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February 9, 1929 – January 28, 2013
Joe Vernon passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Monrovia on January 28, 2013. He was 83 years old. He was a generous and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather and a loyal friend who fought a long and courageous battle with leukemia, but never stopped loving life and looking forward to the future with his family.
Joe was born on February 9, 1929, in Amarillo, TX. His family moved to Sierra Madre, CA in 1941 where he grew up, attended schools and married the love of his life, Darlene (Bennett) Vernon on February 12, 1950. He was proud to serve in the California National Guard Unit from Sierra Madre and fought in the Korean War. He served as Commander of the Sierra Madre VFW. Joe moved his family to Monrovia in 1955 and built his family home in 1966. Joe had a long and storied career of 40 years at Santa Anita Race Track; first with American Totalizator Company and then with the Pari-Mutuel Union Clerks. He was a member of SEIU Local 280. He loved being around the track and his friends. Everyone knew him and loved him. He traveled all over the Western United States and Canada making sure the racing circuit was always up and operational. He enjoyed many summers in Del Mar at the track and the beach. Joe retired in 2000 and devoted his life to his family and friends, his love of cooking, traveling in his motor home, crabbing along the Oregon Coast, and perfecting his game of golf. He always saw the positive in everything and everyone he met. If you were a friend of Joe’s, you were a friend for life.
His family was always the center of his world and he leaves behind his loving wife of 63 years, Darlene; his daughters, Dani Jo Hopper (Don) and Dawn Mosco (Mike) and sons Joey Vernon and Jeff Vernon (Carol); his grandchildren Kristen Hopper Petersen (Brian), Chad Hopper (Kathleen), Dustin Hopper, Desiree Mosco McCoy (Brent), Jennifer Mosco Williamson (Joe), Nicole Mosco, Noelle Vernon, Brennhan Vernon and Tessa Vernon. Joe was also blessed with eight great grandchildren.
Joe lived his life to the fullest with honesty, integrity, generosity, an abiding faith in his Lord and conviction to always do the right thing. To his family and friends he was a larger than life hero and although he will be deeply missed, his smile will live in our hearts forever.