Community leader Vera Dulaney remembered as ‘consummate lady’

Scouting was an important activity for the Dulaney family and Ed Dulaney organized the Boy Scouts Canoe Derby that's named in his honor. In this picture, Vera chats will Kay James of Torrington at the registration table for the Canoe Derby at Bridgeport Lakes.

GERING — Former Scotts Bluff County Clerk Vera Dulaney died July 5 at Heritage Estates in Gering at the age of 84. Called a “consummate lady” by everyone who knew her, Dulaney served as county clerk for 36 years and was affectionately known as the “sixth commissioner” of the county board.

Former Commission Chairman Mark Masterton worked with Dulaney for close to 30 years.

“She was always polite and courteous,” he said. “She always remembered birthdays and anniversaries and sent cards. She was the Emily Post of Scottsbluff and I wish society could be more like her.”

In his role as county board chairman, Masterton said she was the most help anyone could get.

She left a positive impression on every person she met. In November, U.S Congressman Adrian Smith of Gering took to the floor of the House to praise Dulaney in her role as election commissioner for Scotts Bluff County.

“Vera is a faithful public servant who works to protect the integrity of our elections and sets an example for others to follow,” Smith said. “When she was recently presented the Community Volunteer Award for Public Service, Vera said she could think of many others she thought were more deserving of the award. I’d like to honor an incredibly humble, hard-working and selfless advocate of western Nebraska — Vera Dulaney.”

Rawnda Pierce, executive director of Twin Cities Development, had served as the county’s management accountant for four years and had the opportunity to work with Vera.

“Vera is definitely one of a kind and is a very classy lady,” she said last year. “She’s totally committed to making the community a better place. I learned from her early on that you have to give back outside of your work hours.”

One of those stories was recalled last winter by Vera’s youngest daughter, Kathy Welfl, currently the city clerk for Gering.

“When all of us kids were small back in the ‘70s, our mom would buy lots of gifts and toys to wrap for other children,” Welfl said. “She’d have them shipped to orphanages, I think. She didn’t want credit; she just wanted to do it.”

No picture of Dulaney would be complete without recognizing she was, in a true sense, a sports fanatic. Growing up in Wisconsin, she followed the Chicago Cubs and the Green Bay Packers. When she arrived in Nebraska with her husband, she embraced the Huskers football team.

In her later years as county clerk, her office walls would be covered with signed pictures, bumper stickers and other memorabilia from both the Huskers and the Cubs. It was another expression of her life — being fully involved in the things she loved to do.

Her Celebration of Life funeral service has been scheduled at the Gering Civic Center on Friday, July 19, at 1:30 p.m. Husker red attire is welcome and encouraged.

Closed casket visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at Gering Memorial Chapel.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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