William Loring Vernon

Astoria resident, 73William Loring Vernon, 73, of Astoria, died Saturday, June 26, 2004 in Astoria.

He was born Oct. 1, 1930 in Astoria to George W. and Annette Stinson Vernon. His grandmother, Dr. Nellie Vernon, a longtime Astoria physician, delivered him.

Mr. Vernon was raised in Astoria, and graduated from Astoria High School in 1950. He partnered with his brother, Leonard Vernon, in an excavation company until he joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Upon his return to Astoria, he worked for various oil and logging companies, and finally for Coca Cola bottling Company as a plant manager of the Astoria plant. He retired in 1976 after sustaining severe injuries at work.

He and his son, Blaine Vernon, operated an excavation business until 1998, when he retired a second time due to health reasons.

From 1979 to the present, he operated a family Christmas tree farm.

On May 30, 1958, he married Susan Farmer at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Klamath Falls. She survives, residing in Astoria.

Mr. Vernon was active in the Cub and Boy Scouts for 30 years. He was a member of the Moose Lodge, Lower Columbia Classic Car Club, Olney Grange and Episcopal Church. He served as a budget committee member for Olney School, a local ombudsman for Crestview Nursing Home, and was a docent and a member of the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

Family members describe him as a kind and loving gentleman. They say his favorite role in life was "Dad" and to his great joy, "Grandpa" to his little one, his granddaughter, Alisa Vernon. He loved his family, dogs and cats, and was blessed with more good and caring friends than he could count. He was a good, loving and very patient husband for 46 years. In his last years, he suffered greatly but without complaint even though he was in pain much of the time.

He is survived by a son, Blaine L. Vernon of Astoria; a daughter-in-law, Tina M. Vernon of Astoria; a granddaughter, Alisa Marie Vernon of Astoria; a mother-in-law, Mae W. Wheeler of Astoria; three cousins, Norm and Judy Shatto and Phyllis Bue of Astoria; three nephews, Dan and Rich Kelley of Astoria and David Kelley of Illinois; and a niece Laura Boehm of Knappa.

A memorial, an old fashioned Irish Wake, is at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Olney Grange.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Clatsop Animal Shelter or to the North Coast Lupus Group, in care of Caldwell's Luce-Layton Mortuary, 1165 Franklin Ave., Astoria, OR 97103.

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