Vernon Burrell entered into rest at the age of 78, on Feb. 3, ending a long struggle with illness.
During his career Vernon worked for Fred Harvey Enterprise managing trading posts, hotels and cafes at the Grand Canyon and Cameron, Ariz. He worked for over 50 years in construction and retired as a general contractor. He supervised the construction of the new villages, schools, and village utilities for Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay and Barrow, Alaska. Under that contract, he hired and trained Alaska natives to support the local economy and job market. He was known to the Indians as Bo-Ho- Lingee’ (Great white leader).
Vernon lives on through his loving family, wife of 34 years and love of his life, Josephine; children, Rebecca Staub (John) of Scottsdale, Ariz., John Wilson of Oakdale, Mark Wilson of Knights Ferry, Duane Thompson (Lynn) of Ceres and Maria Burrell (Justin Sutton) of Oakdale; son-in-law, Bob Nelson; grandchildren, Wade Nelson (Carrie), Wendy Johnson, Will Nelson (Crystal), Chelsea Staub, Haileigh and Vance Sutton, Johnny Wilson II, Cleo and Presley Wilson, Michael and Zachary Thompson and Jessica Bailey; great grandchildren, Becca Tucker, Cody and Amberley Johnson and Mallorie Nelson; sister, Helen Dixon of Casa Grande, Ariz.; brother-in-law, Jimmy Herd (Sally) of Bergenfield, N.J.; ex-wife, Sally Burrell of Camp Verde, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews, extended family and close friends.
Vernon was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary Nelson; parents, Elmer and Maude Burrell; and siblings, Ray, Bill, Cecil, Bobbie Burrell, Mildred Zimmerman and Clara McCoy.
Vernon was our HERO! He lived life to the fullest and took pleasure in giving to others. He taught these things to all who knew him through the way he lived life. He showed every member of his family that he was proud of them with his gentle smile, a twinkle in his eyes and a king-size hug. He loved all kinds of music and dancing, with a special love of square dancing. He took and gave so much joy in simple pleasures, such as handing out the Christmas gifts each year. He was the ultimate cowboy and those who love him will always remember his enjoyment in just shining his cowboy boots.
Vernon requested there be no funeral service. He asked that we honor him with a celebration of life gathering. Family and friends will be informed of the details of this event as soon as it is scheduled through Facebook and the family’s telephone tree.
Arrangements were entrusted with Turlock Funeral Home.