HENDERSON, NY — Edna Mary Cherie Verrilli passed away at her home with family and friends on June 6, 2022.
The youngest daughter of John and Mary Cherie. Born on the family farm in Ancram, NY, on May 6, 1923. Edna had 2 brothers, Michael and John and 3 sisters Elizabeth (Betty), Helen, and Margaret. She went into foster care at the age of 11. Edna went into Chatham High School and moved to Utica, NY when she was 19. She lived in Utica from 1942-1983. Working first at the Hotel Martin, then the Hotel Utica for 12 years. She worked in several restaurants besides the hotels. She met Dan Verrilli and they married in 1949. They had one daughter, Susan. Both Dan and Edna spent their lives in the food and beverage industry. Edna also was elected and served 6 years as Secretary/Treasurer of the Hotel/Restaurant Bartenders Union Local #86. She served for 2 years on the NYS Labor Relations Board and was selected by this board to serve on the national audit committee in Cincinnati.
Edna and Dan purchased a cottage in 1963 in Henderson Harbor and in 1966 bought what would become Verrilli’s Restaurant. Edna ran the kitchen and Dan was the bartender and ran the front of the house alongside Susan. Verrilli’s was a landmark, famous for great Italian and American food for 21 years. Dan Passed away in 1985. Edna and Sue continued with the long-standing traditions of the restaurant. Edna retired in 1987 and the decision was made to sell the restaurant. She was anxious to enjoy the arrival of her granddaughter, Andrea VanBenschoten.
In her retirement, she was elected to the Henderson Town Board and served for 4 years. She was part of the founding members of Henderson Harbor Performing Arts Assoc. (formerly called the Mark Hopkins). Edna was a committee member of the newly established Water district and decided to donate land to the town in order to establish a water tower location. She spent over 20 years with her friend and partner, Don Gould, who passed away in 2017.
Edna was a member of Queen of Heaven Church since the early 60’s and the Alter & Rosary society. She looked forward to greeting parishioners and doing “coffee hour”. Her pastors were great friends and she wanted to recognize Fr. Doug Comstock and Fr. Martin Cline. Edna also had a great love for the “Star Wars” series.
She was predeceased by her parents and siblings, nephews Ernest Cherie and Frank Verrilli, and niece Joan Duffy.
Surviving are a daughter, Susan, her favorite son-in-law, David, as she so often said, granddaughter Andrea VanBenschoten, and friend Robert LaPlaca. Her nephew Richard Rathbun and his wife Carol, niece Nancy Dribble, nephew Edward Cherie and wife Cynthia, and other great nieces and nephews.
A Mass will be said 1 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Queen of Heaven Church. Calling hours will be held prior to Mass at the church from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Internment to be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Henderson Rescue Squad and Henderson Harbor Performing Arts Assoc. (HHPAA)
Online condolences may be made at www.carpenterstoodley.com.