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Vernon Duane Willeson

October 11, 1930 — March 30, 2024


   Vernon Willeson, 93, of Mayville, ND died Saturday, March 30, 2024 at the Luther Memorial Home in Mayville, ND.

   Vernon Duane Willeson was born to Ivar and Laura Willeson on October 11, 1930.  He was baptized on January 11, 1931. He grew up on a farm west of Buxton, ND and attended elementary school at Morgan Township.   He was confirmed on December 1, 1946. He attended Mayville High School and graduated in 1950.  During high school he was an accomplished runner competing in the 440, 880 and mile runs. He lettered in track in 1948 and 1949 and qualified for the state track meet. The track season in his senior year of 1950 was rained out and there were no events that year.

   Vernon enlisted in the Army in 1951 and trained at Fort Lewis in Washington and Camp Cook in California. Later in 1951, he was sent overseas and had an additional six months of training in Japan. Following his training, Vernon served an 11-month tour in Korea during the war. He was assigned to a small artillery unit that was located near the 38th parallel, the line that separates North and South Korea.

   Following four years of military service Vernon was honorably discharged in 1954. Upon discharge he returned home near Buxton, ND and resumed farming with his father Ivar. He married Marlene Bahl in October of 1955 and continued farming in the Buxton area until 1965 when he moved the family to California and worked for John Deere until 1970. In 1970 the family returned to North Dakota where Vernon drove semi-truck and worked in elevators. In 1982 he began his own trucking business until retiring in 1992.

   In retirement Vernon enjoyed attending local sporting events, spending time with close friends, and most of all visiting his grandchildren. He also developed an interest in woodcarving and carved wood loons, ducks, or small animals for many of his family and friends. He was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. All those who knew Vernon would agree that he loved to make people laugh and always had a story to tell!

   Vernon is survived by his daughters: Peg Halda and Ann Willeson and his son: Michael (Patti) Willeson; Grandchildren: Ariel (Aaron) Schmidt, Jordan Willeson, Hannah (Matt) Bruns, Betsy (Sam) Hanson, Stephanie (Aaron) Miller, Angie (Kyle) Duchsherer, Liza (Travis Schmidt) Sorteberg, Carrie (Joe) Johnson and 12 Great Grandchildren.

   Vernon was preceded in death by his wife: Marlene; parents: Ivar and Laura Willeson; son in law: Paul Halda and family members: Betty Stanley, Ann and Robert Stafford, Irvin and Georgene Willeson, LeRoy and Gloria Willeson, Kenneth and Marguerite Willeson, Delores and Robert Gedde, Matthew and Helen Bahl, David Eide, Gary Amb, Bill and Ellen Johnson and Clayton and Ruth Bahl.

Visitation:  Will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Funeral Service: Will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, April 6, 2024 at the First American Lutheran Church in Mayville, ND.

Military Honors: May~Port Honor Guard and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors. 

Burial: Will be in the Mayville Cemetery in Mayville, ND. 

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