World War II hero, Vernon Roger DeLair, 90, of Sturgeon Bay, died Monday (October 15, 2012) at his home with his wife and beloved cat at his side.
He was born January 28, 1922 in the Town of Sevastopol, the son of the late Henry Amos DeLair and Hazel Lillie Crass DeLair. After graduating from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1941, he served his country with the United States Army Air Corp. during WWII. After basic training, he was sent to England where Vernon’s crew of the 306th Bombing Group held distinctions as the first bombing plane over Germany. They ran 44 bombing flights to liberate Europe. He was a decorated WWII war hero. Among several other awards, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism. The biggest lesson he brought home from the war was that "every day is a gift, regardless of the weather or how you feel. Live each day to its fullest and thank God you're there to have it." After the War, he worked for Martin Tractor in Illinois and in Chilton as a mechanic. Vernon drove semi for Badger Freightways in Sheboygan, Wisconsin until his retirement.
He loved to restore antique cars and show them in parades. He enjoyed telling his stories in local restaurants where he met many dear friends. Vernon was a member of the Antique Power Association, the Historical Society in Chilton, life member of the VFW Post 3088 in Sturgeon Bay, founding member of the Door County Thresheree (where he was honored once by being "Threshereeman of the Year"), and member of the Door County and Sevastopol Historical Societies. He enjoyed attending his 306th Bomber reunions with his brother and family all over the United States. He also traveled to Labrador, Canada, North Dakota, Idaho, and California to visit Betty's children. He loved spending time with family and friends and the highlight of each day was reading daily devotions and studying the Bible with Betty. Vernon was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church and enjoyed attending summer services at Shiloh Moravian Church.
On November 10, 2001, he married his life-long friend Betty Lou (Bassford) Propsom at Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church. Vernon went from having no children to eventually having five step-children, seven step-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Betty of Sturgeon Bay (their beloved cat, Captain Midnight) and her children and families, Susanne (Jim) Southard of Sturgeon Bay (two children, Samara (Mike Fellner) (their children, August, Elijah, and Lily), and Zeb), Steve (Tracy) Propsom of Sturgeon Bay (three children, Shawn (Eric) Fowler (their children, Hannah and Madelyn), Chris and Stephanie), Rev. Sam (Debbie) Propsom (son, John) of Casselton, ND, Sandre of San Diego, CA, Stuart (dear friend, Jonalee Hartl) (his daughter, Olivia) of Idaho Falls, ID; brother, Roland (Donna) DeLair of Sturgeon Bay; brothers-in-law, Charles (Bea) Bassford, Orville Kugler; sisters-in-law, June Propsom, Carolyn Cardy, Edna DeLair; 34 nieces and nephews; and 51 great-nieces and great-nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; four brothers, Stanley, Milton, Royal, Kenneth, infant Virgil; four sisters, Katherine (Gerhard) Zirbel, Dorothy Delair, Lillian DeLair and Virginia (Virgil’s twin).
A celebration of Vernon’s life will be held on Monday (October 22, 2012) at 7:00 p.m. at Huehns Funeral Home with Rev. Reeder Herrick officiating. Military honors will follow. Friends may call on Monday at Huehns Funeral Home from 5:00 p.m. until the time of services at 7:00 p.m.
Sign online guestbook and offer condolences at http://www.huehnsfuneralhome.com/.