VERNON J. HERZING, 89, passed peacefully on June 16, 2022, in the comfort of his home and in the loving care of his devoted wife of nearly 62 years, Joan (Gaskill) Herzing.
Vern was born March 7, 1933, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the son of Herman Joseph and Viola Caroline (Nuremberg/Gill) Herzing. In his early childhood, Vern developed his love of the outdoors on the Herzing/Fischer family farm and fishing with his brother and cousins. The family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan in 1942.
Vern graduated from St. Philip Catholic High School in 1951 and was class president for four years. He maintained a warm, appreciative friendship with his classmates throughout his life. In October of 2001, Vern was honored to receive the St. Philip’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Vern loved and lived his Catholic faith. In 1948, under the direction of Sister M. Thaddea Littlejohn IHM, the St. Philip Class of 1951 built the original Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto at St. Philip’s. In 2011, under Vern’s leadership, the Class of 1951 raised the funds to build a new Grotto when the original was razed for new construction at the school. The new Grotto was dedicated on October 8, 2011, exactly 63 years to the day from when the first Grotto was dedicated.
Vern received a Degree in Drafting and Design Technology from Western Michigan University in 1953; a Bachelor of Science Degree, with Honors, in Mechanical Engineering from Tri-State University in 1959; and was a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan. Vern served in the United States Army 561st Engineering Company, Port Construction, at Fort Baker, San Francisco, California, during the years of 1955-1957.
Vern was employed by Oliver Corporation, Hayes Machine Company, and retired in October 1992, after 32 years with Post Cereals where he served as Plant Engineering Manager and later as a Facility Manager in Battle Creek. Vern, along with his daughter, Kim, developed one of Post’s most popular cereals, HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS. The greatest satisfaction for Vern was that the manufacturing of this cereal provided hundreds of jobs in the community.
Vern had many accomplishments in his career and his life, but the colleagues and friendships he built along the way were the most rewarding. He connected easily with people, had a quick-witted sense of humor, loved his work and the team around him. One of his great joys in life was golfing with his close friends from work. He was most gratified in helping others succeed and he relished problem solving.
Vern was a member of St. Jerome’s Parish for over 60 years, a past member of the Bedford Township Planning Commission, coach of his daughters’ early sporting activities, past President of St. Jerome’s and St. Philip’s School Boards; past chairman of St. Jerome’s Parish Council and a member of St. Jerome’s Finance Committee.
Vern liked pheasant hunting, golfing, fishing from his boat “Joan’s Idea” at Goguac Lake and working in the garden at “the farm”. He loved all the activities of his grandsons’ and their friends. He especially enjoyed traveling near and far to watch their sporting events and was very proud of the many achievements they have had as they have grown from boys to men.
For over 20 years Vern and Joan vacationed in Florida, walking the beaches of Melbourne and Hutchinson Island and having the family join them each year in Orlando. In 2014, Vern suffered a life-threatening stroke while walking the beach. Since that time, Vern embraced life the best he could, enjoying each moment with his family and friends and finding comfort in the care he received at home.
During the past 8 years, Vern attended the weddings of his grandsons, Michael and Thomas Bauman, and welcomed three great-grandchildren who brought much joy and laughter to his world. In March 2022, Vern was proud and honored to provide his grandson, Nicholas Newton, his first salute upon his graduation from Officer Candidate School as a Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corp.
Vern and Joan were married on August 6, 1960, at St. Philip Catholic Church. She survives along with his two daughters and sons-in-law, Cynthia (John) Bauman, Kimberly (Wes) Newton; grandsons, Michael (Allyson) Bauman, Thomas (Hattie) Bauman, and Nicholas Newton; great-grandchildren Benjamin, Henry and Margaret Bauman. He is also survived by special nephews: Tom (Laura) Herzing, John (Michelle) Herzing, Mark (Julie) Herzing; nieces Kathy (David) Crummel, and Elizabeth Ann Brandeberry; and his very special sister-in-law, Loretta H. Brandeberry.
Vern was preceded in death by his mother, Viola, in June 1967, his dad, Herman, in October 1988, his brother, Melvin, in August 1992, and sister-in-law, Patricia, in 2002.
Visitation will be held Friday, June 24, 2022, from 4:30-7:00 pm at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home, 703 Capital Ave. SW, where the Rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm Friday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am Saturday, June 25, St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, 229 Collier Avenue, Battle Creek.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools Foundation https://bcacs.org/bcacs-founndation/ or St. Jerome’s Catholic Church. Personal messages for the family may be placed in the memory book at www.henryfuneralhome.org
Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools Foundation
63 North 24th Street, Battle Creek, MI 49015,
St. Jerome Catholic Church
Battle Creek MI