Vernon L. Jansen
Vernon L. Jansen passed away Thursday, December 5, 2013, at the Sand Point Assisted Living facility in Titusville. He was born September 10, 1918, in Quincy, Illinois, to parents Bernard and Emma Jansen. He married Bernice Geers on Thanksgiving day in 1941; they were married 65 years until her passing in 2006. They have two sons, Bruce (wife Becky) and Niles (wife Cathy). Also five grandchildren: Jennifer (Lee Blair), Kelli (Rob Turman), Julie (Brandon Loughery), Jessica (Steve Curley), and Brock. Also, three great-grandchildren, Caitlin and Jarrett Blair and Olivia Loughery.
Vern and Bernice spent 21 years living on military bases in Virginia and Alabama until he accepted a NASA position in Florida in 1961. He retired from NASA in 1978 with 39 years of government service.
Vern was very active in civic activities from youth groups to senior groups, from community programs to veterans' organizations, and from Titusville City Councilman to Mayor. His involvement in the community was very deep. He was co-founder of the Titusville Knights of Columbus, co-founder and first elected president of the North Brevard YMCA, organizer and chairman of the first Special Olympics held at Titusville High School, a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, and Chairman of the Scouting Board of Review, Speaker of the House for the Silver Hair Legislature in Tallahassee, served on the Board of Directors at Jess Parrish Hospital, and was named "Man of the Year" by the Coalition of Senior Clubs of North Brevard in 1977.
One of his proudest accomplishments was the completion of the North Brevard Senior Center in 1988. Vern was the driving force and motivator for the Center to become a reality through exhaustive months of hard work, countless hours spent on writing grants, attending meetings involving site selection, and working with City, County, and State officials for the requisite clearances/design for the final building. For his contributions, the Senior Center named the Center's newly constructed park the "Vern Jansen Park." In 1987, the "Florida Today" and the Gannett Foundation recognized Vern's contributions with the "Heart of Gold Volunteer Recognition" award for community service.
He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and by the Titusville community.
Donations may be made in Vern's memory to Hospice of St Francis 1250 Grumman Pl Titusville, FL 32780.
Calling hours will be from 5-7 pm Wednesday at North Brevard Funeral Home. The funeral mass will be held at St Teresa Catholic Church 11 am Thursday.
Please sign Vern's online guestbook at www.northbrevardfuneralhome.com
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from Dec. 10 to Dec. 12, 2013