Vernon Gatz, 87, of Falls City, passed away Friday, April 11, 2014. He was born Jan. 18, 1927 to William Thomas and Esther Sophia Pribbeno Gatz on the family farm northeast of Falls City in a room with a small wood burning stove fired up just for the occasion.
Vernon attended country schools and graduated from FCHS in 1944. After graduation he returned to the family farm and worked with his father until his death in 1959. Vernon then took over the family business and spent the next 40 years farming, buying and raising cattle and hogs. He traveled the Midwest with his good friends Russ Hodges and Don Murray searching for the finest cattle and took great pride in his work.
Vernon married for the first time on July 29, 1978 to the love of his life, Norma Jean McCarty-Morgan-Smith. They were introduced by good friends Dale and Mary Jo Goff. On the day of their marriage Vernon became a husband, father and grandpa. He was a wonderful husband to Norma, loving step-father and devoted Papa to Travis, Shelby, Dalton, Mary and Jack. They were the joys of his life.
Together they played many rounds of golf, dined with friends and traveled to Australia. Vernon was an avid Husker fan and loved watching the games. He could be found every Saturday in the fall cheering on his Huskers and yelling at the TV when the games went south. He was an avid walker and many in Falls City would see him walking all over town. He was a regular for morning coffee at the Kwik Shop where he would catch up with friends.
Vernon spent the last two years at Falls City Care Center. He was a favorite of the staff there and they cared for him with compassion, love and respect. As a family we are forever grateful that he was blessed to have such wonderful caregivers.
Vernon is survived by his wife Norma Jean; sister, Elizabeth Louise Gatz, of Chicago; children, Mike and Michele Morgan (Travis), of Australia, Jack and Sherry Morgan, of Lincoln, Mark Smith (Shelby and Dalton), of Plattsmouth, and Shari and Tim Cooley (Mary and Jack), of Shawnee, KS.
His memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home with Rev. Paul Weinert officiating.