Vernon L. Smith, 85
Blue Earth — Vernon L. Smith, age 85, of Blue Earth, died peacefully Jan. 16, 2008, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center, Blue Earth. Funeral services will be held today, Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 at 11:00 a.m., at Immanuel Lutheran Church rural Blue Earth, with Rev. Ron Jobe officiating. Burial will be in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, rural Blue Earth. Visitation time will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, at Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 400 E. 14th Street, in Blue Earth, and one hour prior to services at the church.
He was born Sept. 20, 1922, in Vevay, Ind., the son of Henry and Lucy (Aldridge) Smith. A World War II Veteran, he served as a ball-turret gunner with the 449th Heavy Bomb Group (the Flying Horseman) in the European Theater of Operations from Sept. 16, 1942 to Sept. 16, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor in action while escorting the crippled bomber of his lifelong friend, Butch Prescher of Blue Earth, safely back to friendly airspace. On March 10, 1945 he married his sweetheart, Loraine Lent at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Blue Earth. After the war he worked as a mechanic at the Allis Chalmers Company in Bricelyn, until 1952 when he moved to Delavan where he bought a farm and raised his four children, Mary Jo, Ken, Verne and Sherwood. He operated the farm until his retirement in November 1984. After his retirement he bought 25 acres on Boot Lake near Backus, where he enjoyed some of his best years. He loved woodcrafting, hunting, and in particular fishing the lakes of Northern Minnesota with Loraine. Together, they spent much of their time traveling the country to visit their family and to appreciate the scenic landmarks and attractions of America. He was a husband, father, a sportsman, a farmer, a war hero, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, and he lived his life to the fullest. He was a good man who will be greatly missed by his friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings, Minnie B. Lane, Pauline Jacobs, Martha Reed and his baby brother, Jay Smith.
Vernon is survived by his wife of 62 years, Loraine Smith of Delavan, two sisters, Emma Jay Meredith of Athens, Ala., and Norma Farrar of Madison, Ind., his brother, David (Zelma) Smith of Lebanon, Va., his daughter, Mary Jo (Richard) Crown of Bloomington, his three sons, Kenneth (Barbara) Smith of Belgrade, Verne (Paula) Smith of Bemidji, Sherwood (Anne) Smith of Eagan, 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations are preferred to St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center or Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com