Obituary: Stephen John Vernon

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Longtime Palisadian Stephen John Vernon passed away at home at the age of 95, after having been in failing health for the past several years.

Longtime Palisadian Stephen John Vernon passed away at home at the age of 95, after having been in failing health for the past several years.

Vernon was born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1918. Around 1923, his father moved the family to Poland where he bought a farm. Vernon planned to return to America.

Vernon was a young man when Hitler’s army invaded Poland. He left his family’s farm on foot, traveled through Europe and joined the French Foreign Legion. Vernon later joined the British Eighth Army and became a fighter pilot in the R.A.F. 

He married his wife Audrey, in July 1947 after being demobilized. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in July. 

Vernon attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated in 1955 with a degree in electrical engineering. He had several engineer positions on the East Coast and West Coast before buying land in the Malibu Hills. He taught himself how to prepare land for home development and that became his career. 

Vernon said that he had enjoyed a long, happy and interesting life with no regrets. He was proud of his three children: Paul, Judith and Ruth, and of his six grandchildren. His family said he was “generous to a fault, he truly wanted the best for everyone and took care of them.”

Vernon loved and protected his family. He loved his home and country. His mottos were “work diligently,” “when things prove to be difficult, don’t give up—try, try again” and “treat others honestly and fairly, and always finish whatever you start.”

“He set a wonderful example for us to follow, and he will be so greatly missed,” relatives said.

Services will be take place on Nov. 12th at 10 a.m. at Corpus Christi Church, 880 Toyopa Dr., Pacific Palisades. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.