Funeral services will be conducted for Vernon O. Tekell Sr. 96, on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm in the Sunrise Chapel at Walters Funeral Home. Vernon passed away on January 23, 2018 at his residence. Pastor Rick Aultman of Mangham Baptist Church will be officiating. Interment with military graveside rites by the U.S. Army Honor Guard dispatched from Fort Polk will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be held Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm and resume Sunday morning at 11:00 am until time of services at Walters Funeral Home, 2424 N. University Ave., in Lafayette, LA.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Betty of Lafayette; three daughters, Ann Geyer of El Paso, TX, Dr. Jan Tekell and her husband Greg Pierson of West Fork, AR, and Dr. Jean Aultman and her husband Rick of Mangham, LA; one son, Dean and his wife Arleen of Lafayette; seven grandchildren, Jeremy, Joshua, Jamie, and Jayci Tekell, and Nathan, Daniel, and Rebekah Aultman; three great-grandchildren, Zoey and Mack Tekell, and Addison Grayson; four nieces, Melinda Montegomery, Glenda Sessions, Tanya Hobbs, and Becky Stafford; and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, the former Lola Cook and William J. "Bill" Tekell; two sisters, Mildred Tekell Coffman and Joyce Faye Tekell Mayo; one brother, Billie Bob Tekell; one nephew, Ron Tekell Stearns and one niece, Brenda Joyce Mayo.
Vernon fought and served in the U.S. Army in North Africa, Italy, and Germany during World War II, earning five bronze stars and a bronze arrowhead. He married Elizabeth "Betty" Crawford on October 18, 1947 in Kerens, TX. He graduated from the University of Houston with his Bachelor's Degree in civil engineering. He later retired as a division engineer from Southern Pacific Railroad after 33 years of service. He will be remembered as a family man who enjoyed fishing, hunting, traveling, woodworking, Sudoku puzzles, and attending First Baptist Church. He was an avid fan of UL Softball and the Houston Astros.
The family wishes to thank his caregivers Annie Broussard, Krystal Gautreaux, and Amber McLeod as well as his Heart of Hospice nurse Candice Leger for the compassionate care given to Vernon, and asks that memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, 1-800-832-6344, (www.stjude.org).
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.waltersfh.com.
Walters Funeral Home, 2424 N. University Ave., Lafayette, LA 70507; 337-706-8941 is in charge of arrangements.