It was with great sadness that I learned that Vera Weis had been involved in a serious car accident. Vera is truly a pioneer woman who should be recognized for her contributions to the history of Bemidji.
Vera was born and raised in Bemidji. As soon as she graduated from high school, she went to work for the school district. She was a school secretary for 43 years. She saw the number of elementary schools nearly double in her time. She was present to help remove school records from Central School when it was burning down. She ordered all the books and supplies for all the elementary schools for several years. I remember walking into the school and seeing the gym floor lined with books and supplies for all the elementary schools, prior to the start of school in the fall.
After 43 years Vera felt it time to retire. It wasn’t long before she started a career of 27 years working for the Beltrami County Court. She worked with the judges to help with the jurors and help create a smooth court system. She also delivered prisoners to and from Bemidji, to all parts of the state.
Seventy years as an employee in Beltrami County must be a record. During her lifetime Vera helped organize Bemidji All-School reunions, set up and ran polling places, and worked tirelessly at First Presbyterian Church. In fact, the day of her accident she was returning from a meeting at the church. If you ask any parishioner you would learn that few things went on at the church without the involvement of Vera Weis.
Vera was married to a wonderful man named Jake Weis until his death many years ago. After they married, they purchased a piece of property that is now Century 21 Dickinson Realtors on Paul Bunyan Drive. The garage behind the office looks the same as it did 50 years ago. They sold it at a time when the proceeds today would only buy a nice vacation to Europe. Imagine what the property now housing Century 21, the Holiday Inn Express and Security Bank USA would be worth today.
Jake was a quiet man. He was working in the shipyards on the west coast at the outbreak of World War II. They told him to stay there and avoid the war. Jake quit his job and he and his brothers all enlisted in the service.
Few people in Bemidji know the complete story of these two wonderful people. They never were much for talking about themselves. When Vera reads this she will not be happy with us.
If you get the opportunity, greet her as she recuperates from her injuries. Few people can match her record of service to her community. God bless Vera Weis. She has taken her place among those who are responsible for making Bemidji the wonderful place it is to work and live today.