By Dianne Girmus
The Nebraska Signal
The spirit and strength of Cumberlands Fashions dates back to October of 1945 when Valeria “Pat” Cumberland decided to purchase Geneva’s women’s apparel store from Mildred Miller Farmer. Cumberland exhibited wonderful business sense in this decision, as she had a husband in the service and three children at home.
Her legacy of quality merchandise and excellent customer service has continued throughout the years, enabling the business to reach a landmark in its history—Cumberlands Fashions 75th Anniversary, with fun and reminiscing the entire month of October.
The business has been sponsoring giveaways and is having a Pat Cumberland Week from October 22-29. Unfortunately, the big celebration had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, but the store will be doing several other things during that time.
Cumberland passed away in October of 1994 and the store is now owned by two of Cumberland’s daughters, Mary Bruning of Lincoln and Judy Ousey of Geneva and granddaughter, Patty Roper-Epperson of Geneva. Store owner and manager Roper said she has worked at the store 48 years, beginning in 1972 at age 13, right after eighth grade graduation and that she, her mother and aunt became the owners in 1996.
Roper said she feels they have remained open this long because of their personal relationship with many of their customers and their families.
“Many of them are third and fourth generation customers. We are there during the happiest times as well as during their tragic times to help them the best we can,” Roper said. “Nanny (Pat) instilled this in me and in all the people that worked for her over the years.”