Verliss Lair, 1924-2016

Published 9:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2016

Funeral services for Verliss Delphine (Lofthus) Lair, 92, of Albert Lea will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Russell Scepaniak will officiate. Interment will be in St. Theodore Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and also one hour prior to the time of the service at the church. To sign the guest book, go to

Verliss Lair

Verliss Lair

Verliss went to her heavenly home peacefully at 5:20 p.m. Thursday, March 24, 2016, at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea, surrounded by her husband and family.

Verliss Delphine Lair was born March 3, 1924, to Nickolai and Lila Mertie (Nagel) Lofthus in Nunda Township. She was baptized April 11, 1924, at Lime Creek Lutheran Church in Emmons. She was confirmed May 14, 1939, at Emmons Lutheran Church. She graduated from Emmons High School in 1941, had one year of teacher’s training in Austin and taught eight grades of country school for one year. She then devoted her life as a loving housewife and mom.

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Verliss married James Leonard “Pat” Lair on July 22, 1943, at St. Theodore Catholic Church, celebrating their wedding dinner at the A&W Root Beer stand. They made their home in rural Emmons from 1943 through early 1949 and moved to their farm in rural Hayward in 1949. Verliss briefly owned and operated the Lair Café in Hayward. They moved to rural Albert Lea in 1985, into a twin home in 2011 and then to Good Samaritan’s Hidden Creek in 2013.

Verliss was well known for being a practical jokester, telling jokes wherever she was and her sense of humor. She was always busy from dawn until the wee hours of the night — even grocery shopping at midnight, enjoyed talking on the telephone, cooking and baking, fishing, traveling and her card parties. She played a mean hand of 500. Verliss was always taking care of others, talked to complete strangers and loved all people, especially her entire family and dear friends. Verliss was very loving, caring, compassionate and had a big heart.

Survivors include her loving husband of 72 1/2 years, James “Pat” Lair; children Jerry Lair of Rochester, Denny (Kay) Lair of Medford, Oregon, Tom (Valerie) Lair of Albert Lea, Mark (Audrey) Lair of Ames, Iowa, Loren (Jane) Lair of Hayward, Linda (Jay) Radue of Lakeville; daughter-in-law, Linda (Beyer) Lair of Burnsville; grandchildren Lori (Gene) Barwick of Owatonna, Scott (Brinda) Lair of Rochester, Amy (James) Rediske of Decorah, Iowa, Kevin (Jen) Lair of Bend, Oregon, Kristin (Erik) Peterson of Medford, Oregon, Todd “T.J.” Lair of Olathe, Kansas, Kelly Lair of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Alex Lair of Minneapolis, Brittni Lair of Albert Lea, Chad Radue of Lakeville, Nicky (Tyler) Klingson of Lakeville, Heather (Dan) Harms of Albert Lea, Allison (Lance) Langer of Fitchberg, Wisconsin, Brian (Vivienne) Derck of Las Vegas, Nevada; great-grandchildren, Jeramiah Rediske, Ethan and Jonah Lair, Lucas and Bennett Peterson, Blake DePagter, Kennedy Salm, Easton Radue, Presley Klingson, Haley and Tyler Harms, Jordan and Grant Langer, Bradley and Nicolas Derck; sister, Darlene (Kenneth) Lee of Georgia; brother-in-law, Francis Lair of Burnsville; sister-in-law, Eileen Hengesteg of Lake Mills; and many nieces and nephews.

Verliss was preceded in death by her parents; son, James Richard “Jim” Lair (2006); daughter-in-law Linda (Lubke) Lair (2015) sister, Pearl (Lofthus) Lair (2006); brother, Lauren Lofthus (1921 at 1 month old); brothers-in-law William Webster “Bussy” Lair (1998), Ernest Hengesteg (1981), Joe MacKay (1995), LeRoy Martinson (1996); sisters-in-law Helen Maxine Lair (1936), Margie (Lair) MacKay (2011), Dorothy (Sullivan) Lair (2014) and Betty (Lair) Martinson (2015).

The family extends their gratitude to the entire staff of Good Samaritan for taking such good care of Verliss.