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Vern Arthur Amick was born May 4, 1925, to Arthur R. and Myrtle Amick. He joined his 4-year-old brother, Harold.
His birth took place in the home on the “old Fairfield place,” currently owned by Terry and Diane Mobley. Vern passed away at his home in Meeker on Monday, March 17, 2014, following a year-long battle with cancer.
Vern’s parents divorced and both remarried when he was a young child. At the age of 8, he chose to live with his mother and stepfather, Glen Cole. He returned to the Amick ranch for visits and spent time helping there in the summer. He held his first job when he was 10-years-old, working a team of horses stacking hay on the Smith ranch.
Vern recounts many adventures of country life and attending the rural schools as a child. He spent time on Thornburg, where he got into a certain amount of mischief with his good friend, Joe Spence. He also recalled following his father and brother around, hauling salt in a wagon on LO7 and tarring the insides of water tanks.
Following his freshman year in high school, he moved to the Bakersfield, Calif., area with his mother and Glen. He held many interesting jobs there, including driving an ambulance. He delivered a set of twins, but was later fired because he was too young to have a driver’s license.
On April 6, 1943, his senior year, he enlisted in the United States Navy. Vern was an aviation mechanic and aerial gunner. His nickname was “Mickey.” His crew of 12 men was assigned to a modified B-24 patrol bomber in the Pacific. Although his plane took enemy fire several times, none of his crew was ever injured. Vern was very proud of his service to his country and enjoyed telling stories about his time in the Navy.
On leave back in California, he married his high school sweetheart, Sarah Jane Avery, on Sept. 5, 1945. He was discharged on April 6, 1946. He then attended Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. After being graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering, he went to work for Douglas Aircraft, which later became McDonnell Douglas. He worked there for 41 and a half years. He had a lifelong love affair with airplanes that started in his childhood and continued into his last days.
Vern and Sarah Jane had one daughter, Sheryl Denise. The family spent about five years in Tucson, Ariz., and the rest of their time was spent in the Orange County, Calif., area.
When Sarah Jane became ill, Vern and Sheryl spent hours caring for her in their home. A few years after her death, they decided to return to the Meeker area and build a home with a beautiful view of the family ranch on LO7.
While away from Meeker, Vern looked forward to visits to the area. A highlight for him was coming to hunt. He helped with ranching activities whenever the opportunity presented itself.
He especially enjoyed and encouraged the children of the family.
Vern was known for his wonderful stories and he shared them frequently with his friends at “The Coffee Grove” in California. He maintained a positive attitude throughout some difficult times in his life. His sense of humor and kindness to those around him have left a lasting and positive impression.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; his brother Harold; nephew Larry Amick; his wife Sarah Jane; and daughter Sheryl.
He is survived by: his niece Diana (Jim) Watson and her children, Trina (Quenton) Smith and Shane Stout (Charlene); their children; and loyal friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kan., 66675 or HopeWest (please earmark for Meeker), 3090 N. 12th St., Grand Junction, Colo., 81506.