Ross K. Vernon, 100, of Sioux Center, IA died Thursday, December 29, 2011 at the Sioux Center Community Hospital of Sioux Center.
Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2-8PM, with the family present from 2-4PM at the Memorial Funeral Home of Sioux Center.
A prayer service for family and friends will be held on Monday at 10:00AM at the Central Reformed Church of Sioux Center. Interment will follow the prayer service in Memory Gardens Cemetery of Sioux Center.
A memorial service will be held on Monday at 11:00AM at the Central Reformed Church with Rev. R. Van Rathbun officiating.
The Vernon family prefers memorials be directed to Central Reformed Church or the Sioux Center Community Hospital Foundation.
Ross K. Vernon was born October 12, 1911 to Frank and Hannah (Siglin) Vernon on their family farm in Kingsbury County, South Dakota. In 1919, the Vernon family moved to Woodward, Iowa where Ross graduated from high school in 1928. He attended Greer Engineering School in Chicago, Illinois graduating in the summer of 1929. Ross became the manager and service man for the Woodward Mutual Telephone Company in 1930.
On December 23, 1934, he married Velma Hayward Woodward, Iowa. The couple moved to Sioux Center in 1937 when he became the manager of the Mutual Telephone Company. Ross entered the US Army in 1943 and served in the European Theater as an officer in the Signal Corp and became the commander of the Provisional Cable Company. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was with the troops that crossed the Rhine into Germany. Captain Ross Vernon returned to Sioux Center in 1946 where he resumed his duties with the Mutual Telephone Company. Ross served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the company until 2002 and remained on the Board of Directors until 2009.
In 1956, Ross purchased the telephone companies in Granville, Iowa and Maurice, Iowa. The companies were merged together to form the Northern Iowa Telephone Company which was owned and operated by Ross and his family. In 1986, he formed an additional company named, Vernon Communications and TV which provided cable television services to numerous area communities. Northern Iowa Telephone Company and Vernon Communications were sold to Mutual Telephone Company in 2002.
Ross was active on the Iowa Telephone Association board of directors for over 50 years as well as many other statewide industry committees. In 2001, Ross received the OPASTCO Lifetime Award for his impact on the Telecommunications industry over his career. He served on the Sioux Center City Council for over 52 years and was a faithful volunteer fire fighter with the Sioux Center Fire Department. He was a member of Central Reformed Church where he served as a deacon and elder.
Ross will be remembered by many for being a wise businessman who lived with integrity and with a giving spirit. Within the community he is best remembered as a leader, gentleman and caregiver. His family looked up to him as a role model, always giving his best.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jane and George Korver of Marshall, MN; a son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Carollee Vernon of Woodstock, IL along with his four grandchildren and their spouses: Kimberly and Scott Rasmussen of Tucson, AZ, Vince and Kim Korver of Marshall, MN, Cheryl Wiebers of Phoenix, AZ, Keith and Heidi Korver of St. Cloud, MN; 8 great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; a sister, Marville Hawn of Perry, IA; sister-in-law, Irene Vernon of Marino Valley, CA as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Velma in 2008; his parents; two brothers: Lawrence Vernon, Russell Vernon and brother-in-law, Jack Hawn.
January 1, 2012, 2PM
Memorial Funeral Home
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Family Present from 2-4PM.
January 2, 2012, 11AM
Central Reformed Church
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