Vernon E. Zila, 94, died peacefully Oct. 11, 2019. A memorial will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church with visitation at 12:30 p.m., military honors and service at 1:30 p.m., with coffee and desserts in the parlor to follow.
Vern is survived by his wife, Ginger; his daughters, Deborah (Michael) Zila-
Lawrence and Sandra Zila-Eivins; his stepson, Gregory Ankney; his granddaughters, Keitha Masler, Kasey Feiten, Paige Eivins and Piper Eivins; and several great-grandchildren.
Vern's other stepson, Gary Ankney, predeceased him.
Vern grew up as the youngest son in a farming family in a small town in Nebraska and loved doing all the practical skills of living on a farm. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and trained to become an aviation radioman. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his participation in a dangerous air strike at Marcus Island in 1945.
Following his honorable discharge, Vern went to college and pursued a career in engineering at both Collins Radio and Amana Refrigeration. For all of his life, Vern loved his deep farm roots. The people who knew him well easily recognized that you could take the boy off the farm but not the farm out of the boy.
Vern met his future wife Ginger (herself a Rosie the Riveter during the war) shortly after the war ended. They were married for 64 years and were committed to raising a family, working as a team, conducting a simple clean-cut life and working their large garden every year. Vern enjoyed his career and the freedoms it allowed him. Vern could build and fix nearly anything, including taking apart cars and rebuilding them, as well as the impressive task of constructing the family home in 1963. He enjoyed many travels with his family, fishing trips and watching the Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium or at home with friends and family in his cozy recliner. Vern truly appreciated the support he received from his wife and family members, his cherished neighbors and friends. He also appreciated the professional and kind medical care he received from the medical and hospice staffs. Vern was cured from bladder cancer and colon cancer in the past however, the recent diagnosis of an aggressive bladder cancer took his life quickly but peacefully. A member of St. Paul's Church with Ginger for many decades, Vern minded his own business, caused trouble for no one and was a very positive and helpful person.