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Verta Mae Meherg, age 84, passed away at Forest Manor Rehab on February 6, 2023. Services will be held at Ridgecrest Baptist Church on Friday, February 10, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. with Bro. Curtis Kelley and Bro. Jim Headley officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Memory Hill Gardens.

A native of Greensboro, Alabama in Hale County, Verta Barr Meherg blazed a trail of leadership in business, civic life, her church and the community her entire life. Considered one of Tuscaloosa’s civic giants, Verta shattered the glass ceiling for other women in the automotive industry and in the community’s most important civic institutions.

Verta was preceded in death by her parents, John W. and IV Kynard; husband, Jeff W. Barr; and daughter, Carol Irene Barr.

Verta is survived by her husband, James (Jim) Meherg; her daughter, Alisa Barr Johnson, M.D., and husband, Richard, four grandchildren, Carol Elizabeth, Patrick, Camille and Victoria Johnson and brothers, JW Kynard and Evan ( Margaret) Kynard.


Pallbearers will be Johnny Kynard, Michael Kynard, Jeff, Terry, Doug, and Richard Rodenberry, George Dockery III and Harold Hall.

Honorary pallbearers are John Kynard, Logan Kynard, Tony Smelley, Jon Evan Smelley, Shane Crews, Andrew Crews, Jeff Dockery, Steven Dockery, Phillip Dockery, Eric Rodenberry, Blake Rodenberry, Brad Rodenberry, and Lance Rodenberry.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

Verta was born May 31, 1938 and is a graduate of Greensboro High School, where she was the salutatorian of her senior class. She went on to graduate from Perry Business College with an accounting degree and attended the University of Alabama.

Verta’s long and successful business career began in 1956 as the Business Manager of Claude Dent Motors, later serving as Business Manager for Dockins Motors and Holiday Motors. In 1992, she began to use her business acumen, vision and determination to move up in the automotive business, an industry dominated by men. She became a co-owner, secretary and treasurer of Quality Mazda-Jeep-Eagle.

Verta would continue to grow in respect of her peers and experience business success as the co-owner of Chrysler-Jeep of Tuscaloosa and owner of Quality Mazda Volkswagen.

Verta earned great admiration and respect from the automotive dealers across Alabama and the nation and would become the first woman to serve as President of the Tuscaloosa New Car Dealers Association, Tuscaloosa Independent Automobile Dealers and the Alabama Automobile Dealers Association. She also served on the board of directors of the National Automobile Dealers Association. In 1999, Verta was named to the President’s Hall of Fame of the Alabama Independent Dealers’ Association, and in 2005, was a Dealer of the Year finalist of the American International Dealers Association.

A dedicated Christian leader, Verta was a longtime member of Ridgecest Baptist Church, once again applying her leadership, servant’s heart and love of Christ and her church to make a difference in the lives of hundreds.

At the time of her illness, she was serving as Chair of the Advanced Commitments for the Challenge To Build committee. Over her many years at Ridgecrest, Verta served in the Singles

Ministry, the Finance and Building committees, Discipleship Training Director, Sunday School teacher, And former Chair of the Finance, Personnel, Nomination and Pulpit Search committees.

Always setting a path of excellence and a determined focus to excel, Verta was an exemplary model of citizenship and service. Often mentoring other women, she excelled at the highest levels whenever she took on a civic, business and church role. Once again, she shattered the glass

Ceiling through her service.

Verta was a long-time member of The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama serving in multiple roles including the inaugural Chair of the Chamber Ambassadors, 3-term board of directors and executive committee member, and the first woman Chair of The Chamber. A multiple award winner,

Verta was a Distinguished Service Award recipient, recipient of the Women In Business Achievement Award, a Charles Land Member of Year recipient, the first recipient of the Leadership Tuscaloosa Distinguished Leadership Alumni award; and was inducted into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Verta’s civic accomplishments read like a life-time of serving others. There wasn’t a civic or service institution in Tuscaloosa County that her life didn’t touch and impact.

Among her myriad of leadership roles included: past president of the DCH Regional Medical Center Foundation; President of the Shelton State Foundation; President of United Cerebral Palsy; Chair, Board President and Campaign Chair of United Way of West Alabama; Chair of the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau; President of Tuscaloosa League of Business and Professional Women; and District Chair of the Alabama Federation of Business and Professional Women.

She also was an active board member for multiple organizations including the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority, Tuscaloosa Symphony Guild, Focused Woman Advocacy

Council, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Regions Bank, the Board of Visitors of the University of Alabama’s College of Continuing Studies, and a host of other business, civic, educational and service organizations.

Always humble in her service and achievements, Verta Barr was honored on many occasions with a diversity of honors, including a two-time honoree as Woman of the Year by the Tuscaloosa League of Business and Professional Women, Quality Dealer of the Year for Alabama, Woman Committed to Excellence award from the Girl Scouts Council, Women Helping Women honor from Soroptimist International, and was Tuscaloosa’s Citizen of the Year in 1996

Verta Barr Meherg blazed a trail for all of us with a caring heart and a determination to build a better world for all. She demonstrated compassion, servantleadership, and a loving touch that changed people’s lives. She proved time and time again that ‘gender was not on her agenda’ and that business was not just a man’s domain..

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