Ruby Graham age 77

Memorial Services for Ruby Graham age 77 formerly of Springview, Neb., were held on Saturday, July 10 at 10:30 a.m. at United Methodist Church, Springview, NE. Burial followed in Mt Hope Cemetery.

Ruby passed away at the University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., on July 1, 2021.

Ruby Mae Weston Graham was born on Sept. 7, 1943, to John Earl and Joella (Ellis) Weston in Ainsworth, NE.

Ruby attended grade school at the Cottonwood school which is located in the yard at the Weston Ranch. She attended eighth grade through high school in Springview, NE.

On July 6, 1960, she married Donald Graham.  To this union three children were born: Russell, Barry and Brinda.

Ruby was blessed with the birth of her daughter Sondra on Nov. 10, 1981.

Ruby had a love for flowers and plants.  Her green thumb could make anything grow and her flower beds were amazing.  She enjoyed her years working at various Walmart greenhouses, and was willing to share her knowledge with everyone.

Ruby enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandkids.  Nothing she enjoyed more than cuddling the little ones!  She loved to travel and had many interesting adventures and saw beautiful sites. Her recent trips were canceled due to Covid, which was a disappointment to her.  She also enjoyed gardening, sewing and playing games with her kids.  Playing cards with family and friends was also an enjoyable pastime.

Ruby, 77, of Red Cloud, NE, went to her heavenly home on Thursday, July 1, 2021.  She passed away at the Buffet Cancer Center in Omaha, NE.

Survivors that cherished their time spent with Ruby include her son, Russell (Renee) Graham of Springfield, OH; her son Barry Graham of Chetek, WI; her daughter Brinda (David) Simons of Winner, SD; her daughter Sondra (Mike) Peck of Bonesteel, SD; granddaughters Danielle of Kathleen, GA, and Michelle of Santa Fe, NM;  granddaughters Tara of Downsville, WI, and Halley of Menomonie, WI; grandson Trenton of Rapid City; granddaughter Megan of Watertown, SD; granddaughters Lacy and Ily of Bonesteel, SD; and eight great grandchildren; her brother Ben (Sue) Weston of Springview, NE; and numerous, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents John and Joella Weston, her brother Brad Weston, and grandson Tommy.

Harold Benson, 79

Harold Benson, 79, of Winner, SD passed away on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at the Winner Regional Hospital in Winner, SD. 

Funeral service was held on Monday, July 12, 2021 at 11 a.m.  at the United Methodist Church in Winner.  Burial  followed in the Winner City Cemetery. 

Harold Duane Benson was born at the Winner Hospital on Jan. 4, 1942, to Walter and Edna (Stark) Benson, the oldest of four boys. He attended Blue Valley grade school and graduated from high school in 1960.

In 1962 Harold was drafted into the U.S. Army. Assigned to a special unit, Harold was very proud of the fact that he did not have to wear a uniform while serving his country. He was discharged from the Army in1968.

Harold was a lifetime member of the American Legion.

Harold was married to Sue Muzney on May 24,1969. Harold was a truck driver most of his life while living in Iowa. After retirement he returned to Winner and continued his love of playing cards and attending baseball games. He would attend as many games as he was able to cheering on the youngest to oldest baseball players.

Harold passed away July 6, 2021 at Golden Prairie Manor. Harold was preceded in death by his parents,Walt & Edna, two brothers Dale and Tommy, mother-in-law and father-in-law James & Imo Muzney, brother-in-laws LLoyd Stevens and Don Muzney, and sister-in-law Carolyn Muzney.

Harold is survived by his brother Bob (Judy), sister-in-law Cindy Jones (Kelly), niece Bobbi Jo (Scott)Rank, nephews Jay Benson (Carrie), Blake Benson, Chad Benson (Darla), and Nick Benson (Lauren), and Darrell (Peggy) Muzney of Iowa. Two great nieces and 3 great nephews.

Edwin L. Assman, 68


Edwin L. Assman, age 68, passed away on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at his home in Pierre.

Services were  held at 10 am, Tuesday, June 22, at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, and he will be interred at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis.

