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Verne R. Nafziger
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Fund
    P. O. Box 5028
    Hagerstown, MD 21741
  • First Presbyterian Church - Endowment Fund
    8047 Church Street
    Richland, MI 49083

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“Always looked up to uncle Verne. Even though I was taller after a while. Have embraced his outlook on life "never down. Life is too good not to look...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Mark Nafziger - Baltimore, MD

“I have many fond memories of my Uncle Verne. He was one of the most upbeat and optimistic people I've ever met in my life. He was always up for a...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Kelli Nafziger - Chandler, AZ


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Verne R. Nafziger of Richland, MI

Verne, age 94, died peacefully Tuesday evening, October 8, 2019 at the Heritage Assisted Living of Battle Creek, MI with his loving family at his side.

Verne, the son of Walter K. and Leila M. Nafziger, was born in Cleghorn, IA on March 15, 1925 and was a 1943 graduate of Cleghorn High School. Soon after graduation, he was drafted into the United States Army where he served his Country honorably and nobly as a Staff Sergeant with the Corps of Engineers, 445th Engineer Base Depot serving in the Middle Eastern, African and European Theatres. After his discharge, he graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He and his wife, Lois, lived in Kansas City area until 1968 and then moved their family to the Detroit area, where Verne worked for several retail stores and ended his career in 1990 after ten years as the Vice President of Finance for the Meyer Jewelry Company. Verne and Lois then moved to the Richland area to enjoy their retirement with family.

Verne was many things to many people. A dedicated man of faith and loyal to the First Presbyterian Church of Richland. He was generous with his time and spent countless hours at the Borgess Hospital/Health and Fitness Center as a volunteer. He was a super fan of the Detroit Tigers and never missed an opening day when he lived in Detroit. He was a huge supporter of his grandchildren and stayed close as the family grew. Verne was committed to staying strong and active, he loved to listen to books, and would tune in to Rush Limbaugh almost daily. He was a caring husband, he was a loving father to his daughters, and he was a true patriot.

Verne was united in marriage to the former, Lois I. Swanson in Cleghorn IA on September 6, 1948. Surviving is his wife of 71+ years, Lois; his daughter, Deanne L. (Dave) Perrin of Richland; four precious granddaughters, Jennifer (Samuel) Miller, Jessica (Glenn) McDowell, Julie (Franklin) Clark and Kristin Bennett; five great grandchildren, Liam, Charlotte and Dawson Clark, Wilder McDowell and Teagan Reid; his sister, Maxine Demaree of Lawson, MO and a brother, Larry (Mary) Nafziger of Euless, TX. Verne was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Barbara Bennett in 1992 and two brothers, Duane and Robert Nafziger.

The Graveside Service to honor Verne's "Service to his Country" will be held on Friday, October 18th at Noon in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI with the Rev. Dr. Mark W. Jennings officiating and the United States Army Honor Guard and the Fort Custer Honor Guard bestowing full military honors.

The Memorial Service to celebrate Verne's life will be held on Saturday, October 19th at 1:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 8047 Church Street, Richland, MI 49083. Verne's family will greet friends immediately following the service in the Gull Prairie Room of the Church with light refreshments.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Verne's honor may be directed to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Fund, P.O. Box 5028, Hagerstown, MD 21741; Great Lakes Hospice, 900 Cooper Street, Jackson, MI 49202 or the First Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund (See address above). The Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel (269-629-6022) is assisting Verne's family.