Cover photo for Vernice J. Kingsbury's Obituary
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1922 Vernice 2022

Vernice J. Kingsbury

December 8, 1922 — December 20, 2022

Vernice J. (Christiansen) Kingsbury of Ponca, Nebraska, who recently turned 100, passed away peacefully in the hands of her Savior at Regency Square Assisted Living in South Sioux City, Nebraska on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.  Services will be held on Tuesday, December 27 at the Ponca State Park Resource and Education Center at 11:00 AM. First United Methodist Church Pastor Debra Welch will direct the service.  Burial will follow at the Ponca Cemetery.  There will be visitation with the family on Monday, December 26 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Mohr Funeral Home in Ponca.  Online condolences may be offered to the family at

Vernice was born in Irene, South Dakota on December 8, 1922.  Her parents were Herbert and Beryl (Moe) Christiansen.  She graduated from Hawarden, IA High School, received her teacher’s certificate from Morningside College in Sioux City, IA and taught school in both Wakefield and Ponca, NE.

She was married on her family’s farm in Hawarden, IA on June 13, 1944 to Francis A. Kingsbury of Ponca, Nebraska. Vernice and Francis ‘Fran’ celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary on June 13, 2021.  They lived in their Ponca home for 75 years following Fran’s 1946 return from Europe after WWII.  They had three children: James and John Kingsbury and Cynthia J. McManis.

Vernice was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. First joining the Irene (South Dakota) United Methodist Church in 1935 and later transferring her membership to the First United Methodist Church in Ponca in 1944. She was Superintendent of the Ponca Methodist Sunday School for more than 30 years and taught Sunday School for more than 25 years.  She has been listed in Who’s Who in the Methodist Church.

When her children had graduated from high school, she joined Fran in the hobby of photography.  She enjoyed printing her own photos using computer software.  Having been around Fran’s photography and the Sioux City Camera Club for many years, she quickly became an accomplished photographer.  She won a number of photo contests and awards and had photos exhibited in a number of states.  A natural leader, Vernice served as president of both the Sioux City Camera Club as well as the regional North Central Camera Club Council.

Vernice was also a past president of the United Methodist Women and served on the board of the Sioux City Christian Women’s Club for 30 years. Always involved throughout the Ponca community, Vernice was an active member and a past president of Ponca’s American Legion Auxiliary, P.E.O. Chapter DG, the Ponca Historical Society and the Ponca Parent Teachers Association.  For many years she served as chairperson of Ponca’s Siouxland Blood Drive. She also served as both a Cub Scout Den Mother and a Girl Scout leader and was active in the Better Ponca Foundation, Inc. 

While she always cared deeply about the Ponca community and its people, her Christian faith and her family always came first.  She was fortunate over many years to attend many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren’s sports and other events.  Fran and Vernice loved to travel first using a tent, then a fold down camper and finally a motorhome. They visited 16 different countries and all 50 states taking thousands of photographs and enjoying the natural beauty of the outdoors.  She loved playing games with family and friends particularly enjoying her specialty, ten-point pitch. She did not enjoy losing and was difficult to beat.  Her mind remained good and she was able to text on her ever handy cell phone until a few days prior to reaching 100.

Vernice will be greatly missed by her community and family members including two sons and their wives Jim and Gwen Kingsbury of Ponca and John and Myra Kingsbury of Ponca and daughter Cindy and her husband Larry McManis of Stoughton, WI.; four grandchildren and their spouses Chris (Abbey) Kingsbury of Ponca, Greg (Sarah Beth) McManis, Sarah Jean (Josh) Hoesch and Kristen (Brad) Horst all of Oregon, WI; sixteen great grandchildren Logan, Carter, Ashlyn, Sam, Henry and Archie of Ponca; Haley, Lydia, Wyatt and Luke of Oregon, WI; Isabella, Alexis, Jaxson and McKenzie of Oregon, WI. and Sadie, Felicity and Ben of Oregon, WI.; sister-in-law, Lovice Sprugel of Kansas City, MO and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her husband of 77 years Francis; her parents Herbert and Beryl Christiansen, her father and mother-in-law Francis R. and Kathinca Kingsbury, her brother Maynard Christiansen and sister-in-law Grace Christiansen, her sister Leola Bushmer and brothers-in-law Dr. Alex Bushmer and John E. Sprugel; and her granddaughter Jenny. 

In lieu of flowers memorials can be directed to the community’s Better Ponca Foundation, Inc. for the Community Improvement Endowment Fund at PO Box 570; Ponca, NE  68770.   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernice J. Kingsbury, please visit our flower store.


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