December 10, 1951-November 3, 2013
Mark Vernon of Denton died early Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, as he wished, at home on his waterbed with BlueCat at his side. He had been treated for bladder cancer for over 6 years.
Thomas Mark Vernon was born in Dallas on December 10, 1951, the long-awaited only child of Russell Vernon and Virginia Landrum Vernon. His mother died of brain aneurysm within 2 years and at the age of 4, he gained a step-mother, Marguerite Hawk Vernon. His family then moved to Denton, where they were active in Asbury United Methodist. His father worked for FEMA as a regional accountant and his mother was active in local garden clubs.
Mark attended Stonewall Jackson and Woodrow Wilson Elem., Strickland Jr. High, and Denton High School. He joined the U.S. Air Force at 17, trained at Dyess AFB, and served in Guam, as a B52 tail gunner over Vietnam. When he came home as a disabled veteran, he attended DeVry on the GI bill, was class president and became a computer tech.
Memorex hired him out of school to travel the U.S. doing tech support for them. After working at Scott Instrument and other area tech jobs, Mark worked in Waxahachie, Tx. on site of the ill-fated Super Conducting Super Collider, a project ended by political ignorance. He said it was the best job he ever had, working with such bright physicists in an all-Mac shop and it should have been Texas that developed and received the numerous scientific and medical benefits of the world's first Super Collider, as it was quite far along at the time it was defunded by the Texas Legislature.
Mark joined Nortel in the 90's and received additional advanced training on computers, then transitioned to Computer Science Corp. when they bought out BNR/Nortel's tech support in Richardson.
Mark then worked on CSC's Help Desk on the Raytheon Dept. of Defense Account until the end of September.
He was a creative woodworker and carpenter, an avowed computer nerd, an animal lover, avid sailor and endless conversationalist/raconteur.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, his mother, father, step-mother and step-brothers Richard and Danny Hawk, his Aunt Marnie and Uncle Ray Bonta.
He is survived by his wife Barbara C. Holladay-Vernon of Denton, also his only child, Jen Vernon Cuffe (James) of Villa Park, Il., his grandson Chris J. Holladay of Frisco, Tx., loyal long-time friends Mike Sutton of Denton and John Meredith of Denton and his cousins Pat King of Austin, Gayden Thompson of Austin, Virginia Bonta Brown and Dr. Chas Brown of Ore., and Dr. Bedford 'Buzz' Bonta (Kathy) of Tn.
He will be missed by his BlueCat, JamieCat and JakeDog, all rescues.
He was a friend of Bill W.
There will be no service at this time. The DFW National Cemetery veteran's services will be held at a later spring date, to be announced.
Mark received excellent care from Accolade Hospice of Denton for the week he was home from the hospital.
He donated his body to Science Care Hope Project, a national/international company for scientific research, medical training and education. They serve only those under hospice care in Texas, Az, Calif., Colo., and Florida.
Donations of people and pet food to Denton MHMR food room on W. Oak or any no-kill animal care shelter/rescue facility would be preferred in lieu of flowers.
Fair winds and following seas shipmate.
God Speed my love, thank you for the memories.