Melvin C. Vernon, Jr.
DANVILLE — Mr. Melvin Calvin Vernon, Jr. of River Oak Drive in Danville, died on Friday, January 16, 2009 after a brief illness. He was 78.
Vernon was born on April 19, 1930 to the late Calvin Melvin and Annie Rebecca Carter Vernon of Blairs, Virginia. He grew up on a tobacco farm, worshipped at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, and graduated from the Dan River School. He was active in the student government, and the Future Farmers of America, and was president of his class there.
In 1947, Vernon attended Randolph-Macon College, and received a degree in business from the University of Richmond in 1951. He joined the Theta Chi fraternity while at Richmond. Soon afterwards, Vernon enlisted in the Army where he served for two years. During this time he attended OCS, Quartermaster School, and Leadership Training. He returned home to Blairs and to farming in 1954.
Vernon met his wife of 53 years, the former Jean Carol Harper, on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend from Stratford College in Danville. They married on September 3, 1955.
By December 1955, Vernon accepted a job at American National Bank in Danville and was soon working in the trust department. He then trained to be a stock broker, and qualified with the New York Stock Exchange in 1966. He started brokering with Abbott, Procter and Paine and worked in that industry at J.C. Bradford until he retired in 1996.
Vernon was very interested in genealogy, and spent a lot of time researching the history of his and Jean's families. He was also a good storyteller with a huge repertoire of tales from the farm, the Depression, the office, people he knew, and places he had visited.
He was a longtime member of Main Street United Methodist Church. He had been a member of Rotary Club of Danville and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He held membership in Carter Lodge AM and FM, the Danville Golf Club, and the Order of Red Men.
In addition to his wife, Jean Carol, he is survived by two sons: Calvin Melvin Vernon III, his wife, Terri, and their two sons, Carter and Collin of Orange, California; and Robert Hutchings Vernon, his wife, Susan, and their three children Scott, Katherine, and Claire of Baltimore, Maryland. He is also survived by his brothers- and sisters-in-law Nita and Gilbert McElreath of Dallas, Texas; Barbara and Owen Carter of Calabasas Park, California; and Diane and Richard Harper of Appleton, Wisconsin.
A graveside interment was held Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. at Highland Burial Park. A memorial service will be held Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. at the Wednesday Club, 1002 Main Street in Danville. A reception and fellowship will immediately follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family desires that memorials be made to the Danville Preservation League, P.O. Box 1312, Danville, VA 24543-1312.
Townes Funeral Home and Crematory, 215 West Main Street is serving the Vernon Family.
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