Mr. Vernon Wilson Kennedy, Jr.

Pause One True Love by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Vernon Wilson Kennedy, Jr., 65, passed away Saturday, April 28, 2012 at University Hospital, Cleveland following complications of bile duct cancer. Vernon was born January 6, 1947 in Washington, D.C. The second of three children born to Vernon and Elean Kennedy. He was a graduate of Surrattsville Senior High School in Clinton, Maryland, class of 1964.

He attended the University of Maryland prior to being drafted into the United States Army, on February 14th 1967. Vernon married his high school sweetheart Mary Vastine on April 21st, 1967. He went on to attend Engineering Officer Candidate School and Flight school before serving in Vietnam in 1969. Upon returning from Nam he served in Korea as a helicopter pilot earning the rank of captain. He served 6 and 1/2 years active duty and 6 and 1/2 years as a member of the Army Reserves. Upon leaving the service Vernon put his knowledge of helicopters to use in a career in helicopter sales. He worked for various companies including Agusta, Bell, Sikorsky and McDonald Douglas. It was while working with McDonald Douglas that a crash forced Vernon to change the direction of his career to Aviation Insurance. In addition to sales and insurance he owned and operated a helicopter flight school in Hawaii and then sold cars in Delaware, Florida and Ohio. For the past 15 years Mary and Vern have lived in Coco Beach, FL where they owned and operated the Surfside Café. He retired in 2003.

Vernon's first love was family but also loved flying and was an avid sports and outdoorsman. He enjoyed with his wife, scuba diving in Hawaii, the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. They also enjoyed horseback and motorcycle riding together. He was an avid reader and enjoyed travel and visiting with friends. He found thrills in parachuting and enjoyed hunting, but his passion was fishing. His boat was named The Last Call. He spent countless hours on the water with friends and family. He once won a fishing tournament in which the grand prize was a new pickup truck.

Vernon is survived by his wife Mary and his beloved children Deborah Ann Romine (Shane) of Bowling Green, KY, Vernon W., III (Ann) of Hilliard, OH, John Edward of Lahaina, HI and Mary Kathryn "Kate" Clark (Joshua) of Quincy, FL. Other survivors include four grandchildren Samantha and Lucas Romine and Bobby and Danny Kennedy. He is also survived by sister Ann Sturgill (Rufus). He is preceded in death by his parents Vernon and Elean Kennedy and sister Judy Kennedy.

Private memorial services will be held.