Vera Mae Veerhusen was born on August 30, 1945, to Robert H. and Elizabeth (Field) Veerhusen. She was named after her paternal great-aunt and her maternal grandmother. When she was a year old, the family moved from her birthplace, Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Madison, Wisconsin, where she attended nursery school and first grade. The family then transitioned to and remained in Muscatine, Iowa. Vera was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Episcopal Church. She excelled in academics and in music.
She was first-chair clarinetist in the high school band and consistently earned top ratings at state music contests. She explored sites of historical interest and delighted in the outdoors during the family’s lengthy summer vacations. Vera was a congenial and popular teenager. She and her brothers were known for the large parties they hosted for friends at their elegant home on Broadway.
After graduating as Valedictorian from Muscatine High School in 1963, Vera attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she met Richard (Dick) Towle. They were married on March 31, 1967 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Muscatine. Vera and Dick lived in Wethersfield, Connecticut, where she was employed in advertising at an insurance company. They moved to California, where their sons Brendon and Shannon were born. While caring for her family, Vera completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at Stanford University and a master’s degree in early childhood education at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont. Passionate about enabling children to learn, she owned Montessori Gardens School in Los Altos, where she also served as teacher and administrator.
After Vera and Dick were divorced, she returned to Muscatine to spend more time with her aging parents. She married W. Roy Eshbaugh on February 14,1998 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Muscatine. As Vera was retired, she had time to exercise her artistic flair. She joyfully created and shared colorful works of art and portraits. She enjoyed following current events and watching sports with Roy and conversing with family members. Vera loved butterflies, purple flowers, and ice cream.
After suffering many health-related challenges, Vera passed away peacefully on April 22, 2023 at Premier Estates in Muscatine. She was predeceased by her parents. Vera is survived by her husband, Roy; her sons, Brendon B. (Joan Striebel) Towle and Shannon C. Towle; her brothers Dale H. (Eileen Porter) Veerhusen and Joseph R. (Brenda) Veerhusen; her nieces Victoria E. (partner Tyler Bagley) Veerhusen and Regina M. (Nick Burkhart) Veerhusen; a grand-niece, Joeann M. Burkhart; and Roy’s daughter, Elaine M. (Bill Henninger) Eshbaugh.
Services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Muscatine on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 10 a.m. with Fr. Kevin Powell officiating. The family will greet friends at the church beginning at 9 a.m. Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Cremation has taken place, and interment will be made in the family plot at Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin. Memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 211 Walnut Street, Muscatine, IA 52761.