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A celebration of life for Vernon E. Niblack Jr., 67, of Hauser, will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 20 at the Salvation Army Church, 1155 Flanagan Ave. in Coos Bay. A potluck will follow the service. Attendees are invited to bring their favorite dish or dessert to share.
Vern was born Oct. 5, 1950 in Wichita, Kansas, to Vernon E. and Della K. (Mork) Niblack Sr. He passed away May 1, 2018, following a courageous battle with cancer and COPD.
Vern grew up with three sisters and one brother. Weighing in at only 1 pound, 13 ounces at birth, he was a fighter from the beginning. Primarily due to his severe asthma issues, the family permanently moved from Kansas to Oregon in the 1960s.
Growing up, he attended schools in both the Coos Bay (Bunker Hill Elementary) and North Bend School Districts. Following high school, he joined the United States Navy, where he proudly served his country on the U.S.S. Bryce Canyon at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Following his service, he returned home to North Bend where he met and later married Linda Hutton in 1972. They were married for 45 years and had one child, a daughter, Heidi. Vern was very proud of his wife’s tireless efforts around their home, oftentimes referring to their yard as a “mini Shore Acres.”
Vern held various jobs throughout his life, but he spent the majority of his working career at the Menasha pulp mill in North Bend, which was purchased in 1981 by Weyerhaeuser. He was a repulper operator at the Weyerhaeuser containerboard mill until the mill closed its doors in 2003.
Vern enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending numerous summers camping with his family in central Oregon. He would never turn down a family game of California rummy and he and Linda enjoyed many weekend poker games with close friends.
He was an avid bowler and participated in several bowling leagues over the years, including a junior-adult league with his daughter at the old Bay Bowl in Coos Bay. He was known for his left-handed curve ball and was proud to have bowled three 300 games in his bowling career.
Vern always had a story for anyone who crossed his path. He never met a stranger. He was very outgoing and was a good friend to many.
One of his greatest joys was spending time with his three granddaughters, Ashley, Shelby and Chelsea. He took great pride in Chelsea’s track and field accomplishments and would share the news of her success with everyone he’d meet. He was a regular attendee at all three girls’ volleyball games, basketball games and track meets until his outings were limited by his health.
Vern’s pride and love for his family was immeasurable. He was a true warrior and will be forever remembered for his strong will and determination.
Vern is survived by his wife, Linda of Hauser; daughter, Heidi and husband, Steve Howard of North Bend; granddaughters, Ashley, Shelby and Chelsea Howard of North Bend; brother, Matthew Niblack and wife, Marilyn of Port Orchard, Wash.; sister, Karen Niblack of Port Richey, Fla.; sister, Patricia Chapman and husband, Don of Port Orchard, Wash.; sister, Virginia (Colleen) Struck and husband, Earl of North Bend; brother-in-law, Michael Hutton of Portland; and numerous nieces and nephews, extended family and close friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com and www.theworldlink.com