Obituary: Verbena McGhee

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Verbena McGhee (Courtesy photo)


Verbena Jean McGhee passed away on Feb. 7, 2023 at the young age of 90 years old. She was a current resident at the Wesley Woods memory care facility in Waco, Texas at the time of her death.

She was born Verbena Jean Ferguson in Hickman County, Ky. on July 26, 1932. She grew up in Columbus, Ky. where she met her loving husband Smitty McGhee at the young age of 18 years. They were married for over 43 years.

In 1952, they moved out West to California and lived in Southern Calif. and San Jose where they raised their three daughters.

In the mid-80s they moved to Winters where they bought their forever home on Russell Street. The home was restored and remodeled in the style that was to be their little piece of heaven on earth. They lived there happily until her husband Smitty passed away in 1993.

While in Winters, Verbena was always busy lending her hand to any new opportunity that came her way. Cooking was a passion of hers and she honed her skill at the famous Buckhorn restaurant making soups and chili for John Pickerel who gave her an opportunity to show off her love of cooking. She helped open the Putah Creek Café across the street. She worked there baking, making pies, chili and soups.

Verbena Jean McGhee (also known as Bea or Bena) was preceded in death by her loving husband James Smith McGhee (Smitty) and her sweet grandson Kyle Wayne Lederer.

She is survived by her loving daughters LaDonna Pearson (Mark), Carol Holtkamp (Dwight) and Pamela Rudy (Steve).

She leaves behind five grandchildren Erin Gill (Rohan), Nikole Craft (Daniel), Clinton Lederer (Tabby), Scott Holtkamp, and Joshua Pearson (Jessica). She is also blessed to have eight great-grandchildren —who fondly called her GiGi or Grandma Great — Mia, Tearyn, Abbigail, Bowen, Colby, Connor, Madison and Noah.

In lieu of flowers, kindly donate to the Memory Care facility of your choosing.

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