Watertown - Ferne B. Van Epps, 91, former long time resident of Adams, died Friday morning at her home in Watertown, where she had been under the loving care of her family and Hospice of Jefferson County. A memorial service will be Monday at 4:00 pm at the Adams United Methodist Church, with Rev. Mona Fargo, pastor officiating. Calling hours will be from 1:30 - 4:00 pm preceding the service. Spring burial will be held at a later date in the Elmwood Cemetery, Adams. Arrangements are with the Piddock Funeral Home, Adams.
Born March 8, 1922 in the town of Henderson, daughter of Carl and Olive Berry Benjamin, Ferne graduated from Mannsville High School in 1939 and Watertown High School of Commerce.
She married Herbert E. Van Epps of Woodville on May 18, 1946 at the Mannsville Congregational Church with Rev. Joseph Kerr officiating. Following her marriage the couple lived in Adams all their married life.
For many years Mr. Van Epps operated his own business, Van Epps Candies ( Herby Van the Candy Man). Mr. Van Epps died on April 5, 1986. Mrs. Van Epps worked at Polson Feeds, OD Greene Lumber Company and later at the South Jefferson Central School District as a secretary, retiring in March 1983. Mrs. Van Epps moved to her current home in Watertown in 2003.
She is survived by one son and daughter in law, John M and Deborah Van Epps, Henderson Harbor; two daughters and a son in law, Bonnie and William B Kellogg, Henderson, Julie A. Van Epps, Watertown; 6 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren; one sister, Audrey Morrow, Port Clinton, OH; and several nieces and nephews.
She is predeceased by one sister, Betty Willis, and six brothers, Harry, Ellwyn, Earl, Ross, Howard and Gordon Benjamin, and a daughter in law, Juana R. Van Epps, who died in 2004.
Mrs. Van Epps was active in Relay for Life with teams Van Epps Candies and Griffith Agency sponsors.
She was a member of the Adams United Methodist Church, American Legion Don Rounds Post 586 for 62 years and former president, South Jefferson Chamber of Commerce where she served on the Board of Directors, and the Red Hat Mamas, and was a Charter Member of the Board of Directors at Country View Apartments, Adams.
She was a former member of the Rhode Board of Directors and delivered meals for many years, and the South Jefferson Senior Citizens where she was also the treasurer.
The family has requested donations in her memory be made to the Relay for Life, P.O. Box 357, Watertown NY 13601, c/o Don Boshart, or Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St. Watertown NY 13601.