William C. “Bill” Vernam of Jackson Township, Mercer County, passed away peacefully with his family at his side at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday (9-18-13) in St. Paul’s, West Salem Township, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 89.
Born June 21, 1924, in Grove City, Mr. Vernam was a son of Charles F. and Florence Catherine Hodge Vernam.
He was raised on the family dairy farm in Jackson Township and continued to farm all of his life on his adjoining farm that they named Woodbridge Farm, where he raised beef cattle.
Mr. Vernam attended the Paoli one-room school in Jackson Township, where his mother was a teacher. Later he drove his Model A to Stoneboro High School from which he graduated in 1943.
He married the former Margaret Ann “Margy” Bonner on Jan. 12, 1946; she preceded him in death Nov. 29, 2005.
Bill retired as manager of the Pennzoil (formerly Wolf’s Head) distributor in Mercer after 35 years of service. He previously worked at the former Sharon Transformer Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp. and after his retirement was co-founder and worked with his sons, Jerry and Chuck, in Vernam Excavating and Construction Co. of Jackson Center.
Mr. Vernam was a member of Coolspring Presbyterian Church, Fairview Township. Music was greatly enjoyed by Bill and Margy, who played piano and organ. Together they sang in the church choir and participated in many music programs at the Grange.
He and Margy also enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and spending winters in Florida.
He was a member of Jackson Grange 1506, Mercer County Pomona Grange and the state and national Grange. He held many local offices, had been the state Grange steward and was a member of the state Grange executive committee. He served on the board of the Pennsylvania State Grange Federal Credit Union. He worked with and supported the Farm City program since its inception; the banquet continues each year.
Bill was very community-oriented and served on the Lakeview School Board at the time of the consolidation of schools; and on Pleasant Hill Cemetery board of directors; and Mercer County Grange Fair board.
He had a special love for the Jackson Center Volunteer Fire Company, holding many offices through the years. They honored him in 2004 when they dedicated their new fire and rescue truck to him for a “lifetime of service” to the department.
He was a member of Free and Accepted Masons Lake Lodge 434, Sandy Lake.
He is survived by: two daughters, Sandra Saeler and her husband Bill, Stoneboro; and Kathryn Carter and her husband Don, Winchester, Va.; a son, Charles S. “Chuck” Vernam and his wife Janet, Kennerdell, Venango County; seven grandsons, Brent Vernon and his wife Tracey; Eric Saeler and his wife Jamie; Marc Saeler and his wife Jenn; Thad Vernam; Jason Vernam and his wife Amy; Justin Vernam and his wife Jody; and Adam Vernam; a granddaughter, Brooke Lees and her husband Kevin; 14 great-grandchildren, Paige, Luke, Coty, Brandon, Makenna, Kaylin, Sean, Kristen, Eric, Jayden, Jacon, Madalyn, Ella and Domonic; a sister, Doris Tisza, Hubbard; and his very special Black Lab, Buddy.
Besides his wife, Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and his son, W. Jerry Vernam, on Dec. 10, 2009.
Memorial contributions may be made to Jackson Center Volunteer Fire Company, 1234 Franklin Road, Jackson Center, PA 16133; or Coolspring Presbyterian Church, 777 Coolspring Church Road, Mercer, PA 16137.
William C. “Bill,” 89, Jackson Township.
Calling hours: 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday (9-22-13) in SCOTT A. BLACK FUNERAL HOME, 99 Franklin St., Stoneboro, with a Grange service at 8 p.m. by Mercer County Pomona Grange.
Service: Funeral service at 11 a.m. Monday (9-23-13) in the funeral home with the Rev. John B. Creekpaum, pastor of Coolspring Presbyterian Church, Fairview Township, and the Rev. Philip H. Chalfant, retired, co-officiating.
Interment: With committal service at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Jackson Township.