Ed was born on June 23, 1952, to Joe and Esther Assman of Mission, South Dakota. He was the third eldest child of seven that included two older brothers,three younger brothers, and a younger sister. He grew up farming and ranching, deciding at an early age, that was not what he wanted to do for the remainder of his life. He attended a one room country school until 9th grade, and he was the only student at his grade level throughout. He attended Todd County High School in Mission, participating in band, wrestling, and track, and graduating in 1970.

After acquiring consent from his mother because he was underage, he volunteered for the U.S. Army at the age of 17. He was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood for combat medic training and Ft. Sam Houston for Airborne training. He arrived in Vietnam in early April of 1971. He was stationed at Northern I Corps on the DMZ as a medic for light armor troop with frequent engagements with the North Vietnamese near Con Thein (Alpha 4) fire base. His unit was 1st Platoon B troop 3rd squadron 5th Armored Calvary 9th Infantry Division. He was wounded in heavy combat on May 18,1971, earning his first Purple Heart. Ed was able to return to his unit, however, he was seriously injured again on June 18 that same year, earning his second Purple Heart. He was able to leave for home to heal and recuperate in late August on convalescent leave, but later returned to the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg. He worked as an Airborne medic until he obtained an honorable discharge in July of 1972.

After being discharged from the Army, Ed was hired as the youngest ever (at that time) for the South Dakota Highway Patrol, at the age of 21. He quickly rose through the ranks, as he was promoted to sergeant in 1982, and lieutenant in 1990, where he was eventually stationed in Pierre. He had a variety of accomplishments, including the youngest sergeant, the youngest lieutenant, and the SWAT team leader. He was even the first trooper awarded the Meritorious Service Ribbon for apprehending hundreds of drug offenders. He also taught drug tactics at the police academy. During his time as a State Trooper, Ed was the leader of various security details, including President George H. W. Bush when he visited South Dakota. Unfortunately, in 1997, due to heart complications, Ed had to medically retire early. Since that time, he continuously worked as an investigator for the Crime Victims Program and had his own private investigation firm.

Family and friends can attest that Ed had an incredible sense of humor, and was extremely witty, well read, and very articulate. He was a true patriot. Ed was also very passionate about history and would frequently attend Mountain Men Rendezvous with full pre-1840 era Fur Trade re-enactments, that included the correct attire, housing, and weapons. He was always up for a road trip or any impromptu adventure. He was not only a loving husband, father, brother; overall friend to everyone that knew him. Just know you were all loved by him.

Grateful for sharing Ed’s life and survived by his loving wife, Josephine, sons, Clint (Shannon), Colter, and Bridger, brothers, Dave (Diana), Greg (Cindy), Chris (Cathy), Brad (Debra), Mike (Darla), sister Mary Beth (Chris Lovejoy), and grandchildren, Aubrey, William, and Ethan.

Proceded in death by his parents, Joe and Esther, infant sisters Jean and Kimberly, and little brother Gordon.

With a heavy heart we are saddened by the loss of a true patriot who was willing to take a bullet for his country and did take a bullet for his country.

Mary Jane (Lang) Putnam, 85

Mary Jane (Lang) Putnam, 85, passed away in her sleep Dec. 19, 2020 in Cathedral City, CA. 

Burial for Mary Jane will be at St. John Catholic Church cemetery, Paxton, SD, on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 11 am.

Mary Jane was born in Gehring, Neb., on Oct. 20, 1935, to Irvin and Dolly Lang.  Tragedy struck the young family when Mary Jane was diagnosed with spinal meningitis, a typically fatal disease for that time.  Mary Jane often told the story of how she and her mother were quarantined alone in their house, and her father and siblings would just be able to talk through the window.  No medicine was available locally, especially with the war effort on.  Her father and uncle drove to Denver to pick up the medicine, and Mary Jane survived the deadly disease.  Her mother tirelessly worked her legs so she could walk.

The family moved to Dallas, SD in 1945, where they farmed.  Mary Jane attended Dallas High School, and was a member of the last graduating class, as the school burned down her senior year. 

After graduation, Mary Jane attended Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, SD and obtained her teaching certificate.  She also worked part time in her aunt and uncle’s restaurant in Dallas, which is where she met her future husband, Robert (Bob) Putnam.  Mary Jane taught grades 1-8 in a one room schoolhouse during her courtship with Bob, and they celebrated their nuptials on June 8, 1955.

