|Birth: ||Apr. 8, 1908|
|Death: ||Dec. 6, 2006|
IDAHO FALLS, ID -- Vera Infelt, well known Idaho Falls educator, youth leader, and lecturer, died Wednesday, December 6, 2006, at Mallory House, where she had resided since 2001. Residents and staff there, as well as former students and many friends, mourn her passing.
Born in Ottumwa, Iowa, April 8, 1908, she later graduated from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where she met and married James F. Infelt. Marriage took them to Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, where Jim staffed the YMCA and Vera worked in the personnel office of Stix, Bear and Fuller Department Store.
They came to Idaho Falls from Beatrice, Nebraska, where Jim ran the YMCA and Vera was active in the local Episcopal Church. In Idaho Falls she worked alongside her husband as he founded the YMCA here. She created girls clubs like Gradale, Tri-Hi-Y, and Keystone, as well as helping sponsor the Youth Legislature program. She was acclaimed for developing one of the outstanding Tri-Hi-Y programs in the Pacific Northwest.
Vera's influence as a youth leader was also felt in the Girl Scouts, where she guided several troops.
As a member of the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters, she was often called upon to give lectures. Her forte was discussion leading, which she did for study groups and Sunday School classes. She was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, which merged into the present St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
Her success as a youth leader and educator has been expressed by hundreds of former students. She was a favorite at Bonneville High School Class Reunions.
In the 1950's, "Mrs. Infelt" taught at Firth High School. From 1957 to 1973, she taught world history and Latin at Bonneville High School. There she also advised the Latin Club and the Girls' Federation. The appearance of her students in togas to promote the Latin Club during Saturnalia and her esprit de corps at pep assemblies impressed fond memories upon those who came under her charisma.
A quote from one of her lectures reveals that she was concerned with high aims and lasting values. "Is it hard to become educated? Yes. Is it fun to be educated? Yes. It gets harder and harder, but you become wiser and wiser. It takes real discipline and an ordered mind, but the purpose is worth it – for the purpose is to fall in love with life."
Retiring from teaching in 1973, Mrs. Infelt was named Teacher of the Year by the Idaho Foreign Language Teachers. Previously, Bonneville students had also bestowed this title upon her.
After retirement, she worked with the Red Cross, then joined the staff of the District VII Health Department as a receptionist from 1979 to 1994.
Daughter Robyn said that she was an advocate for young people her entire life. "She encouraged her students to attended college and sought scholarships for them. In her YMCA work she inspired young women to honor their gifts and talents and to aspire to excellence in their lives. Her home was a gathering place for all ages who sought intellectual and sympathetic conversation over cups of tea. Her traditional holiday parties, attended by young and old, were festive and decorative."
Pre-deceased by her husband, Jim, in 1976, Vera is survived by Robyn and her husband, Jay Gaskill, of Alameda, California, a grandson, Nathan Foreman, and a great granddaughter, Madeline, of New York City, longtime friend, Afton Bitton of Idaho Falls, and numerous friends.
A Memorial Service for Vera Madeline Sterner Infelt will be held Thursday, December 14, 2006, at 2 p.m. in St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 270 North Placer Avenue, with the Reverend Bruce Henne officiating. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home, 273 North Ridge Avenue, and Thursday following the services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Idaho Falls YMCA, c/o Michelle Sorenson, 155 North Corner Avenue, Idaho Falls, ID 83402.
Created by: Miss Moshpit
Record added: Dec 23, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 17138142
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