Thomas Wayne “Tom” Vernon, age 66, of Mendon, died Monday Sep. 16, 2013 at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence in Kalamazoo surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Owosso, MI on Jan. 17, 1947 the son of Bruce and Barbara (Moore) Vernon. The family later moved to Sturgis where Tom graduated from Sturgis High School with the class of 1965. He later served with the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. Tom was married to Debra Denison in Sturgis on March 20, 1971, and they have resided in Mendon since their marriage.
Tom was the proprietor of Tom Vernon Construction specializing in residential homes. Tom and his son formed The Vernon Group in 2002. He was a former member of the Mendon School Board, the N.R.A., and was an active supporter of many civic and environmental groups.
Tom loved to follow the Detroit Tigers and was a faithful lifetime fan. Tom was an avid outdoorsman and sportsman who very much enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was also a conservationist who loved planting trees and enjoyed wildlife habitat improvement projects. These interest were the product of a childhood spent vacationing in northern lower Michigan with family, which Tom would make a lifetime tradition with his own children and grandchildren. Those retreats “up north” were among Tom’s most cherished activities. He was a proud husband, father and grandfather.
Tom is survived by his wife, Debra; four children, Jennifer (Shaun) Sportel of Schoolcraft, Matthew (Jennifer) Vernon of Kalamazoo, Elyssa (Kyle) Kerrigan of Collierville, TN, and Kyle (Amanda) Vernon of Grand Rapids; eight grandchildren, Sienna and Sawyer Sportel, Connor, Macy, and Everett Vernon, Asher, Justus, and Samara Kerrigan, and a Kerrigan on the way; his mother, Barbara Vernon of Sturgis; and three sisters, Carole (Mike) Darby of Richland, Kathryn Long and Janet Vernon both of Plainwell; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Bruce Vernon.
Cremation has been conducted. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Friday Sep. 20, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church of Sturgis, 200 Pleasant Street, Sturgis, MI 49091 with Rev. Doug Vernon officiating. Memorials will be directed to either the Friends of the Mendon Library for structure and beautification of downtown Mendon, or to the Village of Mendon Tree Advisory Committee for the re-planting of trees in the village. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.eickhofffuneralhome.com