Mary Frances Vernon
Mary Frances Vernon
Mary Frances Vernon, 89, passed away Feb. 16, 2013, in Sonoma. She was born on Groundhog’s Day, Feb. 2, 1924. She was the oldest daughter of Irish immigrant parents, Thomas and Mary Nerney. She grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco, and was a graduate of Mission High School. She went on to graduate from San Francisco State College with a teaching credential. In 1945, she moved to Fetters Hot Springs to teach grammar school at the Old Flowery School, (now the Charter School).
She met her husband, Loren Vernon, a resident of Vineburg, at the Sonoma bowling alley in 1946. Loren and Mary were married in 1947, and were married for 57 years until Loren’s death in 2004. She assisted her husband in running their honey business, Vernon’s Honey Company for more than 50 years.
She was a charter member of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, and St. Leo’s Church. She looked forward to going to lunch with a special group of friends, “the lunch bunch,” every Friday. She followed her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events, and could be heard rooting for them from the stands or pointing out to the referee or umpire that they were missing a foul.
She is survived by her four children, Nancy Garner (Stephen), of Sonoma; Thomas Vernon (Debra), of Sunnyvale; Marilyn Vernon, of Sonoma; and Robert “Goob” Vernon (Lisa), of Boyes Hot Springs. She was grandmother to Lisa Thomas (Kristopher), of Newberg, Ore.; Matthew Garner, of Sonoma; Scott Vernon (Allie), of Cupertino; Ben Vernon, of Davis; and Michael Vernon, of Sunnyvale. She is also survived by her siblings, Kathleen Ryan, of Sonoma; Patricia Lambres, of Diamond Springs; John Nerney (Kathleen), of San Francisco; and sister-in-law, Jean Nerney, of San Francisco. She was predeceased by two brothers, Thomas and William Nerney. She was great-grandmother to Ian, Cole and Aaron Thomas of Newberg, Ore., whom she adored.
She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, who would often spend summers in Sonoma at the family property.
Memorial donations in Mary’s memory may be made to Friends of Turkana, P.O. Box 135, Sonoma, CA 95476 or Schell-Vista Fire Department, 22950 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476.
The family would like to thank all the staff at Golden Living London House for taking care of Mary for so many years.
At her request there will be no formal services. A family gathering will be held in June.
Arrangements under the direction of Duggan’s Mission Chapel, Sonoma.