After her marriage, Mary Jane moved to Bristol, SD with her husband.  Bob got in BIG trouble after he traded their house in town for a farm west of town without discussing the move with Mary Jane.  By this time, the family had 5 children and Bob wanted his kids to grow up on a farm like he did.

Mary Jane became an amazing cook and baker after her husband “accidentally” dropped the first pie she ever made him.  Family meals included her homemade bread, delicious desserts and home-grown beef. She was even known to make lefse and have a lutefisk party or two at her house. As the family grew, so did the amount of land she and Bob farmed.  Their children did most of the farming, as Bob still worked in town at the local Cenex.

Mary Jane spent her free time enjoying arts and crafts.  She spent many hours embroidering, which always brought beautiful memories of her mother, who taught her how to embroider when she was sick as a child.  She enjoyed ceramics, cake decorating, macrame and quilting.  She also worked part time as a substitute teacher for the Groton School District.  She also enjoyed politics, and was very active in the SD Democratic party. 

Mary Jane was an avid fan of music., a trait passed down to her from her grandfather, who used to entertain the family with his fiddle, and her parents, who loved going to dances.  Her farmhouse was filled with tunes from Frank Sinatra to Wayne Newton to Bing Crosby.  She had a lovely voice and often broke in to song.  She loved going to Las Vegas to see the live shows of her favorite stars.

Bob and Mary Jane sold their farm after twenty years of farming, and moved to California.  While in California, Mary Jane went back to school and obtained her degree in early childhood education, and taught pre-K until she retired.  After Bob retired, they moved to Arizona and lived there until Bob passed away in 2015.  Their years in Arizona were filled with golf and good friends. 

Mary moved to Palm Springs, near her son Steven, and spent her final years singing and dancing through her last years of her life.  Dementia robbed her of many things in her final years, but it never stopped her singing.  Mary Jane serenaded all she met with her beautiful songs, and brought a smile to many.

Mary Jane is proceeded in death by her husband, Robert Putnam, her parents Irvin and Dolly Lang, and her brother Donald Lang.

Mary Jane is survived by her sister Beverly Steffan(Vern) and her 6 children, Rodney Putnam of Piedmont, SD, Michael Putnam(DaleAnn) of Peoria, AZ, Randall Putnam(Fanny), of Sioux Falls, Timothy Putnam (Tori) of Visalia, California, Cheryl Putnam (Matt) of Half Moon Bay, CA, and Steven Putnam (Rey) of Palm Springs, CA.  Bob and Mary Jane were blessed with many grandchildren,and often joked that being a grandpa or grandma was much more fun than being a mom or dad.  Included are Aubrey, Cole, Natalie, Valerie, Bridget, Katelynn, Hannah, Jonathan, Robby, Jake, Zach, and five great grandchildren.

Burial for Mary Jane will be at St. John Catholic Church cemetery, Paxton, SD, on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 11 am.

In lieu of flowers, Mary Jane’s family asks you to put on your favorite Sinatra song, and sing along, and, if you feel like it, dance a spin or two. 

Judyne “Judy” Kathryn Dougherty, 78

Judyne “Judy” Kathryn Dougherty went home to Jesus on June 6, 2021 at the age of 78.

Judy was born to Ed and Ida (Sorenson) Ishmael on July 20, 1942 in Wagner, South Dakota.

Judy was married three times and often said that her first two husbands gave her her children and her last gave her unconditional love.

On Sept. 20, 1983, she was united in marriage to that last love, Wayne Dougherty.  They began their life together in Vermillion, South Dakota. Wayne’s career took them to Custer, South Dakota and eventually Springfield, South Dakota where they lived for 22 years. It was there that Judy found her calling in healthcare. She worked for  Avera home health and the Springfield assisted living center where her desire to help others was truly fulfilled until she retired at the age of 65.  In 2012, Judy and Wayne moved to Renner, South Dakota to be closer to her daughter and grandson.

Judy was a recovering alcoholic and was very active in the alcoholics anonymous program. She had 42 years of sobriety upon her death.

Judy enjoyed being outdoors, especially camping. If the sun was out, you would find her outside with a book in her hands. Judy always called things as she saw them but did it in such a kind and loving manner.  It was because of this that she had many friends. Anyone who came in to contact with her, will remember how she gave the best hugs,  the kind that could put a person spirit back together.

