William Henry Vernon Sr. of Rehoboth Beach courageously lost his yearlong battle with cancer Monday, March 10, 2014. Now he is at peace in heaven.
Bill was born in Odessa June 29, 1944. He grew up in Rehoboth Beach and graduated from Rehoboth High School in 1962. He then attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga., where he belonged to Phi Delta Theta fraternity. His summers lifeguarding for the Rehoboth Beach Patrol and his days at Georgia Tech held some of his fondest memories. He loved going to the beach, boating and fishing, and he specially loved his Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He flew to Atlanta almost every year to attend the football games.
It was in Atlanta that he met his future wife, Sharon Soden, who was teaching there. Bill was an avid sports car fan and enjoyed driving his Corvette. He was a member of the Beachcombers Corvette Club. He could often be seen early in the morning riding his bike to the Boardwalk and then going to the gym where he liked to work out.
After graduation from Georgia Tech, Bill went to Officers Candidate School and served in the U.S. Coast Guard, which included a tour of Vietnam.
Upon return to the states, Bill went to work with Anderson-Stokes Real Estate in Ocean City, Md. In 1975 he became owner of Vernon Real Estate, which was eventually sold to O'Conor, Piper and Flynn, which was later bought out by Coldwell Banker Resort Realty. At Coldwell Banker, Bill was senior vice president of commercial and investment real estate. He was bestowed with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sussex County Board of Realtors.
Bill is a former president of the Rehoboth Beach Chamber of Commerce. He also served in the Delaware House of Representatives under Gov. Pete du Pont from 1977 to 1981. For four years he served as chairman of the building committee for New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, of which he was a member. He was very proud of what the building committee accomplished in building a new church.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sharon Vernon; his daughter Jennifer B. Vernon; his son William H. Vernon Jr.; his brother Geoffrey B. Vernon and his wife Allison; his brother Gainan C. Vernon; his nephew Glenn B.Vernon; his brother-in-law Larry Soden; and niece Debbie Soden Safranek.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 25, at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3072 Savannah East Dr,, off Kings Highway, Lewes.
In lieu of flowers the family wishes donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the New Covenant Presbyterian Church Building Committee, 3072 Savannah Road, Lewes, DE 19958.