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Adelaide D. Vérnon, my great aunt

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Vérnon 1918-2016
Adelaide D. Vérnon lived most of her life in New York and passed away peacefully at home in Brookhaven, PA on March 5, 2016 where she lived for the past eight years. Born in New York City in 1918, Adelaide Hoagland Vérnon was the daughter of Lucy Sullivan Hoagland and Arthur William Hoagland. Adelaide has been referred to as the "Bohemian" aunt having traveled extensively and experiencing a myriad of adventures. Adelaide was first and foremost a ballerina. Premier dancer of Ballet Chaffee and then became Ballet Mistress of the company which earned the Palms de Academies from France for their preservation and promotion of classic French Ballet. She taught class until the age of 89 at Ripley-Grier Studios in New York, earning the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award. Adelaide's fondest memory was of traveling with the Barnum and Bailey Circus as choreographer. Her circus friend Sonny knew "where every church was and at what time Mass was said" in every town they performed. Adelaide's sustenance, however, came from being the sole assistant to Dr. Rindge, curator of Lepidoptera at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Adelaide catalogued and displayed one of the largest collections of butterflies and moths in the world, a collection of over 3.5 million specimens. She retired at the age of 84, after 42 years of service, since she thought that you should retire to something - not from something. Adelaide expressed that the Museum fed her and warmed her home but ballet fed and warmed her heart! Adelaide is predeceased by her sisters Sr. Mary Arthur Hoagland, IHM and Lorraine Miller. Survivors: She is survived by her nephews, Robert (godson) Craig (Anne), Mark (Betty Ann) Kurt (Cindy), Chris (Geraldine), 7 great nephews, 6 great nieces, 6 great-great nieces and 3 great-great nephews. Viewing: Family and friends are invited to attend her viewing from 11:00 to 11:45 at Our Lady of Charity Church, 231 Upland Road, Brookhaven, PA.. Funeral Mass: 12:00 Noon on Saturday Interment: Saints Peter & Paul Cemetery in Springfield, Pa Donations: In lieu of flowers, donations to Main Line Health Home Care & Hospice Foundation, 240 North Radnor Chester Road, Suite 100, Radnor, PA 19087 would be greatly appreciated.


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Dear, sweet Adelaide..I was one of her students in the late 40's when she was assistant to George Chaffee. She was a real beauty then. I was part of the ballet ensemble Chaffee had at the time and she was a sparkling dancer. When I saw Nadia Nerina for the first time in the 50's, she reminded me of Adelaide,...they both had a wonderful "sparkle" on the stage. It's regrettable that she did not have a larger dancing career....she surely had the talent for it. In the classroom she could be a bit 'mousey',but on the stage she came alive. Rest in Peace, Adelaide, I will pray for you.

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