Verna Faye Collier (nee Schwertfeger) passed away on July 20, 2023 due to complications from leukemia.
How do you sum up a person’s life in a matter of three or four paragraphs? It’s impossible. We cannot do our mother justice with facts about her. She was a daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandma, great grandma and even a great-great-grandma. But even more than that she was our rock. She had our backs no matter what but not without some disapproval for our stupid actions. Therefore, the following are the “facts” about our sister, mom, grandma, great-grandma, and great-great-grandma.
Verna was born in Renfrow, Oklahoma to Faye and Vernie Schwertfeger. She married Gilbert Collier on January 25, 1953 in Caldwell, Kansas. When her husband Gilbert joined the military, she took her 10 month old daughter on a train from Mooreland, Oklahoma to Albuquerque, NM to find a job as Albuquerque was a boom town at the time. When her husband was discharged she had two children at the time and a job with the government and since it was a good paying job, they decided to stay in Albuquerque. After her husband found a job in Odessa, Texas they moved to Texas and had a 4th son. They promptly moved back to Albuquerque where their 5th son was born.
Verna began work at UNMH when it was BCI (Bernalillo County Indian Hospital) in the admitting department. She eventually moved to billing and was employed for 32 years. She was on the UB-82 committee and helped implement billing protocol for that form and the new 1500. Trust me, it was a big deal! When she retired, she did the things she loved; gardening, quilting, cooking and loving her family. Verna was also a caregiver to her husband who had Parkinson’s for the remainder of his life.
Verna was preceded in death by her husband Gilbert T. Collier, parents Vernie and Faye Schwertfeger, Father-in-law Delbert Collier and Mother-in-law Vaudeth Collier, Brother-in-law Bill Lipscomb and sister Neola (Petie) Lipscomb, her sons, Joel L. Collier and Vernie N. Collier; Brothers-in-law Gary Collier, Ralph Pantalone and sister-in-law Colette Pantalone, nephew Ralph J. Pantalone and nieces Deborah Collier and Aundrea Lansdown.
Verna is survived by her sisters Lella Lansdown (husband Clay), Judy Adams (husband Ben), daughter Cynthia Z. Collier, sons Vance G. Collier (wife Joann), and Vince R. Collier (wife Tina) and daughter-in-law Maureen Collier. She is survived by grandchildren Crystal Hoffman, John Hoffman (wife Juanita), Jeannette Collier, Vanessa Borders (husband Chris), Ryan Collier (wife Stacy), Thomas Collier, Justin Collier (wife Amanda), Marissa Lucero (husband Andrew). The following are Verna’s great-grandchildren who survive her: Deanna Mills, Siarrah Mills, Adrianna Corriz, Lilly Corriz, Jason Michael Jaramillo, Bradley Borders, Jayden Borders, Lenya Collier, Lyla Lucero, Lyanna Collier, Aliyah Collier, Blake Borders, Cassius Collier, Kaiden Borders, Emmy Lucero, and Eliana Collier. Great-great-grandchildren are Malia Barela, Jaxon Whitney, Jacob Whitney and Jameson Whitney. Verna was also survived by many, many nieces and nephews whom are too numerous to mention, but they know who they are and that they were loved by her.