PRATT — Vergie “Dee Dee” (Webster) Critzer, 95, passed away on March 28, 2017, at Kiowa County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg, KS. She was born on September 15, 1921, at Protection, Kansas, and was the daughter of Martin Luther and Minnie Pearl (Ogden) Webster. She was the second of seven children.
Vergie attended Pleasant Valley Grade School, a one-room country school house near the family farm in rural Protection. She often reminisced about milking cows in the early morning before riding to school on horseback, sometimes hauling wood or coal for stoking the stove to keep the school house warm. She continued her education at Protection High School, graduating in 1938.
She met her future husband, Lyle Hamlin Critzer, at a local carnival in early September, 1941. It was love at first sight, and they were married just three short weeks later on September 21, 1941, in Wichita, Kansas. They were blessed with 59 years of marriage before Lyle passed away on January 2, 2000. When they met, Lyle owned and operated The Protection Hatcheries, a chicken hatchery in Protection. Vergie joined him in the business, first in Protection and then later in Pratt, where they moved the business in 1956. Lyle and Vergie worked side by side for nearly 60 years.
Vergie enjoyed giving tours of the family business to hundreds of school children from Pratt and the surrounding counties. She was active in her church and other community activities. Music was always a big part of her life. She played the piano, harmonica and the accordion. She taught Sunday School, and was especially proud to teach her students how to play hymns on harmonicas she had purchased for them. Vergie volunteered with the American Red Cross, where she developed an adult swimming lesson program and taught swimming lessons for many years. She loved horses and was active in the Pratt Saddle Club. An adamant supporter of Pratt High School music and sports, Vergie volunteered as a pep club and cheerleader chaperone. She also made pep club banners for Pratt and Skyline High Schools, as well as Pratt Community College. She often spoke fondly of her memories of family cook- outs and water-skiing outings. Her favorite pastime was crocheting. She crocheted many beautiful afghans for family and friends, and once said she wished she had kept count of how many afghans she had made, estimating there were well more than a hundred.
Of all the things Vergie was, she was first and foremost a mom. Her selfless devotion to her daughters, Vickie and Kris, her four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren could not be surpassed. But in addition to her own children, Vergie was “Mom” to many of their friends who looked at her as their second mother. No matter what the problem, Vergie’s door was always open and her shoulder there to lean on. Vergie’s house was the place to be: for fun, for shelter, for solace, for advice. She was everybody’s mom.
Over the years, Vergie saw “children” come into her life, for however long God would let them stay. She viewed her role in their lives as a God-given charge to guide and nurture. This moved her to write a poem entitled, “For Just a Little While.” She shared hundreds of copies with friends, families, ministers, hatchery customers, or whoever would ask for one.
Vergie had a very cunning wit about her, an adorable sense of humor, a vivacious laugh, a love of life, and a love of people. She gave more to this world than she took. She will be greatly missed.
Vergie is survived by: daughters, Vickie Fisher, Pratt, KS, and Kris (Joe) Thompson , York, SC; grandchildren, Dustin Fisher (Jamie Williamson), Pratt, KS, Katie Fisher (Jason Huth), Basehor, KS, Nicholas Thompson (Hanna Whitefield), Edgewood, NM, and Colton (Heather) Thompson, Smyrna, GA; great-grandchildren, Grandon and Amethyst Fisher, and Stephanie and David Holmes, all of Pratt, KS. She was “Second Mom” to nephew Gary (Debbie) Goeller, Benton, KS, Barbara Svoboda-Rush, Ashland KS, and twelve other precious nephews and nieces. She will also be missed by her many great-nephews and nieces and great-great- nephews and nieces.
In addition to her parents, Vergie was preceded in death by her husband, Lyle Critzer; a daughter, Toni; four brothers, John Webster, Earl Webster, Clark Webster and Martin Webster, Jr.; and two sisters, Ida May Goeller-Robey and Ethel Webster Loffland.
A graveside service will be held at 2:30 PM, Saturday, April, 1 2017, at Greenlawn Cemetery, Pratt, KS. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be given to Lemon Park Lights in care of Larrison’s Mortuary, 300 Country Club Road, Pratt, KS, 67124.