Verna M. Poenitske, 96, of Bethalto, died at 7:35 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at Bethalto Care Center.
She was born Feb. 23, 1918, in Welge, the daughter to the late Edward and Olga (Heine) Marquardt.
When she was a child growing up on the farm in Welge and food was scarce, her family ate lard with salt on bread. They later moved to Chester, where her father operated a gas station and sold gas for 5 cents a gallon. One of her favorite childhood memories was living next door to Rocky Fiegel, the man who the character “Popeye” was modeled after. Verna remembered Rocky giving her and her sister ice cream cones and had many other fond memories of her childhood.
On March 19, 1939, she and Adolph Poenitske were married in Arkansas. He preceded her in death April 28, 1963.
She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Dorothy and Ralph Asbury of Moro; eight grandchildren; numerous great and great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Irene Meyer of Chester.
Besides her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Carol Bierman; a son, Donald Tindall; and a grandchild.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, at Zion Lutheran Church in Bethalto. Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, at Evergreen Cemetery in Chester.
Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran School Tuition Fund.
Arrangements with online information and guestbook through Paynic Home for Funerals may be found at www.paynicfh.com.