Vernon Elmer Howard, 94, of Memphis, Missouri, passed away Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at the Scotland County Care Center in Memphis.
Vernon was born to Elmer William and Edith Elizabeth Wiley Howard on January 16, 1924, on the family farm in rural Scotland County, Missouri.
Vernon graduated in 1941 from Memphis High School. He enlisted in the United States Navy in January, 1944. Vernon was a World War II veteran and he proudly served as Y3/C aboard the USS La Porte, an attack transport that was part of the largest amphibious operation of the Pacific war. He received an honorable discharge in May, 1946. Vernon enjoyed recalling many adventures crossing the oceans and going through the Panama Canal.
After returning home from the Navy, Vernon lived on a farm south of Wyaconda, Missouri and met a neighbor girl, Mildred Wilson, who was the love of his life. They were married on June 10, 1950, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fort Madison, Iowa. She preceded him in death on August 5, 2017. They celebrated 67 years together.
Following their marriage, they resided on a farm in Etna, Missouri and later made Memphis their home. Vernon was a farmer and heavy equipment operator. He especially loved his bulldozers and tractors. He was mechanically gifted and was always building or fixing something and freely shared his knowledge.
Vernon enjoyed his Westerns, “pulling your leg” and for many years going for morning coffee to visit with “the boys”. We all loved and treasured his unique sense of humor. Vernon and Mildred were members of the Loyal Order of Moose, Kirksville, Missouri and enjoyed many years of music and dancing with friends.
Family meant everything to Vernon. His greatest joys were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He treasured the time they all spent together and was very proud to be “Grandpa”.
Vernon was very fond of the Scotland County Care Center staff and made it his daily mission to keep them on their toes!
Left to honor his memory are his children, Dennis Howard, Deana Howard, Darrell Howard, Donna (John) Craig, all of Memphis and Dale Howard of Fountain Hills, Arizona; eight grandchildren, Darin (Beth) Howard, Daryl (Jenny) Howard, Dustin (Christina) Howard, Jacob (Lexi) Howard, Katie Howard, Lucas Howard, Michael Howard and Charlie (Teresa) Taylor; seven great-grandchildren, Griffin Myers, Brielle Howard, Ava and Will Howard, Asher Howard and Madison and Francis Taylor. Other survivors include his brothers, Alvin Howard and Wilmer Howard, a sister-in-law, Nancy Wilson, nephews, nieces, cousins, and a host of friends.
Vernon was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mildred; his parents; his father and mother-in-law, Irvin and Bessie Wilson; a brother, Melvin Howard; brothers-in-law: Darrell, Verlin and Clifford Wilson; sisters-in-law: Barbara Howard, Margaret Howard and Lois Wilson; great-granddaughter, Lexi Myers; and a son-in-law, Robert C. Hill.
Funeral services were held Monday, May 14, 2018, at Memphis Funeral Home with Brother Jack Sumption officiating. Burial followed in the Memphis Cemetery. Casket bearers were Darin Howard, Daryl Howard, Dustin Howard, Jacob Howard, Katie Howard, Lucas Howard, Michael Taylor, Charlie Taylor and Darrell Howard. Honorary bearers were Ava Howard, Asher Howard, Griffin Myers, Brielle Howard, Madison Taylor, Will Howard and Francis Taylor. Military honors were accorded by Wallace Gillespie V.F.W. Post #4958 and the Missouri Military Honors Team.
To honor Vernon’s memory, a contribution may be made to the Scotland County Care Center, the Antique Fair Association, the Pheasant Airplane Building Fund or the Alzheimer’s Association and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555.
On line condolences for the Howard family may be made at memphisfuneralhome-mo.com.
Arrangements were under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.