Vern Webb, 98 of Grand Island, Nebraska, died Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, as a result of COVID-19.
A Celebration of Life service is 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at All Faiths Funeral Home in Grand Island. Daniel Naranjo will officiate.
The service will be livestreamed on All Faiths Funeral Home Facebook page. To help protect others, facemasks are required. Burial of ashes will be in the Grand Island Cemetery. Military honors will be rendered by the U.S. Army and United Veterans Honor Guard.
The family will be greeting friends an hour before service time. Memorials are suggested to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.
Vern was born Sept. 30 1922, in Hastings to Jay and Lilly (Aen) Webb. He was preceded in death by his five siblings, Marie Arp, Harold Webb, Helen Harris, Robert Webb and Pearl Keefe.
Vern excelled in high school sports, graduating in 1940 from Hastings High.
While in high school, he worked for his father’s well drilling business. Upon graduation, Vern enlisted in the National Guard as a medic. While serving in the Guard, he married his high school sweetheart, Darleen Tower.
After the birth of their first child, Judy, Vern returned to Hastings and worked at the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot.
In 1943, Vern re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps to train as a pilot. With the end of World War II, he was honorably discharged and returned to Hastings to run the family well drilling business.
The couple was then blessed with two more girls, Linda (Roeder/Mrs. Frank Blankenbaker), and Raynette (Mrs. Bill Martin).
In 1950, the family moved to Grand Island and Vern started working as manager of Fairbury Pipe and Supply. He retired after 35 years in 1985. The couple’s fourth child, Richard (Roxann) Webb, was born in 1957. And in 1968, they adopted their fifth child, David.
After 33 years of marriage, Darleen died of cancer in 1975. In 1978, Vern married Muriel (Bartz) Cox, and Vern gained four more children, Dennis (Liz) Cox, Allan (Hildegarde) Cox, Maris (Larry) Gregg, and Jeff (Cheryl) Cox. Muriel passed in 2007 at age 85.
Vern was a 70-year member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, serving at all leadership positions.
He was a founding member of the Grand Island Kennel Club and a 35-year member of the Cosmopolitan Club.
Vern survived three triple heart bypass surgeries, and in 2007 started volunteering at St. Francis Hospital. In 2013, after 1,500 hours of service, he was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Vern was proud of his five generations in his family.
He is survived by eight children, 18 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren at count.
In addition to his siblings, he is preceded in death by both of his wives, Darleen and Muriel; his daughter, Judy, and grandson, Scott Owens.