Verna Ayres Engler passed away on Aug. 12, 2020, at the age of 82, surrounded by her family at her home in Fontana.
She was born May 5, 1938, the daughter of Ray and Julia Adams in Baldwin Park, California.
Verna’s beginning childhood was in Southern California, but her parents were missionaries and eventually moved to Crooked Creek, Alaska to serve the community there. The Adams family later settled in Palmer, Alaska.
She attended Palmer High School, playing the saxophone in the school band. Her picture is posted on the former Palmer historical school wall. She also had been in the Miss Matanuska Maid contest. She regularly visited Palmer over the past several years to see her old home and visit with friends and family.
Verna married Robert Ayres and settled eventually in Southern California, where she raised her five children. After her children were grown, she returned to school in her 40s to enhance her education. She obtained diplomas from Mt. SAC Community College and California State Fullerton to receive her nursing degree as a Registered Nurse. She later enhanced her nursing career by earning certification as a wound care and ostomy nurse from USC. She worked for 23 years at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina. Verna was highly respected by her colleagues and physicians for her dedication and skills toward the patients she cared for.
On May 30, 1989, she married Kenneth Engler and settled in Fontana, still continuing her nursing career. They both attended The Bridge Church of the Nazarene in Bloomington. Verna was always actively involved in her churches wherever she lived and often led worship with her beautiful voice. She had unwavering faith in God and loved the Scriptures. She was an avid gardener. She always enjoyed a good hike with family, and drives with Ken to see the sights.
Verna is preceded in death by her son, Dana Lee Ayres, her sister Brenda Adams Craig, and her brother John Adams.
She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Engler of Fontana. Surviving in addition to her husband are her children: Her daughter, Cynthia Ayres Disrud and husband Dan (Washougal, Washington), son Skip Lee Ayres (Prescott Valley, Arizona), son Marty Lee Ayres and wife Kristi (Aberdeen, Washington), son Christopher Lee Ayres and wife Paula (Bloomington) and daughter-in-law Mary Ayres Cuellar and husband Mark (Victorville).
In addition, she is also survived by her grandchildren, Justin Ayres, Jennifer Wright (Jeremy), Ila Champine (Ted), Ryan Ayres, Matthew Ayres, Randall Ayres ( Stephanie), Andy Ayres, Karmen Warner (Devin), Christopher Ayres, Kyle Ayres, Alyssa Cobb (Skyler), Tamarin Disrud and David Ayres.
Verna also was blessed to have 16 great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by her siblings, sisters: Jodi Salas (Wasilla, Alaska), Barbara Stephanik and husband Mike (Tacoma, Washington), Janice Sandoval and husband Frank (Gig Harbor, Washington), and brothers: Edwin Adams (Anchorage, Alaska) and Mark Adams with wife Katherine (Anchorage, Alaska); and her cousin Paige Walton and husband Jerry (Anchorage, Alaska).
She had many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Her family and friends will miss her. Verna embodied a life well lived.