Vernon E. Smith, 81, of Solon, died Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at Mercy Iowa City. Funeral Mass was held Dec. 24 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Solon. Burial was at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, with full military honors provided by the Solon American Legion.
Vernon (Pete) Emmett Smith was born Aug. 9, 1931, to Emmett and Bertina (Hummer) Smith on a farm south of Iowa City. They moved to a farm east of Homestead, which would be his home until 1952. After graduating from Amana High School in 1948, he bought a livestock truck and went into the trucking business. He was drafted in 1951 and served in Korea. He married Maxine Kinney on Nov. 5, 1952, in Oxford. They farmed west of Solon until 1958, at which time they moved into town. In 1965 they purchased a farm five miles east of Solon, where they resided until 2000, when Vernon moved into Solon.
He became a rural mail letter carrier in 1963, retiring in 1991. Vernon served as the mayor of Solon from 1958 to 1962. He was a charter member of the Solon American Legion, serving as commander and county commander. He was president of Rural Carriers Southeast District for two years. He served on the Solon Volunteer Fire Department and the Solon school board.
Besides farming he enjoyed traveling with his family, deer hunting trips to Wyoming, playing cards, and trips to the casinos.
Vernon is survived by his children, Dan (Barb), Theresa (Rick) Mayhew, Sandy (Gary) Willey, Jeff (Carmen) and Pat (Michelle), all of Solon, Deb (Neil) Behr of Gilberts, Ill., and Sherry (Mike) Whetstone of Swisher; grandchildren, Sarah (Dave) Drea, Kristen (Ty) Goldsberry, Abbe (Jereme Gravert) Smith, Melissa (Jason) Grandt, Margi Bowers, Luke (Michelle) Mayhew, Dustin Willey, Adam Willey, Chase Willey, Katie Smith, Becca Smith, Brady Smith, Brianna Smith, Colin Behr, Andrew Whetstone, Mary Whetstone, Michael Whetstone, Anna Whetstone and Amanda Whetstone; 13 great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law; Elmer Smyth and Pierson Benedict; sister-in-law, Louise Schropp; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Vernon was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Maxine; his sisters, Helen Smyth and Evelyn Allen Benedict; and grandchildren, Kaitlyn Behr, Merrick Ham and Brett Smith.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com .