Smith, Verna Graber (1902-1989)

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Born 30 November 1902 near Noble, Iowa, Verna Graber was one of nine children of Daniel and Fanny Conrad Graber. On 13 September 1930 she married Willard Harvey Smith. She was educated at Hesston Academy (graduated 1922), Goshen College, IN (BA, 1928), the University of Iowa, Indiana University, and the University of Wisconsin (MA, 1951). After teaching in elementary schools (1923-1925, 1928-1930), Smith taught Latin (1930-1938, 1938-1944, part-time), English (1931-1932), and Spanish (1947-1971) at Goshen College. In the summer of 1964 she and her husband led a pilot Study-Service Trimester in El Salvador. She was with the Mennonite Central Committee in Paraguay, 1944-1945 and in Mexico, 1954-1955. In 1949 Smith collaborated with her husband in writing Paraguayan Interlude: Observations and Impressions (Scottdale, 1950). In 1976 Verna and Willard Smith established the Smith-Graber Scholarship in American History and Studies at Goshen College and in 1982 the Willard and Verna Smith Chair in American History and Culture. In 1985 they also provided general scholarships for students in any field of study. Verna Smith died 8 February 1989.


Rich, Elaine Sommers. Mennonite Women: A Story of God's Faithfulness, 1683-1983. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 123.

Smith, Willard H. The Trail to Santa Fe: A Pilgrim's Progress. Goshen: the author, 1985.

Springer, Nelson and A.J. Klassen, compilers, Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, 2 vols. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977: II, p. 505.

Author(s) Steven R Estes
Date Published 1989

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MLA style

Estes, Steven R. "Smith, Verna Graber (1902-1989)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 22 Aug 2019.,_Verna_Graber_(1902-1989)&oldid=93590.

APA style

Estes, Steven R. (1989). Smith, Verna Graber (1902-1989). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 August 2019, from,_Verna_Graber_(1902-1989)&oldid=93590.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 830. All rights reserved.

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