Velma M. Trentham, 78, of Browning, Mo. died Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia following a car accident. Velma M., daughter of Adam and Inez (Conrad) Seabaugh, was born June 25, 1939, in Patton.
She married her high school sweetheart, Ernest Eugene Trentham June 29, 1958. In 1969, they adopted their children, Lisa and Lonnie.
Velma is survived by her husband, Ernest of Browning; daughter Lisa (Kenny) Ewigman of Marceline; son Lonnie (Marla) Trentham of Brookfield; sister Gladys Hale of Brookfield; and brother Everett (Mary) Seabaugh of Patton. She was a beloved grandmother to Austin (Teresa) Trentham of Overland Park, Kansas, Abby Trentham of Leavenworth, Kansas, Jason Ewigman of Chicago, Jordan (Ethan) Beck of Marceline, Amanda (John) Kendall of Leavenworth, Kansas, Lauren Ewigman of Marceline, and Karissa and Torie Trentham of Brookfield; as well as great-grandchildren: Marlee, Adysun, Axl, Kynlee, and future baby Beck.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother in-law, Jim; sister in-law, Fay; aunt Tommy; and brother Raymond.
Velma was a retired administrator from the Meadville R-4 school district. She had a passion for learning, teaching and mentoring people of all ages. She was a 1957 graduate of Patton High School where she was Valedictorian of her class. After high school, she worked as a clerk typist. She then worked at a garment factory, Angelica Uniforms in Marquand. Velma continued her education by receiving an Associates Degree from Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida, and a Bachelors of Science in Education Degree from Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, becoming a certified kindergarten teacher and a 7-12 English teacher. In 1980, Velma received her Masters of Arts Degree, and later obtained an Elementary and Secondary Principal Certification from Northeast Missouri State (Truman) in Kirksville where she also made the Dean’s List.
In 1976, she began her teaching career in Fredericktown R-1 School as a math teacher. In 1977, Velma, Gene, and their two children moved to Browning, where she taught 4th grade for one year at Linn County R-1 School before accepting a K-12 Art teacher/part time Elementary and Secondary principal position at Meadville R-IV School. In the fall of 1984, she accepted a position as a full-time elementary and secondary principal. In 1999, as school enrollment increased, the district returned to a two principal system. Velma chose to accept the elementary principal position, which she held until her retirement in 2009. While at Meadville, Velma taught math, art, English, and 4th grade, coached cheerleading and scholar bowl. She was Director of Parents As Teachers, and organized: Smokebusters, Future Teachers Association, Cadet Teachers, and Peer Helpers. She retired after 33 years of service in education and continued as director of Parents as Teachers until 2013.
Velma was very active in her community where she was on the Linn County Health Department Board, Senate Bill-40 Board, member and past president of the Retired Teachers Association of Linn County, as well as instructing a weekly Bible study at McLarney Manor in Brookfield. In the past, Velma and Gene were also host to foster children in their home. She had a huge heart for everyone that knew her.
Velma was a hard worker who enjoyed fishing with her children and grandchildren, visiting and talking with her family and friends, traveling, watching and choring with Kynlee, attending her grandchildren’s sporting and school events and displaying her green thumb with Gene growing a highly productive garden and beautiful flowers throughout the house and yard. Most importantly, Velma had a close and personal relationship with God, which she shared with everyone.
A funeral service was held November 19 at Wright-Baker-Hill Funeral Home in Brookfield with Pastor Rex Leppin officiating. Burial was November 20 in the Missouri State Veteran’s Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Memorials to the Velma Trentham Memorial Scholarship (for a Meadville R-IV High School senior planning on pursuing a degree in education) may be left at or mailed to Wright-Baker-Hill Funeral Home, P.O. Box 496, Brookfield, MO 64628.