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Richard Dean Vernam, 78, of Enterprise died July 6 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland after open-heart surgery.
The funeral will begin at 10 a.m. Friday July 14 at Mountain View Christian Church in Joseph. Burial will be at Prairie Creek Cemetery. Bollman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Vernam was born April 7, 1928, to Glenn and Irene Vernam in Colville, Wash. The family moved to Alvadore and he graduated from Junction City High School.
On June 15, 1947, he married June Athey. They lived near Alvadore where he was a welder and steel fabricator, and owned Top Machine. He took jobs in steel fabrication during the summer that took the family around the country, such as the construction of the wigwam burner at the old Bates Sawmill in Wallowa.
After moving to Enterprise he established VEMCO with his son, David.
He was a Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite, Eastern Star, the Wallawa County Shrine Club, the National Rifle Association and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and a life member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding his horse in the mountains, crabbing on the coast and salmon fishing on the Coquille River.
Survivors include his wife of Enterprise; children and their spouses, Sharon and Zane Strickland, David and Debi Vernam and Randy and Kathy Vernam; an adopted son and daughter-in-law, Darrell and Karen Bennett; nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Oregon Donor Program, P.O. Box 532, Portland 97207-0532 or the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 3101 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland 97201-3095.
The Observer Online, Obituaries for the week ending July 15, 2006, Published: July 13, 2006