Mother, but it sounds like she enjoyed a very busy, giving life. Cherish the many memories you all have made with her.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


Eric and Roshan Swope

April 5, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Verna was always such a loving and kind person. Such a light, and always ready with a laugh. I’m so glad that we knew her. What a wonderful presence in the lives of all the Farris family.


Tom and Mary Nichols

April 7, 2021 at 2:56 pm

As Mike Swope said, once you were friends with anyone in Verna’s family, then she treated you like you were part of her family too. We are so fortunate to have been the recipients of her kindness and generosity.


Mrs. Jennifer Stell

April 11, 2021 at 3:09 pm

As a Plainwell teacher for many years, I really came to feel a part of Verna’s inner circle. I had the honor of teaching several of her grandchildren, so Verna was a fixture in the hallways before and after school, and easily one of my favorite ‘student grandmothers’. Her face radiated nothing but Grace. Her words rang joyfully with humor and encouragement. I have such gratitude for the many years I was able to get to know your mom, your mother-in-law, your Gigi. Additionally I purchased one of her wonderful quilts to give to my daughter upon graduation. What a treasure….the quilt, yes, but Verna the most. My deepest condolences.


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