Laverne “Verne” Edwin Vaske, 89, of Marion, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at his home with family members by his side.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a private Mass of Christian Burial for family and friends will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion, with Reverend David O’Connor officiating. Committal services with military honors will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Manchester. All guests are respectfully requested to wear a facemask and practice social distancing. At this time when seating is limited, Verne’s family welcomes all thoughts and prayers. Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Marion is assisting the family.

Verne lived a rich, full life. He was affectionately known by his family as Daddy, Pops, Dad-O and Super Dad. He was born July 5, 1931, in New Vienna, one of nine children to Xavier Aloysius “Al” and Marcella (Lechtenberg) Vaske. Verne learned the importance of hard work and prayer, faith and the sacrament of communion, passing these values to many throughout his life.

Verne served honorably in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954, during the Korean War. He married the love of his life, Frances Haennig July 2, 1958, in Masonville. To this union, five children were born that were raised faithfully in the Catholic Church.

Verne attended Iowa State University, where he pursued his interests in education and the sciences. He received his Master’s Degree in 1966, and went on to teach, first in Gilbertville, and then spent most of his career in Marion, teaching at Vernon Middle School. Verne began an after-school Science Club, where he further shared his joy of science. He also began a Photography Club for his students at Vernon. Students learned to take and develop photos that chronicled school events. Verne had always valued taking pictures to preserve and record the history of his family. He became the Vaske family “official photographer”. Verne was always there to capture reunions and family celebrations over the years. These family photos will continue to be part of his legacy for years to come.

In 1973, Verne also began Ecology Days at Vernon. He encouraged everyone to take care of our earth. In the greater community, he was active with the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair. Verne taught his students and his children many skills when participating in the fair. They were taught how to organize their information, to present it with clarity, and to handle pressure with poise and grace. He was gifted with the ability to teach one subject many ways, including all learners. In addition, Verne taught classes at the Cornell College for Kids program. One of his favorite classes he taught was Astronomy. Verne loved to take his family and his students out to study the night sky to learn about the constellations and planets.

Verne was a very active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Marion. He participated in the choir, was active in the Wednesday night CCD classes, and most recently was involved in a Scripture Study. Verne was also a member of the Marion American Legion Post #298 and the Knights of Columbus.

Verne had an excellent sense of humor and dry wit. Even up to the end, he loved to tease and had a sparkle in his eye, ready to make people laugh. Verne will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. May he rest in peace.

Verne is survived and lovingly remembered by his five children: Elverna (Marty) Larcarbal of Mesa, Ariz., Leo (Sharon) Vaske of Camanche, Florene Vaske of Marion, Louis Vaske of Anamosa and Joanne Hawkes of Cedar Rapids; seven grandchildren: April Chakaravarthy, Travis Vaske, Nicholas Vaske, Katherine Vaske, Elizabeth Hawkes, Johnathan Hawkes and Marcello Hawkes; one great-grandchild, Luna Dooley; three brothers: Walter Vaske, Eugene (Betty) Vaske, and Leon (Verna Mae) Vaske all of Manchester; one sister, Mary Jo Quint of Ryan; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; beloved wife, Frances Vaske; and four brothers, Arthur, Gerald, Robert, and Irv Vaske.

Please share a memory of Verne at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.

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