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Virginia Jerome - September 13, 2012


Virginia (Kunkel) Jerome was born March 25, 1924 in Madrid, Neb. to Leslie and Grace (Cassels) Kunkel. She died Sept. 13, 2012 in Holyoke at the age of 88.

Her family moved to Holyoke in 1933 when her father purchased the Smith Drug Store. After graduating from high school in 1941, Virginia took a year’s postgraduate course, then worked in Denver and attended Colorado State University for a short time before deciding to enter nurse’s training. In 1947 she graduated from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Denver and in May of that year married Joe Harbin of Pueblo, who died suddenly a few months later.

From 1948 to 1952 she nursed at hospitals in Holyoke, San Francisco, Calif. and New York City, N.Y. While in New York, she married Dr. A.P. Jerome and to that union a son, Richard, was born. She later returned to Holyoke, working at the local hospital until 1954 when she went to beautician’s school in Tucson, Ariz.

Returning to Holyoke in 1955, she operated Jerome’s Beauty Salon though 1965 and then returned to nursing. She nursed at both the local nursing home and hospital until transferring to Loveland. She worked in Loveland for over three years and during that time was also a relief nurse at hospitals in New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska.

She moved to Custer, S.D. for a year then transferred to the hospital in Raton, N.M., where she worked from 1975 to 1983 when a shoulder injury forced her to retire. In 1984, she moved back to Holyoke, where she remained until her death.

In earlier years, Virginia was active in the Agenda Club, Order of Eastern Star, Cub Scouts and the American Nurses Association. In later years, she was involved with the Community Concert Series and was on the Holyoke High School Alumni Committee for several years. She was also a charter member of the Friday Evening Women’s Club. She enjoyed bridge and crafts and was an avid reader.

Preceding her in death were her parents; first husband; and sisters, Marjorie Giles and Dorothy Reimer.

She is survived by her son, Richard of Denver; sister, Norma Warren of Holyoke; and numerous nephews and nieces.

A Celebration of Life service was scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at Gerk Funeral Home in Holyoke with Bryan Kroeger officiating.

Burial will be at a later date in the Holyoke Cemetery.

Gerk Funeral Homes was entrusted with the arrangements.