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Vernon Dix - December 03, 2009

Vernon J. Dix, age 88, of Torrington Wyo., died Dec. 3, 2009. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11 at Haxtun United Methodist Church, with Pastor Keith Hudiburgh officiating.

Vernon was born on Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1920, southwest of Haxtun at the family home of hearty, homestead parents Lee and Leona Dix. He was the second eldest of four sons.

Vernon attended school at South Rockland Grade School and New Haven High School, graduating in 1938, surviving the Great Depression and Dust Bowl along the way.

As Vernon referenced in his valedictorian address, “The great question, after all, is not so much what we possess, but how are we going to use that which we have?” He further stated, “We must face our duties with hope and courage. We must cooperate with fellow men. We must do our jobs the best we can, look forward, play fair and strive to do our noblest.”

Ambitious goals for a young man, but Vernon was true to his statements, accomplishing much and touching a great number of people throughout his life.

Upon completion of high school, Vernon was the recipient of a four-year scholarship to Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. He graduated in 1942 with a B.S. degree in engineering with a major in physics. Shortly before his college graduation, Vernon was recruited by the U.S. War Department to oversee the site selection and installation of radar towers and power plants in Alaska.

Vernon immediately proceeded with the necessary technical training at Fort Monmouth N.J., followed by nearly two years of radar installation supervision throughout Alaska.

In 1944, Vernon entered the U.S. Army, received basic training at Fort Riley Kan. and was assigned to combat throughout the Philippine Islands. He sustained a knee injury and was hospitalized in the Philippines, during which VJ- day was celebrated. Soon after, Vernon was transported by hospital ship to California and discharged from the Army on Dec. 10, 1945, having been awarded the Bronze Medal.

Vernon returned to Haxtun and accepted a position with CO-OP Services Corporation, installing and servicing propane fuel systems, an expanding business at the time.

On Aug. 25, 1946, Vernon and Etta Marie Evans were married and three children followed—two daughters, Dorothy and Marilyn; and one son, Richard.

Encouraged to take a Civil Service examination in 1948, Vernon qualified for a clerk’s position in the Haxtun Post Office and served in that position until 1965, when he was appointed to the position of Postmaster. While serving the U.S. Postal Service, Vernon also dryland farmed three quarter-section parcels.

His skills were also applied to numerous building projects, including the construction of three new homes and a recreational “camper,” specially designed and built by Vernon for a one-month 1962 family land excursion to Alaska and the Seattle World’s Fair.

Vernon was always very active in Haxtun community activities. Included in his community service were the Haxtun Community Hospital, Lions Club, Boy Scouts of America and Haxtun Methodist Church. He has been a member of the American Legion for over 60 years.

Vernon retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1976 and relocated to southern Colorado, spending winters in Arizona and traveling to a number of international destinations.

Vernon earned the respect and friendship of those he encountered and was always available to lend a helping hand. His encouragement, generosity and willingness to help others have always been attributes that made him a friend of many, touching their lives in various, helpful ways.

Vernon is preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Leona, and his brother Marion.

Vernon is survived by two brothers, Max and wife Christine of Yuma and Jack and wife Betty of Haxtun; three children, Dorothy Schild and husband Richard of Torrington Wyo. Marilyn Pullin and husband Jim of Fort Collins and Richard Dix and wife Linda of Medina Wash.; five granddaughters; and one great-granddaughter.

Memorial contributions—for the benefit of Haxtun United Methodist Church and Haxtun Lions Club—may be sent to:
Dorothy Schild, 242 Willow Court, Torrington, WY 82240.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.