School 04

Patricia Lynn Verdal

February 25, 1948 ~ July 28, 2022 (age 74)


Teacher, friend, mother, and devoted partner Patricia Lynn Kleinbach “Trisha” Verdal passed away on July 28, 2022 at the age of 74 with her beloved husband by her side.

She is survived by her husband Larry; daughters Nina Verdal of Owings Mills, MD and Anne (Darrick) Hayman of Arlington, WA; grandsons Tommy and Brady; mother-in-law Mary and brother in-law Bob; sisters Joan (Roy), Michal (Dan), Katherine (Doug); brother Ben, and several nieces, nephews, and their families. She was preceded in death by her father (Ben) in 1969, father-in-law (Thor) in 1984, sister-in-law (Vicki) in 1985, stepfather (Selmer) in 1997, and mother (Barbara) in 2011.

Trisha was born February 25, 1948 in Billings, MT. She was the fourth of five children born to Ben and Barbara Kleinbach. Following the birth of her brother, Benjamin, her family moved to Eklutna, AK. Their next assignment had them driving the Al-Can Highway (in the winter) to Albuquerque, NM before returning (via road trip) to her beloved Alaska three years later. Trisha spent her childhood developing a love of music, family, and all things Alaska. She considered Fairbanks her hometown, and she qualified for the National 4-H Club Congress twice while there. She graduated from Lathrop High School in 1966.

After high school she followed big sister, Michal, to Whitworth College in Spokane, WA where she was introduced to the love of her life, Larry Verdal. Theirs was a love story that lasted well over 50 years. The couple’s first date was March 24, 1967; they were engaged the same day one year later and married December 27, 1968 in Anchorage, AK. After a chilly honeymoon to visit sister Katherine and family in Yellowstone, the couple settled in Moscow, ID where they earned their degrees and began their family and careers in education.

Trisha graduated from the University of Idaho in 1971 and began a near decade long venture with the Moscow Meals on Wheels program including some time on the board of directors and as temporary coordinator. January of 1972, Trisha & Larry welcomed daughter Nina (six weeks early) and adjusted to life as parents. In April of 1974, daughter Anne arrived to complete the family. In 1980, they moved to the home they shared until Trisha was no longer able to live at home.

Trisha’s professional life began in the fall of 1974. She was a special education aide for a short time before teaching Industrial Arts-Crafts for nearly nine years. In 1984, Trisha became the last

Home Economics teacher Moscow Junior High School would have. In the 22 years she taught Home Ec, she inspired countless students and student teachers. She was part of “Sweetness”--a small group that provided a little extra love to their colleagues and on the board of directors for Moscow Bear Boosters for a time. She was incredibly active in her state, regional, and national professional organizations. Her family referred to the friends she made in those groups as “the Letter People.”

Trisha was the recipient of the Idaho Association of Vocational Home Economics Teachers (IAVHET) “Beyond the Classroom” award in 1987 and the American Home Economics AssociationTeacher of the Year for Idaho in 1988. She was the president of IAVHET (1988-1989) and president of Idaho Vocational Association (1990-1991). The highlight of her professional career was being part of the vote which changed the name of Home Economics to Family and Consumer Sciences.

Trisha was always working on one craft or another. Her favorites were leather work and weaving, but she spent a lot of time sewing especially prom dresses for her daughters and aprons for her brother. She even took a couple of quilting classes. Life was best for Trisha when she could combine her love of crafts, teaching, and caring for others. She regularly had students make Valentine’s cards or macrame candy canes for local organizations–including the Good Samaritan nursing home where she later lived her final weeks.

Trisha loved camping, backpacking, boating, & other family adventures. It’s safe to say, “The Big Trip” when the family drove to Alaska in 1987 was one of her highlights. She loved sharing her beloved Alaska with her husband and children.

Trisha made frequent pilgrimages to Camrose, Alberta to care for her aging mother, stepfather, and brother. Trisha took her job of big sister to her brother Ben very seriously until the end of her life.

Trisha earned one of her favorite titles, “Nanny” in 2001, when she became a grandmother. She loved spending time with her two grandsons, Tommy & Brady, just hanging out, making applesauce or cookies, coloring easter eggs, or simply watching them play at the water park.

She retired in 2006, a year after Larry. She had spent much of his professional life taking meals to the Field House or football field and wrangling things at home. He enjoyed taking over those tasks and spoiling her after he retired in 2005. Later on, she joined Moscow Central Lions with Larry and enjoyed the fellowship that came with that.

The last several years of her life she struggled with symptoms of undiagnosed MS and dementia. Trisha was doted on by Larry until her last breath.

A Celebration of Life will be scheduled for later this fall. Details to be determined. Any donations in her memory should be made to Moscow Central Lions Foundation (PO Box 8655, Moscow, ID 83843).


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