Vernon O. Ludwig, 95, of Jackson, passed away Sunday, November 20, 2016, at Jackson Manor Nursing Home.
He was born February 24, 1921, near Oak Ridge, to Oscar Charles and Hilda Mathilda Friedrich Ludwig. He attended the former Horrell Elementary School near his home and was a 1938 graduate of Oak Ridge High School. During his freshman year, he rode his favorite horse to Oak Ridge High School. The next three years, he drove his father’s Model-T and hauled passengers. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving honorably during WWII.
On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1944, he met Bonnie Mae Armstrong of Cape Girardeau. On October 20, 1945, while Vernon was still in the Navy, they were married at the parsonage of the Methodist Church in Clinton, Oklahoma.
Upon his discharge from the Navy, Vernon and Bonnie returned to Vernon’s family farm, now a Missouri Century Farm, near Jackson. They had been married nearly 62 years when Bonnie passed away June 8, 2007.
Vernon served on the Horrell School Board until the school consolidated with Oak Ridge R-6. He was a faithful member of St. John’s United Church of Christ near Fruitland. He taught adult Sunday school, served on the church council, sang in the choir, and served 21 years as church secretary.
Vernon completed a U.S. Veterans agriculture class and “Ford Motor Company” sponsored courses in farm management and mechanics. He was also a leader in 4-H, leading classes on beef cattle. Vernon was proud to have served his country as both a WWII Navy veteran and a farmer.
Loving survivors include two daughters, Cherry (the late Edward) Hinderberger of Columbia, Missouri and Donna Marie (Danny) Criddle of Jackson; six grandchildren, Kimberly (Matthew) Lewis, Travis (Bonnie) Criddle, Jamie (Shauna) Criddle, Beth (Kyle) Essner, Gina (Charles) Henry, and Jon (Julie) Hinderberger; 20 great-grandchildren: Alyssa (Tanner) Mangum; Megan (Benjamin) Jacobson; Erin, Jeremy, Joshua, and Brianna Lewis; Jacob, Madeline, Evan, and Tyke Criddle; Austin, Addison, and Ryan Criddle; Callie and Baila Essner; Darby, Grace, and Priscilla Henry; Corry and Haley Crowley; a nephew, Steven Wilhelm, who grew up on the farm.
Pastor David and Barbara Schaffner are valued friends of the family.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Edward Hinderberger; and three sisters, Evelyn Schoenebeck, Martha Wilhelm, and Marjorie Ludwig.
Visitation is Wednesday, November 23, 2016, from 10 a.m. to service time, at St. John’s United Church of Christ near Fruitland.
The funeral is Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at 11 a.m., at the church, with Dr. Rodney Pensel officiating.
Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Memorial contributions to St. John’s UCC are appreciated.
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