Verla Eileen Pursley, 87, died May 6, 2003, at a Havre hospital of natural causes.

Viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Holland and Bonine Funeral Chapel. The funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Friday at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic

Church in Big Sandy, with the Rev. Pete Guthneck officiating. Burial will follow at the Big Sandy Cemetery. A luncheon will be held at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church immediately following the services at the graveside.

Verla was born Jan. 25, 1916, in Tampico, Ill., to William and Mae Collins. She moved to the Big Sandy area with her parents who homesteaded southeast of Big Sandy. She attended grade school at Rusticana, later at the Green School, and then on to Big Sandy High School, where she graduated as salutatorian of her class in 1934.

On Feb. 8, 1937, Verla married Milton Pursley, and the couple moved to Bob Peel's ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains and worked there until August of 1945. Then they moved to Coal Mine in the spring of 1945, then on to the Randall place in 1947. They resided there until August of 1972 when they moved south of Zurich. They lived there for 26 years before moving to Havre in 1998.

Verla loved her family and was a rock to them all and will be greatly missed. Verla liked to cross stitch and embroidery. Her best hobby and a legacy to her family was the diary she kept from her high school years up to April 26, 2003. She settled many arguments with it.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Milton in 1983; grandchild, Wesley Pursley; and sisters, Janey Collins and Betty Peck.

She is survived by her son, Glenn Pursley of Havre; daughter Alice (C.R.) Morrison of Clyde Park; brother Bob Collins of Havre; grandchildren; Tammie Pursley of Havre, Wade (Nancy) Pursley of Harlem, and Darci Morrison of Livingston; six great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and numerous friends and acquaintances.

Memorials in Verla's honor may be made to Montana State University-Northern Foundation Nursing Scholarship, P.O. Box 1691, Havre, MT 59501.


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