There are no words that seem adequate enough to say thank you to everyone who expressed their sympathy for the loss of our beloved Verne Oliver. She was a wonderful person and through the memories that she gave each of us, she will live on forever in out hearts.
 - The Family of Vernell McCarroll Oliver

It is with profound sadness that the family and professional colleagues of Verne M. Oliver announce her passing on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012. Born July 18, 1922 in Pittsburgh, PA, she lived to celebrate her 90th birthday on July 18th of this year. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton Forrest Oliver, her daughter Carroll Phyllis Oliver, and two of her siblings. She is survived by her brothers Othello Lincoln McCarroll and Bobby Oswald McCarroll, her grandson Arthur New Moon Grant, and a host of nieces and nephews.

Verne was a graduate of Howard University where she obtained a master's degree in European history. She taught at Virginia Union University in Richmond before moving to New York in 1957 to teach at the New Lincoln School. She was promoted to head of the high school division, a position she held until her retirement in 1987. She then went to work as Associate Director of the Gilder Foundation, a private philanthropy, to make use of her vast experience in education to promote literacy in New York City Schools. She was responsible for the refurbishment and installation of more than 100 school libraries, benefiting innumerable children throughout the city. She worked tirelessly right up until the day of her passing.

Photo by Chris Crisman

July 18, 1922-October 16, 2012

May you know that absence is full of tender presence  and that nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
May the absences in your life be full of eternal echo.
May you sense around you the secret Elsewhere which holds the presences that have left your life.
May you be generous in your embrace of loss.
May the sore well of grief turn into a well of seamless presence.
May your compassion reach out to the ones we never hear from and may you have the courage to speak out for the excluded ones.
May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life.
May you not disrespect your mystery through brittle words or false belonging.
May you be embraced by God in whom dawn and twilight are one, and may your belonging inhabit its deepest dreams within the shelter of the Great Belonging.
by John O ' Donohue in ETERNAL ECHOES