Grateful for having shared her life are her husband Wayne; sons  Terry Anderson (Linda), Sioux City IA, Tim Anderson (Carolyn), Tomball TX, Toby Anderson (Kara), Sugarland TX, Kirk Dougherty, Sioux Falls SD; daughter, Bonnie Dougherty, Renner SD, Karen Hall, Sioux Falls SD; 17 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; sisters Sylvia Jean Uecker, Wagner SD, Janice Fisk (Warren), Rapid City SD. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, first husband Rodney Anderson, second husband Nordean Thorson, stepdaughter Darcy Jean Dougherty and stepdaughter Kendra Woods.

A celebration of life was held on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at Miller Funeral Home Southside Chapel in Sioux Falls.

Howard Hogrefe, 95

Private family services for Howard Hogrefe, 95, Gregory, were held June 28.

Howard Henry Hogrefe was born Dec. 27, 1925 in Burke, South Dakota to Henry and Agnes (Tasler) Hogrefe.

Howard attended school in Burke and later the family moved to Gregory where he graduated from high school in 1943.  He participated in all sports, but especially in football.  In the fall of 1943, he enrolled at the University of South Dakota with his eye to play football and major in pre-law.  However, the US was heavily involved in WW II at that time and there would be no football.

Howard left school and enlisted in the Navy.  Once he completed his military training he was shipped to the Philippines and worked for a floating dry dock as a medical corpsman.  When the war ended he received an honorable discharge and returned to Gregory.  He began working for his father at Hogrefe’s Clothing.

On April 11, 1948, he married the love of his life, Frances Anna Pochop.  To this union three sons were born: Louis (1949), Kent (1950) and James (1952).  The family was complete in 1954 when a nephew, Terry Cerney, came to live with them.  He was raised by Howard and Fran as a son and brother.

In September of 1952, the family moved to a ranch northeast of Lucas along the Missouri River.  The summer of 1961, Don Naper of Gregory approached Howard about purchasing his men’s clothing store.  Howard and his family moved back to Gregory in the fall of 1962.  Naper Clothing became Hogrefe’s Clothing.  Howard developed and expanded a very successful men’s clothing store on Gregory’s busy main street.  September of 1971, he added a second store in Winner, South Dakota.  As times were changing and his sons growing up with no interest in the clothing business, Howard sold the Gregory store to Skip Sievers in January of 1973 and the Winner store to Jim Stukel in January of 1974.

Howard returned to the ranching business with two of his sons, Kent and Jim.  He continued this endeavor for the remainder of his working life.  He semi retires and enjoyed traveling from coast to coast with his wife.  In 1981, Howard made a trip to Germany to visit his relatives.

Howard and Fran continued living in their home for 50 years.  As his health began to decline, he entered the Butte Nursing Home in June of 2018.

Over the years, Howard reflected on his time in the Navy during WW II and how the country came together for a common goal.  He enjoyed GHS football and also followed SDSU football on WNAX radio for many years.  He was an avid reader and spent many hours at the library.  His favorite books the Louie La Mour Westerns.

Howard passed away peacefully to his eternal home on June 22, 2021, at the Butte Nursing Home in Butte, Nebraska.  He was 95.

 Howard was preceded in death by his parents: Henry (1966) and Agnes (1986).  His only sibling, Richard Amand Hogrefe (2019).  Also a very special cousin, Werner Wischmann (1975) and aunt Ann Tasler (1971), his brother-in-law George Pochop and nephew Rod Pochop.  .

 Howard is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 73 years, Frances Anna; his sons: Louis (Vicki) Hogrefe of Spearfish, SD; Terry (Julie) Cerney of Wesley Chappel, FL; Kent (Linda) Hogrefe of Gregory, SD; and Jim (Janice) Hogrefe of Dallas, SD; as well as 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law: Mary Ann Muxfeldt. Dorothy Uecker, Mary Hogrefe, Fran Pochop and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jim and Marilyn Pochop.

Howard always had a saying, “Do as I say and not as I do

Stanley S. Konop, 97

Stanley S. Konop was born July 12, 1923 to John and Mary (Preslicka) Konop at the home place north of Dixon, SD. He was the fifth child and first son of the family of thirteen. Stanley attended Washington country school through eighth grade.

