Vernon R. Elston

Vernon (Vern) Ross Elston, age 87 passed away Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center.

Vern was born on July 31,1932 in a small house on a farm near Blairsburg, Iowa to Ray and Beatrice (Jacques) Elston. He lived with his parents and 2 older brothers until the death of his father when Vern was 6 years old. Following his father’s death, Vern went to live with his great aunt and uncle in Eagle Grove. He grew up there and attended school through the 10th grade. He deeply loved his “ Aunt Floy” who taught him to be honest and a gentleman at all times.

As a young man, Vern worked for several farmers in the Wright County area. It was while working as a farm hand for Kenny Mosher that he met the love of his life, Maureen Lateer, whose sister, Bonnie, was a baby sitter for the Mosher children. Vern and Maureen dated for a time and then were married on September 16, 1951 in the First United Methodist Church of Clarion. They continued to be members and attended services at the church, while he was able, throughout his life. To this union were born 3 children, Scott, Shelley, and Steven. Vern and Maureen celebrated 68 years of marriage.

While working for a farmer in Galt, Vern got the opportunity to drive an 18 wheeler. This experience lead to a job driving cross-country for Morton Frozen Foods in Webster City for 13 years until the plant moved from Webster City. Rather than transfer to their new location, Vern stayed in Clarion because two of their children were in high school. It wasn’t long after leaving Morton Frozen Foods that he was hired by the Wright County Sheriff’s Department, as a Deputy Sheriff. Eventually he was promoted to Chief Deputy and elected Sheriff in 1976. He served as Wright County Sheriff until his retirement in 2000. He was a long time member of the Iowa Sheriff’s Association.

After retiring from law enforcement , Vern went back on the road as a driver for Ennis Truck Line in Clarion.

He and Maureen lived at Lake Cornelia for several years before moving to an apartment at the Meadows and then to an Assisted Living unit at the Meadows. In 2018 Vern needed more care due to Lewy Body Dementia and moved to the Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, while Maureen continued to live at the Meadows Assisted Living.

Vern was a man of many talents and interests. He loved fishing, bowling, driving, being with his family, and helping people. He and Maureen enjoyed traveling across the U.S. by motorcycle and wintering with friends in southern Texas. He also loved being around other truckers and listening to stories about their experiences. After retiring he looked forward to each spring and fall so that he could help Mike Mechem with field work.

Vern will be remembered as a loving, caring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be missed by many who knew him, worked with him, and loved him. He worked hard and succeeded in everything he did.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife Maureen, of Clarion, his son Scott (Marti) of Ames, daughter Shelley (Tim) Fletcher of Lake Cornelia, and son Steve (Kerry) of Eagle Grove, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, his brother Gene of eastern Iowa, a number of nieces and nephews, and those who knew him well. Vern was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Don.

A Celebration of Life is pending with a date and time to be announced in the future. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Lewy Body Dementia Association, Hospice, and the First United Methodist Church of Clarion.



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