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Vernon Dale Stewart
August 27, 1930 ~ September 13, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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Vernon Dale Stewart was born on August 27, 1930 to Frank and Birdy (McCoy) Stewart, in La Grande, OR. Vernon went to his Heavenly Home on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at the Guardian Angel Home in Hermiston, Oregon.
Vernon spent most of his childhood in the Grande Ronde Valley. He attended 1st-4th grade in North Powder, Kamela, Grass Valley and Ione. His father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad building bridges and with a small trailer moved from job to job. He attended 5th - 8th grades in Island City, OR. He attended high school in La Grande, OR graduating in 1948. After graduation he joined the United States Navy, as World War II had ended and the Korean Conflict started. Receiving an Honorable Discharge he served in the Active Naval Reserve for six years.
Vernon married Marilyn Reeder in La Grande on July 22, 1950. They began their married life in Irrigon, OR where they have lived for 73 years. Vernon went to work at the Umatilla Army Depot where he served as Foreman, General Foreman and Production Controller, retiring in 1977.
Vernon stayed active in the Irrigon Community serving on the Planning Commission and City Council. He was appointed Mayor-Pro-Tem in 1977 and was elected as Mayor in 1978, serving a few years in that position.
Vernon was instrumental in construction of Columbia View Community Church over a several year time span. One interesting note is that the church was built with some of the materials salvaged from the barracks at the Pendleton Airport. The barracks housed the men under General Doolittle’s command training for the Doolittle Raid over Japan in World War II.
Vernon was a devout Christian who believed Jesus is Lord and Savior of the world. He was a member of the Gideon’s for many years. He participated in distributions of Bibles and New Testaments to motels and schools.
He was an avid hunter of birds, deer and elk. He enjoyed hunting with his uncles, cousins, nephews, son and grandson. Of particular note he scored on at least 46 bull elk during his hunting years. He enjoyed riding his horse Truma and he and his father would ride horses into the High Lakes camping and fishing for a week every summer.
Vernon was an outdoor person, had a flare for western style and wore cowboy boots most of his life. He enjoyed listening to western country music (the old singers) also gospel music. He watched all the TV westerns everyday.
Vernon is survived by his wife of 73 years, Marilyn; son, Thomas (Dolores) Stewart of Kennewick, WA; daughter, Sharon (Duane) Yunker of Terrebonne, OR; Grandchildren, James and (Heather) Stewart of Gulfport, Mississippi, Derek (Brianne) Stewart of Irrigon, OR, Kurt (Jennifer) Yunker of Mesa, Arizona, Tara Barcellos of Terrebonne, OR; ten Great Grandchildren; Brother, Warren (Marcia) Stewart of Pendleton, OR.
A Celebration of life will be held at the Columbia View Community Church, Irrigon, OR on Saturday, September 23rd at 1:00 P.M.. Burial with military honors will follow in Desert Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Irrigon, OR.
To leave an online condolence for the family please go to www.burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.