Posted 3/27/19 (Wed)
Vera Lou Kummer, 79, formerly of Watford City, N.D., passed away March 18, 2019, at Eventide Sheyenne Crossings, West Fargo, N.D.
Vera was born April 15, 1939, in Bismarck, N.D. She was the second child of Andrew and Bertha Bentz, born minutes after her twin sister, Verna. Vera’s family lived in Turtle Lake, N.D., until she was 13 when they moved to Bismarck. She graduated from Bismarck High School in 1957. Vera attended Bismarck Junior College for one year, then transferred to Minot State College where she earned a standard two-year, elementary teaching degree.
After graduating from college, Vera accepted a teaching position at Watford City Elementary School. One night, during her first year of teaching in Watford City, Vera went to the local bowling alley with friends. There she met a handsome local man, Jack Kummer, who had recently returned home from serving in the Air Force overseas. Jack and Vera were married at Pella Lutheran Church in Sydney, Mont., on July 26, 1960. They made their home in Watford City, where they raised three children Larry, Gail and Steve.
Vera continued to teach in area schools, including Johnson Corners, Mandaree and Grassy Butte, during the years her children were young. When state law changed in the early 1970s, requiring a four-year teaching degree, Vera became a certified nursing assistant at McKenzie County Hospital. She worked there for 21 years.
Jack and Vera enjoyed spending weekends at the nearby Lake Sakakawea. Vera considered the lake the best place on earth and enjoyed going on pontoon rides, pit barbecues and visiting with family and friends on the deck. Later in life Vera loved being a grandmother. She always had time to play with her four cherished grandchildren and referred to the years when they were growing up as the happiest of her life. Vera bowled on a women’s league for many years and was an active member of First Lutheran Church, the Upper Missouri Cluster and the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (WELCA), serving three terms as WELCA president. She was a dedicated volunteer for the American Legion Auxiliary and managed the hospital equipment loan program out of her garage for many years. Vera cheerfully donated her time and talents to the American Cancer Society, United Blood Services, Infant-Toddler Screening, Meals on Wheels and other worthy causes.
After Jack passed away in 1998, Vera grew closer to her friends at the Senior Center and Good Shepherd Home, where she volunteered. She moved to the Good Shepherd Home following a stroke in 2009.
Following the death of her oldest son, Larry, in 2013, Vera left Watford City, her home of 50 years. She moved to a nursing home in Jamestown to be closer to her daughter, Gail and her family. When Bruce and Gail moved to western Minnesota in June 2014, Vera moved to Sheyenne Crossings in West Fargo. Vera loved music, especially gospel and country western, and had a lovely singing voice. In recent years Vera slipped progressively into dementia, yet her musical memory remained blessedly intact. When a few bars of a familiar song was sung, Vera would join in and often remember additional verses.
Vera leaves behind her daughter, Gail (Bruce) Wold, Pelican Rapids, Minn.; son, Steve Kummer, Pelican Rapids, Minn.; daughter-in-law, Pam (Kummer) Durham, Watford City, N.D.; grandchildren Jeff (Valerie) Kummer, Watford City, N.D., Cassie (Curtis) Golde, Kenmare, N.D., Paige (Clint) Cermak, West Fargo, N.D., Lauren (Robby) Trefethren, Moorhead, Minn.; great-grandchildren, Blake, Christian, Livia, Miah and Josie Kummer, Delaney and Linley Golde, Abigail and Fiona Cermak, Josslyn and Ames Trefethren; and sister-in-law, Wanda (Don) Pedersen, Bismarck, N.D.
Vera is preceded in death by her husband, William (Jack) Kummer; son, Larry Kummer; parents, Andrew and Bertha (Weber) Bentz; twin sister, Verna Bentz; brother, Virgil Bentz and half-brother, Thomas Hibl.
Visitation was Friday, March 22, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fulkerson Stevenson funeral home in Watford City.
Funeral services for Vera were held Saturday, March 23, 2019, 11 a.m., at the First Lutheran Church in Watford City, Pastor Rob Favorite officiated. Burial was at Schafer Cemetery, Watford City, N.D. A prayer service was held Friday, March 22, 2019, 6 p.m., at Fulkerson Stevenson funeral home in Watford City.