People of Siouxland – Portraits of the Extraordinary

Beloved Matriarch with a Big Heart

Verona Trosper has spent the majority of her life caring for more than 50 children in foster care. Over the decades, she took in foster children ranging from newborns to teenagers, all while working a full-time job. 

“I had them from right out of the hospital up to 16-years-old.” 

Verona has given them a home, regardless of their age, race, or gender. She welcomed them with open arms and raised them just like her own. 

“How you raise a child is how they’re going to end up being.” 

She was first inspired to help foster children in 1952, when her husband’s parents passed away, leaving behind their two children and their grandson. “So, I took them to live with my husband and me.” She didn’t stop there. 

Verona continued opening her home to children in need. In fact, many of these kids have grown into adults and still keep in touch with her, through handwritten letters, visits, and phone calls.

“I just talked to Collin on the phone yesterday, he wants me to send him more scriptures to read,” Verona said, about one of her former foster children, now 29-years-old. 

She recalls another recent connection with one of her fosters: 

“I got a letter from one of the foster kid’s wives, thanking for raising him in the church and instilling in him what a man is supposed to be. She said he is a good husband and a good father. It was Jose, I had him for two years. He’s the one who visits with his wife and kids,” Verona said. 

Verona has a loving and compassionate heart, a nurturing personality. She embodies qualities that come in a remarkable mother, ensuring all the needs of the children are met, giving them valuable experiences that have stayed with them for a lifetime. 

Verona, who also goes by the nickname “Cookie” or “Sister Trospee” was born on January 31, 1934, in Waterloo, Iowa. “In my grandma’s big bedroom, my dad delivered me.” 

She moved to Sioux City’s Westside in 1966 with her husband. Together, they had one daughter, now 70-years-old. Verona also adopted a young girl in 2000, who is now 28 years old. 

She has served as a church secretary at Mt. Zion Church for nearly three decades. Last October, Verona received very special recognition for her years of service and dedication to the local church. 

Hello, I’m Jetske Wauran-Castro and I am thrilled to team up with Siouxland Magazine! This team effort serves as an avenue to share my passion project, “People of Siouxland – Portraits of the Extraordinary.” I launched this in September 2020, in hopes of inspiring and uplifting others in the most trying of times. As a visual storyteller, my mission is to highlight the hidden gems and underrepresented individuals that have enriched the lives of others, shown ongoing leadership, and have become outstanding role models in our community.

Jetske Wauran-Castro is a community activist, professional photographer, and Emmy award-winning journalist. She and her husband Rueben live in Sioux City.

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