VERNON WAKEFIELD MONROE
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Vern Monroe has died. He departed unwillingly on February 3, 2013 following a long siege with cancer, which eventually won the battle over his indomitable spirit. He died at home at the ocean's edge in Newport Beach at the age 87 years young. He is survived by his son Stephen of Costa Mesa and his dear friend Ann Cullen of Newport Beach.
A native Californian, Vern was born in 1925 to Ruth Engel Monroe and Vernon Stephen Monroe in North Hollywood. He attended public schools and graduated from the University of Southern California in 1947, and enlisted in the Coast Guard during the Korean conflict.
Vern's unique creative spirit was kindled early-on in an advertising career as an account executive with BBD&0, but it was in the field of commercial real estate in Orange County that he enjoyed years of success as an innovative and successful property developer.
Vern was a passionate collector of antique cars and extravagant boats, most of which he piloted himself wearing his broad-brimmed Panama hats. His unique ability to find the comic or ironic in most situations made him an amusing conversationalist. His erudition on arcane topics could bemuse interlocutors unaccustomed to his sardonic humor.
Above all, Vern Monroe was a lover of life. He refused to let his intermittent yet progressive illness slow his pace or daunt his spirit. He was one of a kind who will be sorely missed.
A gathering of friends will take place in the weeks ahead. To be included contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 17, 2013