Verna Aeschliman – January 20, 1945 – December 18, 2022


A Memorial Service for Verna Aeschliman will be held at 10:30 a.m. MST, Saturday, January 28, 2023 at the Syracuse Wesleyan Church in Syracuse, Kansas with Pastor Ray Frank officiating.  Inurnment will follow in the Coolidge Cemetery in Coolidge, Kansas.

Verna Rae (Johnson) Aeschliman passed away on December 18, 2022 in Cairns, Australia at the age of 77.  She was born on January 20, 1945 in Sterling, Colorado to Vernon and Thelma (Fowler) Johnson.

Verna was the oldest of four children.  Growing up on the family farm, she found herself helping with farm chores, gardening and canning with her mother, riding horses, and was involved in all things associated with farm life during that era.  Verna remembered her growing up years with much affection.

Verna attended and graduated from Padroni Public School in Padroni, Colorado.  She continued her education at Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree and received her Diploma of Nursing RN from Immanuel School of Nursing.  Verna also did graduate work at the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Oklahoma at Norman.  She continued taking continuing education courses to keep her nursing skills current.

Verna was united in marriage to Ulys Aeschliman in 1970.  This union was blessed with three daughters, Elizabeth, Naomi, and Angela.  Her family was one of Verna’s highest priorities.  She carefully planned and cooked balanced meals and was closely involved in their daughters’ education.  Verna worked tirelessly to make their home a haven in which the family could flourish.

Verna became a follower of Jesus Christ very early in life, and maintaining that relationship with Jesus was another one of her priorities.  She “nourished” that relationship through many things including daily devotions, church attendance, and attending or teaching Sunday School.

Verna and Ulys joined Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT) in 1975 and began a lifelong service to translate the Bible into the Nobonob language of Papua New Guinea (PNG).  Along with her many homemaking tasks, over the many years of her service with WBT and the Papua New Guinea Bible Translation Association (PNGBTA) in the Nobonob project, Verna also made time to be highly involved with the Nobonob translation.  Verna was the facilitator for beginning the vernacular Nobonob pre-school; assisting in teacher training, curriculum development and general operation of the pre-school.  She was responsible for writing the initial draft of the anthropological writeup of the Nobonob language group and began the production of the Nobonob dictionary, which is still a project in progress.  Verna oversaw the accuracy check of much of the Old Testament as translated into the Nobonob language.  She continued using her nursing skills in a variety of ways throughout the years in Papua New Guinea, and in 2002, at least in part because of this, was awarded the Nursing Heart of Healthcare Award.

Verna is survived by her husband, Ulys Aeschliman; three daughters, Elizabeth (Neil) Brownlee, Naomi Pace, and Angela Lundblade; three siblings, Janice Johnson, Lyndell Johnson, and Ruth (Mark) Splitter; 13 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends, both here in the U.S. and among the Nobonob people group in Papua New Guinea and beyond.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators or Child Evangelism Fellowship in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052.  To leave online condolences, please visit

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