Vernon Francis LaBelle

WILSON – Vernon Francis LaBelle, 87, passed away on Friday morning, Jan. 31, 2014, unexpectedly in Wilson.

He was born Sept. 29, 1926, in Wilson, the son of Peter and Velina (Sharon) LaBelle, and was raised in Wilson where he resided on the family homestead. He attended Wilson School and proudly obtained his GED at Bark River-Harris in 1970.

Vernon married Beverly Gamble on Feb. 14, 1953, at St. Joseph Church in Escanaba. She preceded him in death on Feb. 6, 2007. They have five children, Raymond (Mona) LaBelle of Waucedah, Bruce of Wilson, Doreen (George) Bower and Laurie (Scott) Peterson of Bark River.

His son Donald preceded him in death on Jan. 6, 1996.

He is survived by two sisters, Evelyn LaBelle of Powers and Gloria (LeRoy) Jastromski of Cudahy, Wis.; one brother, Lionel (Jerine) LaBelle of Bark River; seven grandchildren, Chad (Monika) LaBelle, Kristin (Andre) Hanna, Amber LaBelle, Lacey (Jon) Forgette, Brock (Mari) Bower, Gregory Peterson and Logan Peterson; six great-grandchildren, Trevor LaBelle, Holden, Vayda and Harlyn Forgette, Oliver and Cooper Hanna; step-grandchildren, Mike (CeCe) DeFord, Eddie (Jodi) DeFord, Mechelle (Mark) Brozoski, Steve Savord and Debbie (Norm) Royston; step great-grandchildren, Chad and Dallas Deford, Brittany, Danielle, Devon and Aubrey Deford, Derrick and Kaitlin Brozoski; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Isabel Arkens; and brother, William LaBelle.

He worked at Escanaba Machine, Clairmont, Escanaba Taxi, Delta Taxi, Early American and after he retired went to work at the newly opened Walmart in Escanaba mixing paint or wherever he was needed. In addition he volunteered at Hermansville Community Center and Bark River Lions Club. Vernon, along with his dog, Whiskey, spent countless hours not only visiting his sister, Evelyn, but all the patients and staff at Pinecrest Medical Facility.

Vernon loved his family, gardening, being outdoors, and his dogs including most recently adopted, Whiskey.

He made an impact on anyone who met him. He was a caring soul and gave to so many and expected nothing in return. He will be missed dearly by many.

Visitation will be Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home in Bark River. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at noon at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Bark River with Rev. Daryl Pepin officiating. A luncheon for family and friends will be served following the funeral mass. Burial will be in the Bark River Township Cemetery in the spring.

The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the LaBelle family.