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Vernon R. Verkuilen
Veteran

Vernon R. Verkuilen

April 14, 2019

Vernon Roger “Vern” Verkuilen, 83, of Bloomer, WI, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, April 14, 2019.

Vern was born in Appleton, WI, on May 10, 1935, to Jacob and Gertrude (Van Handel) Verkuilen.  He attended St. Therese Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Appleton West High School in 1953.

On December 21, 1953, Vernon married the love of his live, Yvonne Susan Rammer of Appleton, WI.  They were married for over 65 years. 

After graduating from high school, Vern joined the U.S. Marines and was stationed in Japan and fought during the Korean Conflict.  After his honorable discharge from service, Vern attended college, starting at UW Oshkosh and then graduating from UW Stout with a Masters’ Degree in Education.

Vern taught industrial arts in both Two Rivers, WI, and Bloomer, WI. He played for the semi-pro football team, the Manitowoc Chiefs, and was inducted to the hall of fame in 1999.

He went on to become the junior high principal and high school principal in Bloomer, WI.  Vern also was a drivers’ education instructor and the assistant varsity football coach for 25 years.

Vern joined the volunteer fire department in Bloomer and later became the assistant fire chief.  In addition to his teaching and administration duties, he worked for Rollie Prince charcoaling chicken at summer events and tended mason for John Wagner.

Upon retirement, Vern went to work for Buck Paulson at Paulson Plumbing.  He continued his passion for education by becoming a member of the school board.  Vern also served as a member of the Bloomer American Legion.  His hobbies included hunting, fishing, camping, woodworking, and most importantly, spending time with his family and friends.

Vern was a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and friend.  The children and grandchildren of Vern are very grateful to have such a loving father and grandfather in their life.  He will be truly missed.

Vern is survived by his son, Henry (Laura) Verkuilen of Belleville, MI; his three daughters, Sara (John) Caron of Bloomer, Ginny (Dean) Marquardt of Sun Prairie and Polly (Alan) Jacobson of Milton; five grandchildren, Laken, Anne, Jack, Mick and Jake.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Yvonne; and their daughter, Mary, in infancy.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2019 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Bloomer with Father Victor Feltes celebrating the Mass. Military honors will be rendered by the Bloomer VFW #6175 and American Legion Post #295 immediately following the service at church. Private burial will be held at a later date at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial in Spooner. Visitation will be held Thursday, April 25, from 4-8 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home in Bloomer with a time of sharing at 8 p.m. Visitation will continue from 10-11 a.m. Friday at the church.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Bloomer area Aquatic Center.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Mayo Clinic Home Health & Hospice, Visiting Angels and our other care givers for their passionate care of our Father.

Thompson Funeral Home & Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Bloomer is serving the family.

Visitation

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 4-8 p.m. at the funeral home & 10-11 a.m. Friday at church.

Service

11 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2019, St. Paul's Catholic Church

Florist Information

A Secret Garden Floral in Bloomer (715) 568-1037 All flowers should be delivered to the funeral home by 2 p.m. Thursday, April 25.

Condolences

  • Patricia M VanRooy Condolences to the family of Vern & Eve Verkuilen - both classmates at Appleton High School West Class of 1953. Vern and I attended St Therese Grade School and Roosevelt Junior High together. Vern and Eve would attend our AHS Class of 1953 Monthly Classmate Lunches as health and weather permitted and the yearly annual class reunions in August at Waverly Beach. We enjoyed seeing them and the fun we would have during the visits in spite of health problems. We have missed their attendance at the lunches for over a year but would remember them both during the lunches. Several of the lunch attendees were classmates at St Therese (7) going all the way through AHS together. Our memories are strong of all the good times to carry us through the remainder of our lives. May Vern & Eve rest in peace after very long and successful lives raising a wonderful family and Vern with his successful career and activities.

    April 27 at 8:17pm

  • angus mcintyre and sandra roeder schmidt This is not a happy Easter with further bad news. We both grew up living within two blocks of Vern's home in Appleton. His mom shocked my mother with the truthful analysis that my interest leaned more toward football with Vern than a concert hall with the piano. Piano lessons ceased shortly thereafter. We played all sports together and I cannot remember a dispute which wasn't resolved immediately. His personality clearly fit his career and no one was surprised with his success. We always looked forward seeing Eve and Vern at our monthly class luncheons. We marveled at how they got there with their medical problems. Always a smile. See you soon old friend! Our sympathy to the family.

    April 23 at 6:52am

  • Tom Verkuilen Many of you wrote condolences speaking of Vern as special or an influence in your life or tough on the outside and soft on the inside. You cannot even touch what t meant to be his “little brother”. My first awareness of life revolved around Vern. He was not only my brother, he was my surrogate father while my Father worked to support his family. He was life’s companion and my best friend and confidant. He was my team mate in sports and life. I am what Vern molded me to be. The mistakes in life I made were when I thought that I was smarter them him. My successes when I listed to him. When Vern passed I lost part of my soul.

