Vernon C. Severson, age 79, of Black River Falls, WI, passed away in his winter home of Green Valley, AZ, on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Vern was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Mae Severson of Sun Prairie, WI. Vern is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Margaret; a sister, Delores Evans, Tucson, AZ.; his children, Amanda (Tom) Falloon, St. Cloud, MN., and Jon (Jennifer) Severson, Woodbury, MN; two nephews, Jeff Evans and Greg (Alice) Evans, both of Tucson, AZ; and three grandchildren, Soren and August Falloon, and Anna Greta Severson.

Vern was born on Aug. 13, 1933 in Sun Prairie, WI. He grew up participating in many civic and athletic activities and graduated valedictorian of Sun Prairie High School's class of 1951. Vern attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he made many lifelong friends and graduated in 1955 with a B.A. in history. His love of Norwegian history and his family heritage remained throughout his life.

After a tour of military service in Germany and completion of his teaching certification at Carroll College, Vern moved to Black River Falls where he began his 40-year career as an educator. It is also here that he met his wife-to-be, Margaret Berndt. Vern and Margaret were wed in Juneau, WI, on June 13, 1965.

Throughout his career as an educator, Vern used his humor, intelligence, and wit to influence generations of young minds. In addition to teaching English, history, and humanities, he served as a football coach, led the National Honor Society, directed the All School Play, and contributed to numerous other extracurricular activities.

Vern's commitment to his community was equally wide-ranging and extensive. Vern served on the boards of the Black River Public Library and the Winding River Regional Library System for over 20 years, serving as president for many of those years. He held numerous volunteer, leadership positions with Evangelical Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway Fossen Lodge 534, The Falls Players, and Growth Investment Club. Vern served as chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party, managed two, successful state representative campaigns, and was an active political volunteer throughout his life.

A celebration of Vern's Life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Black River Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church, 115 N. 5th St. Relatives and friends may call at Torgerson's Funeral Home (715-284-4321) 408 N. Water St. on Friday, Nov. 23 from 4 until 6 p.m. and at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of services. Pastor Eric Bakken will conduct services and burial with military honors will immediately follow the service at the Riverside Cemetery. Memorials can be directed to Black River Memorial Hospice, Black River Falls Public library, or the Black River Falls Area Foundation.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Nov. 16, 2012