Verna Hoover Sands

Obituary of Verna Lucille Hoover Sands

Verna Lucille Hoover Sands, born Verna Lucille Yaussy, passed away on May 5th, 2020 in Arlington, VA due to complications from surgery for a broken hip. She was 90 years old and living at Goodwin House retirement home in Falls Church, VA.


Lucy, as she was always known to friends and family, was born on Oct. 8th,1929 to Clarence and Helen Packard Yaussy in Bakersfield, California and grew up in nearby Arvin along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She attended Bakersfield High School followed by Pepperdine University where she earned a degree in Education. She is survived by her four children: Rodger Hoover and daughter-in-law Ana; Robert Hoover and daughter-in-law Paula; Gary Hoover and daughter-in-law Karen; Cathy Groen and son-in-law Frank, and nine grandchildren: Cassandra Hoover and grandson-in-law Chad Webb; Danny Hoover and granddaughter-in-law Emily Tanzey; Brian Hoover and his fiancé Paige Porterfield; Marissa Hoover and her fiancé Stoyan Bojinov; Nicholas Hoover; Julia Groen; Thomas Groen; Joshua Hoover; Matthew Hoover; and one great-grandchild, Elena Webb. Lucy is also survived by several cousins, nieces, nephews and step-children.


After graduating from Pepperdine, Mom began her career as a teacher in Oakland, California before meeting our dad, George G. Hoover, who had arrived from his native Chile several years before and had recently graduated from Engineering school. They met at First Presbyterian Church of Berkley in 1948, and married in 1954.  They started a family in Orinda, CA in 1957, then moved to Arlington, VA for a short time after our dad got a job with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers.  We moved to the Panama Canal Zone soon after in early 1964. Mom, who grew up on a small farm in California, never expected to leave the United States let alone travel all over Latin America and beyond.


Mom continued her career as a Home Economics teacher in the Canal Zone during our ten years in Panama, and then taught elementary school in the Dominican Republic where we lived for three years, followed by three years in Bolivia. After fifteen years of overseas life, we returned home to the US in 1979 and settled in Arlington, VA. Our dad passed away in 1985, after a brief bout with Multiple Myeloma. Mom remarried in 1988 after meeting Jack Sands. He was a sweet, charming man and they were very happy. They enjoyed ballroom dancing, visits to Jack’s country house near Fredericksburg, VA and loved being a part of Little Falls Presbyterian Church.  A few years into their marriage, Jack sadly suffered a stroke but Mom took good care of him until his passing in 2002.


Our mom was wonderful and loving to us all. In her later years, she commented that, as an only child who grew up on a farm, she was never quite sure how to deal with four kids who argued and squabbled so much but loved being with each other nevertheless. She encouraged us to forgive each other and move on, which we always did. She was an inspiration to us all and always set a positive example.  We will forever love her, miss her and cherish all the memories we had with her. Mom radiated love and kindness at all times. They say you can judge someone by their friends and enemies but in Mom’s case there were no enemies, only friends.


A celebration of Lucy’s life will be held at a time and place yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Lucy’s name to a fund being established at her church, Little Falls Church (, to help finance a mission trip in 2021 to the Dominican Republic where members will build a church and a school. Please contact Pastor Aaron Nagle at or (703) 538-5230. The mailing address is: 6025 Little Falls Road, Arlington, VA 22207.

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