After finishing school, Stanley did ranch and farm work for neighbors and family. He had a connection and deep love of animals that lasted his entire life. Stanley broke horses for many ranchers in the community. He competed in the rodeo for many years and was proud of his winnings.

Stanley was called to serve in WWII and often reminisced about his train trip to Fort Snelling for his Army physical. He didn’t pass his physical due to a heart condition from rheumatic fever, but it didn’t seem to slow him down for the next 80 years. Stanley returned home where he began his life as a farmer/rancher.

Stanley was active in his community. He traveled around threshing, combining, and putting up hay. He served many years as the cop at Hamill Hall and had many interesting stories to share about that. Stanley had the opportunity to attend school in New Prague, MN to learn the art of artificially inseminating cattle. He was very proud of this skill and built up a strong healthy herd. He also AI-ed cattle for ranchers around the area.

Stanley never married or had children of his own but he was a role model and father figure to many. If someone needed a place to stay his door was always open. He especially stepped up to be there for his sister Delores’ children, Mitzi, Rick, and Kip.

Stanley was a man of commitment to his entire family, his neighbors, and all his animals. He loved to tell stories and give advice. Stanley was very health conscious and had remedies for all your ailments. He maintained the home place for over 70 years until his health started to decline. Even then he remained independent until his body no longer allowed it and then he accepted the fact that he could no longer be alone on the farm.

Stanley passed away peacefully at the Avera Rosebud Country Care Center on Monday, June 14, 2021 at the age of 97 years and eleven months. Being interested in health and the human body and an unselfish person, Stanley donated his body to the University of South Dakota Medical Center.

Stanley was a true cowboy and his spirit will live on in our hearts forever.

He was preceded in death by his parents, seven sisters: Millie, Ollie, Helen, Sylvia, Lillian, Audrey, and Delores, three brothers: Arnold, Myron, and George.

Stanley is survived by two siblings: Darrel and Bonnie, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends. In honoring Stanley’s wishes, there will not be a public funeral. There will be a private celebration of life at a later date.

Kenneth Joseph Kayl, 91

Memorial Services for Kenneth Kayl age 91 of Gregory, South Dakota, will be held on Saturday, June 26 at 1 p.m. at St Joseph Catholic Church, Gregory, SD. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. There will be a prayer service at 7 pm on Friday night at the church.

Kenneth Joseph Kayl was born June 27, 1929, to Frances Margaret (Kreber) and Charles Henry Kayl in Gregory, SD. He attended elementary school at the Saint Joseph Catholic School in Gregory and he attended Gregory High School.

He met Winifred Mavee Klinefelter, the love of his life, during eighth grade. He joined the US Army in 1948 and was stationed at Camp Lee in Virginia. He was discharged in June of 1950. He married Winifred on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1950. He and Winifred had been married 15 days short of 70 years, before his death. By November of 1950, the Army had recalled him to active duty to serve in the Korean War. He often said the Army sent him to Korea for his honeymoon. While in Korea he was shot/wounded in the back. A bad back troubled him the rest of his life. Kenneth was a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Gregory American Legion, Winner Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). At the American Legion he served as Sergeant at Arms and as the Post Commander. He loved God, Family, and the USA. 

Kenneth and Winifred farmed south of Gregory and south of Lucas until they moved to the farm north of Gregory in 1959. They had eight children. He loved farming and ranching. He enjoyed planting row crops, corn, and milo in the spring, stacking and baling hay in the summer, and cutting silage in the fall. He worked to feed the livestock in the winter, but it was not his favorite time of the year. Especially during the winter, he enjoyed reading magazines and books. As a reward for himself, he loved to eat a bowl of ice cream and/or a bowl of popcorn almost every night. As an early winter task, it was not a chore because he loved doing it, he and Winifred would make a ton of peanut and coconut brittle to give as a gift for Christmas. He enjoyed deer hunting. He enjoyed having out of state pheasant hunters hunt and stay on the farm, this enabled him to learn more about those parts of the country. One of his more enjoyable CHORES was taking the family to go boating and water skiing on Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River. 

Kenneth Joseph Kayl, 91, of Gregory, SD, passed away Sept 25, 2020, at Fort Meade VA Hospital from complications from COVID-19.