    April 18 at 4:21pm

  • Scott and Lori Tomczak What a wonderful man. They were the best neighbors! So kind from day 1. Will definately be missed. Sending many prayers to the wonderful family.

    April 17 at 8:41PM

  • Nancy Aubart Bauer I am so sad reading this. Mr Verkuilen was a very good principal. He was great with kids that weren’t going down the right road. I was one of those kids.He had a number of talks with me. He knew I was carrying a heavy load. I don’t know that he knew what it was, but he had a way of talking to me where I felt somehow that what I was carrying didn’t feel so heavy after conversations with him, it felt as though he knew. He helped me see it is not where you have been but where you are going. That was in middle school. I teased him when he followed my class to high school, that he was a stalker. We continued to have our conversations. I was not proud to have always been having to talk with him but he was always fair and he constantly drove home to me that I was my own worst enemy and that I needed to believe in myself. I have heard him saying that to me in my head repeatedly over the years. He changed my way of thinking about myself . . He had no idea. But he helped me greatly. He made a huge difference in my life. He taught me to believe in me, he drove home that I was okay when I did not like myself at all. I believe in part because of his talks with me my life has turned out pretty good and I seen him one day and I told him and I thanked him, I am so glad I did that when I did. We have people who come into our lives and make a difference and Mr Verkuilen was one of them for me. I have never forgotten him for that reason. My sympathies to the family, my heart breaks for you and even more because I just read your moms obituary. I can’t imagine the loss you are feeling. My sincere condolences. Your dad was a wonderful principal and he gave me strength and confidence that I so needed from a male mentor years ago. I will never forget him. I pray he is resting with much peace.

    April 16 at 10:09PM

  • ROBERT L HOFFMAN Our condolences to the family of Vern. I believe the Lord wanted to unite your Mom & Dad. When He calls we answer. Vern was a fellow Marine and the class of " 53 " had quiet a number of us in the Korean conflict. So very sorry for your loss. Just a SUPER guy who will be missed in more ways than we think. Love and God Bless you all.
    Bob & Mary Lee Hoffman

    April 16 at 5:25PM

  • Patricia Durkin (libersky) Remember him being a good prinipal and didn't get in much trouble but would say hi everyorning when I came to school

    April 16 at 3:48PM

  • Fred Slayton I first met Vern like most of us did at the Bloomer Jr. High School, as it was called back then. As a troublesome youth I spent plenty of time in his office getting lectures and a few attitude adjustments. In the process we formed a bond of sorts. Later in high school I was going to drop out my senior year due to bad decisions over the course of my time there. The day I was supposed to sign the papers Vern took me aside and had a discussion with me about life. He told me in his own way that nobody respects a quiter and to get my head out of my posterior end so to speak. He offered to open his home to me, if I so wished, but I had to buckle down and finish school. I thanked him for his offer but declined, signed the papers and walked out of school. Over the next few months I thought about the things he said to me that day and took them to heart. I went back to school,buckled down and graduated. He came to my grad party that , shook my hand and told me he was proad of me. I will never forget that. I went into the military with another thing he had told me , if you're going to do something do it to the best of my ability, to which I strive to do to this day. He always gave off a persona of a hard man but deep down inside he had a soft heart. He was a good man. I'm sorry for your loss.

    April 16 at 12:06PM

  • Mary Jo Bischel Oh Sara, I am so sorry. What a wonderful dad you had in your life. I've always liked him since the day I met him. He had that nice smile and so "down to earth". I just can't believe it. He was a tough guy and a true man. Your kids were lucky to have such a great grandpa. He was so in to family. I didn't know him as well as I would have liked but some people you only meet once and you know they are "good people". This world needs more people like your parents. May you rest in peace Vern and thank you for giving us Sara.

    April 16 at 11:56AM

  • Joel K Lueck So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed being coached by him, he was tough but fair on the football field

    April 16 at 11:12AM

  • Bob& Karen Shadduck I am so very sorry for your lose. It is hard to believe but Vern and Aunt Eve was so much in love. You could always see it in their eyes and actions. A broken heart is hard to heal and go on. With al our condolences we pray to the Lord.

    April 16 at 9:13AM

  • Buck Today I sit here feeling sorry for myself as I have lost a very close friend. A loving husband, great father and teacher and super friend. I can remember when I first met Vern over 40 some years ago and like everyone else who met him, he intimidated me. It did not take me long though to learn I knew a special man. I told my wife years ago that Vern's got all the right stuff. He's a great worker, caring and really talented. Over the years we did a lot together and also played a lot together. We would get into deep conversations about everything. I didn't always agree with him but there were times when me got me to change my mind. I don't recall of ever changing his mind on a subject. Ha ha! Vern & Eve always treated me and my family really special. He gave, gave, gave, and never wanted anything in return which pissed me off. He would just say never mind, this is how I want it. I've never been much for words but if I didn't tell you when you were alive, I'm telling you now, I love you man! You were a father to me, a true friend, a proud Marine, and a super man. I will never forget you as you are a huge reason that I am the man I am today. Rest in peace and God bless you Vern. Thanks for everything. Your friend, Buck.

    April 15 at 9:32PM

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