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Verne Leroy Brasel(1942-2012)

Verne left to be with God at 11:02 a.m. Monday October 29, 2012 after 25 years of battling multiple illnesses.
Verne was born June 22, 1942 in Mason City Iowa along with his identical twin brother, Virgil Alvin Brasel to Vern and Floma Brasel. When he was an infant, the family moved to, and settled in Souix Falls, South Dakota, where he lived and attended local schools until eighteen years of age.
In1961 he joined the United States Navy because he wanted to see the world from the deck of an aircraft carrier. He recieved his boot camp training in San Diego, CA.
His first duty station was Lemoore Naval Air Station, Lemoore, CA.
In 1961 two days after Commissioning day at NAS Lemoore, he met the love of his life and future bride at Hanford's Fox Theatre, and after 14 months of courtship Verne proposed marriage to Louise Katherine Rodriguez of Hanford.
Verne and Louise were married January 5, 1962 at Immaculate Heart of Mary church in Hanford.
In August 1963 he was stationed in Agana Guam M.I. The following month he was joined by Louise. In December of 1963 they welcomed their first son.
In 1965 While still on Guam, they were blessed with a second son.
Verne served 4 yrs in the Navy, before being honorably discharged in May 1965. Upon his discharge he moved his young family to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where his parents and siblings awaited their arrival.
In April of 1966 he moved his family back to Hanford where he established himself in the community, church, and worked for the remainder of his life.
In April 1968 Verne and Louise were again blessed with the birth of a third son.
For the next two decades, Verne was involved with the Hanford National Little League as a coach and umpire. During those years he coached his sons on various teams. In 1976 he coached his National League team to the City Championship. He is always fondly remembered as "Mr. Brasel" by former Little Leaguers, who still respect and admire him. During this time he also coached and refereed Youth Soccer. A dedicated Father, Verne never missed a game that his sons played in.
In the early 70's Verne and Louise became very active at Immaculate Heart of Mary church where they would teach Catholic Catechism. They also became involved in Marriage Encounter. They continued to be actively involved with church activities up until the mid 90's.
Verne always took a leadership role any activity that he participated in. Along with church and sports he was involved with Hanford Elementary Schools where his sons attended, and soon became Chairman of the Parent/Teacher Council.
During the 80's he was president of the Hanford High Soccer Booster Club. He would also volunteer every Monday night for the High School bingo program.
Verne, since a young age has been involved in racing. He drove a Micro Midget for a time at the Lemoore Jet Bowl. In 1982 he started volunteering at the newly formed Kings Speedway and rarely missed a race weekend. He attended his last race 3 weeks before his death. On that night, He was recognized by the track Promoter for his many years of dedicated service to Kings Speedway and the Kings County Fairgrounds. The crowd in attendance gave him a standing ovation. It was a very proud moment for him.
Verne was a professional Truck Driver, and drove for 5 different companies over the course of his career. For the last 20 years before he became disabled , he drove for Kings County Ready Mix/ Viking Ready Mix. In his last year at Viking he was recognized for his many years of safe driving, an accomplishment he was also very proud of.
Some of Verne's happiest, proudest moments were not his own achievements, rather, those of his son's. They each married and gave him a total of 8 grandchildren and subsequently, the grandchildren gave him 5 great-grandchildren.
Some of his favorite pastimes included, camping with his family and friends. He enjoyed having early morning coffee with his buddies at local restaurants. He loved fishing, particularly at San Luis Reservoir. He liked to meet his brother Rodger Brasel at the Old Court House hot dog stand to chat. Verne also took great pride in model building, especially Harley Davidson Motorcycles. He enjoyed playing Santa Claus at the old mall and for several families around Hanford every Christmas.
Shortly after his retirement, he started driving Freddy the Fire Truck for the Hanford Visitor agency. There he became a popular guide and came to be known as "Uncle Verne". He spent many hours studying Hanford's history. As his popularity grew as a tour guide, the requests for Uncle Verne to drive were so numerous he could not fulfill them, all to the disappointment of many including Verne.
Verne opened his heart and home to everyone. Whenever a request was made for his help, from repairing a tire or getting keys out of a locked car, to repairing or remodeling a home, no task was too small or too great for him to tackle, day or night.
He was a Grief Counselor to family and friend and was always quick to give a hug or lend an ear.
For the past 25 years he battled many illnesses, including Major heart problems, Vascular Disease (which lead to the amputation of his left leg), and 3 bouts of cancer. He fought each battle valiantly and was an inspiration to all who knew him. He did not allow himself, self pity, and as an amputee tackled jobs that many people with 2 legs couldn't.
He lost his final battle to cancer, and as always he battled until the very end. Even in his final days he managed to make his family laugh as we stood around his hospital bed.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith". 2 Timothy 4: 7-8.
Verne was preceded in death by his parents, Vern and Floma Brasel, his sisters Lila McCormick and Sandra Hammer and a brother Gary Brasel.
He is survived by his loving wife Louise, his 3 sons, Brian Brasel/Pam Brasel. Buddy Brasel. Patrick Brasel/Dina Brasel.
8 grandchildren, Breanna Brasel, Nicholas Brasel, Nicholas Mejia, Buddy Brasel II, Garrett Brasel, Julian Escamilla, Monique Brasel, and Jacob Brasel. 5 great-grandchildren, Jeremiah Brasel, Buddy Brasel III, Nicholas A. Mejia, Abby Rego, and Leila Rego.
He is survived by his siblings, brother, Kenneth Brasel/Arlene Brasel of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, brother, Rodger Brasel/Renee Brasel of Hanford, Ca. Sister Laura Struck/Bob Struck of Platte, South Dakota.
He survived by many nephews and nieces and a multitude of other family and friends.
He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
A rosary will be at St. Brigid church on Monday Novemember 5, 2012 from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Viewing will follow from 7:15 to 9:00 p.m. Funeral will be At St. Brigid Catholic Church on Tuesday November 6, 2012 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Burial will be at Hanford Cemetery from 2:15 to 3:00 p.m. Celebration of life will be at the fairgrounds following the burial.

Published in The Hanford Sentinel on Nov. 2, 2012
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