Kenneth is survived by the love of his life, Winifred, his daughters, Kathy (Denny) Christensen of Spearfish SD, Chris (Karl) Christensen of Lincoln NE, and Rose (Mark) Malatesta of Herndon VA; four sons, Ken David (Re) of Black Hawk SD, Matt (Cindy) of San Lorenzo CA, Allan of Dallas SD, Pat (Melanie) of Gregory SD; many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Jean Kayl; brother-in-law, Joe Putnam; lots of cousins, nieces, and nephews. We will miss him, but we know he has passed through the haze of Alzheimer’s into the beautiful and peaceful Heaven.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles (Charlie) and Frances; his son, Roy; his three sisters, Evelyn (Al) Albers, Maxine (Mandis) Meyers, and Mary Lou (Joe) Putnam; his one brother, Charles (Chuck) C. Kayl; his daughter-in-law, Judy Kayl; grandson, Cord Hahn; and great-grandson, Samuel James Pesek.

Vernon Kerner, 72

Funeral Services for Vernon Kerner age 72 of Gregory, South Dakota, were held on Friday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m. at St John Lutheran Church, Gregory, SD. Burial followed in the IOOF Cemetery of Gregory. There was a prayer service at 7 pm on Thursday night at the church.

Vernon V. Kerner of Gregory, SD, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at the age of 72 years.

Vernon was born March 19, 1949, to Oscar and Olena (Klundt) Kerner in Burke, South Dakota. He attended country school at Buffalo Creek and graduated from Gregory High School in 1967. He was confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Grace Lutheran Church in Burke.

He entered the US Navy in May 1969 as a dental technician and did one tour in Vietnam.  In the middle of Vernon’s Navy career, he met his partner of 47 years, Charlotte DeVos. Vernon was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1973 and married Charlotte in Sheffield, Illinois on Feb. 15, 1974. In 1976 the couple moved back to Gregory, SD, to spend their married years.

Vernon worked the majority of his life at Country Pride until he retired in 2015. Even in retirement Vernon didn’t slow down and never seemed to realize what retirement was. He stayed busy helping local farmers and ranchers and most recently he enjoyed helping out at North Forty Ag.

Vernon and Charlotte were blessed with two children – Robin (1979) and Kelly (1984).  Robin joined the Army through ROTC and Kelly went into ranching. Vernon was extremely proud of both of his children’s professions. The military and ranching lifestyle were two of Vernon’s passions. He loved going to visit Robin at her various duty stations and most recently attended Robin’s promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in May. He enjoyed going up to Kelly’s place to help out with the cattle and did this often. Both Robin and Kelly went on to have children and for Vernon, his grandchildren were a great source of pride. His four grandsons kept him active and he enjoyed taking them fishing and hunting. He would drive four hours to watch his grandsons play football and basketball. He also had fun playing board games where his grandkids would make up their own rules.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Joseph and James Kerner; his parents; his nephew Joshua Shaw, his niece Cheyenne Cernetisch; his brothers-in-law Earl Cernetisch, Terry DeVos, and David Gillespie, and his sisters-in-law Julie DeVos and Patsy Kerner.

He is survived by his wife Charlotte; their two children Robin Cushing (Richard Cushing) and Kelly Kerner (Kim); his grandsons Tyler Kerner, Riley Kerner, Levi Cushing, and Hunter Cushing; his five brothers and sisters: Don (Edith) Kerner, Eugene (Joan) Kerner, Verna Cernetisch (his twin sister), Curtis (Kari) Kerner, and Janice (Gary) Travnicek; and his beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters- and brothers-in-law, as well as many longtime friends.

Vernon was an active member in the St. John Lutheran Church. In addition to his family, Vernon loved spending time with friends during morning coffee. Vernon was known around Gregory for telling great jokes and his storytelling was legendary. One of his favorite jokes was since he was a twin, he was born first to show Verna the way. Vernon was always on the go and after he retired he enjoyed buying some toys like his RV, Kawasaki side-by-side, and his new F150. One of his favorite companions was his dog Duke and it was common to see Vernon and Duke in the side-by-side cruising around town. Vernon didn’t like to just sit and relax, so if you caught him sitting it was either in church, at the dinner table, or in his recliner sleeping. Vernon enjoyed life and lived his life to the fullest.

A favorite quote was “We ride and never worry ’bout the fall, I guess that’s just the cowboy in us all.”  Vernon will be greatly missed.