Vern Lee Amundson
Vern Lee Amundson, 86, died Monday, November 30, 2015 following complications from Muscular Dystrophy. He died at his winter home in Scottsdale, Arizona surrounded by family and friends on a beautiful sunny day after making his own arrangements and asking Hospice to support his family. Survived by his wife of almost 51 years, Patricia; his son, Victor Heitstuman; daughter, Lora (friend Frederick); grandson Jack Cissne (father Riley); cousin, Skip Horn (wife Kathy); relatives Frank, Katie, Allen, Robert, Tara Shields, precious Tyger, and many special cousins and great friends. He was preceded in death by his only brother, Daryl Shoemaker.
Born in Everett, Washington and raised in Seattle, the son of Kelma Shoemaker & Lloyd Amundson. Vern's grandfather & uncle were the founding fathers of Stanwood, Washington; Vern was proud of his heritage. Vern grew up in Everett and later moved to Greenwood where his mother began managing the family business, Parker's Ballroom. After graduating from Ballard High School in 1947, he attended University of Washington, earning a degree in Business Administration & Transportation. During college, Vern loved working and spending time in Sun Valley, Idaho. He served in the U.S. Air Force in Merced, CA and received an Honorable Discharge. He worked in the insurance industry in downtown San Francisco, a city he and his family cherished. With his cousin, Skip Horn, he was blessed to co-manage Parker's Ballroom from 1960-1995 with a hiatus working for the Norway Center in Seattle, enjoying affiliations with the Sons of Norway and the Norwegian Commercial Club. He was active in Shoreline Rotary, receiving "Shoreliner of The Year" and was honored to throw out the first pitch at a Mariner's Game. Vern held season tickets to the Seattle Sonics, Seattle Seahawks and spring training Seattle Mariners teams.
He met the love of his life, Patricia, in 1961, dancing at the Fiesta Tavern. They were married in Las Vegas, NV on January 25, 1965. They celebrated 50 years of marriage, again in a casino, with family in January 2015. They enjoyed becoming snowbirds in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1995 and had an incredible circle of friends that enjoyed many celebrations. Vern enjoyed traveling, making trips around the US on Amtrak in 1994, and touring Europe in 1995. Lake Tahoe, Laguna Beach, Lake Chelan, and Palm Springs were also favorite destinations. Many of these travels revolved around his passion, horse racing, a sport he continued to participate in until his passing.
In his last years, his caregivers Helena, Marleen, and dear friend Larry, were the light of his days and brought such relief to the family. Papa worked to ensure a great future for his only grandchild, Jack, including college, lasting friendships, basketball, travel...a good life.
Vern's wishes were to have his ashes spread at Mutiny Bay on Whidbey Island where his best friend Richard Miller lies, and in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Del Mar Horseracing Track, the two places he adored with his wife.
A memorial service will be held in Summer 2016, in Seattle, Washington.
Remembrances can be made to the Shoreline Historical Society and The Muscular Dystrophy Association
. Communications can be sent to [email protected]
"My father didn't tell me
how to live; he lived, and
let me watch him do it."
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by The Seattle Times on Dec. 6, 2015.