Vernon Arland Haarstick, 90, of Erhard

Published 9:32am Thursday, May 16, 2013 Updated 11:34am Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vernon Haarstic, died Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at the Fergus Falls Veterans Home.

Vernon was born March 30, 1923, in rural Fergus Falls, the son of the late William B. and Flora (Backstrom) Haarstick. He was preceded in death by his son John, his brothers Willard, Gordon, Everett “Sonny,” and Floyd and sisters Irene and Evelyn.

Among the many accomplishments of his life, Vernon counted as most important being the husband of Bernice Haarstick and the father of Steve (Valerie) Haarstick of Troy, Montana, Keith (Pat) Haarstick of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Joanne (John McDougal) Haarstick of Richmond, Virginia, and Janice (Justin) Fier of Welch, Minnesota; Grandfather of Christopher (Jenna) Haarstick of Dallas, Texas and Ashley Haarstick of Apple Valley. and Great Grandfather of Brooks Haarstick of Dallas, Texas. He is also survived by his sister, Lorraine Ohe, of Pelican Rapids; and sister-in-law Arlene Haarstick of Vergas, and many nieces and nephews.

Vernon was baptized at the United Church of Christ in Fergus Falls and confirmed in the Bagstevold Lutheran Church at Erhard. He attended grade school in District 17 near Erhard and graduated from Pelican Rapids High School in 1941.

Vernon longed to be an U.S. Army pilot, but because of nearsightedness he failed enlistment in July 1942. He was able later to fulfill his dream of flying by earning a private pilot license during the 1960’s.

On Sept. 6, 1943, he began a career as a rural letter carrier in Erhard, which was interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Navy on Dec. 7, 1943.

He served as an Electrician’s Mate Second Class at various island and shipboard postings in the South Pacific, including nine months on the tiny Island of Gavutu in the Solomon Islands, and ending in New Caledonia.

Upon receiving his honorable discharge on May 18, 1946, he returned home to resume his rural letter carrier position, primarily in Erhard, retiring after 35 years on Sept. 8, 1978.

His subsequent career selling lakeshore property as a real estate broker lasted for 14 years until he retired in 1986.

On June 6, 1953, Vernon married Bernice (Langseth) Haarstick in Erhard. They made their home in rural Erhard on Vernon’s maternal grandparents’ farm and were married for nearly 60 years.

Vernon was a member of Grace Lutheran Church of Erhard and was active in the Rural Letter Carriers Association, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, American Legion Post 17 and VFW Post 5252. He was especially honored to be active for over 50 years in the VFW Color Guard.

Vernon enjoyed visiting with people, reading, and listening to music. He took pleasure in many fishing and hunting trips with his family and friends, but as a staunch DFL supporter, his favorite pastime was political discourse.

Visitation: One hour prior to the service at the church

Memorial Service: 11 a.m. Tuesday, at Grace Lutheran Church, Erhard

Clergy: Rev. Brad Soenksen

Burial: Bagstevold Cemetery, rural Erhard, with military honors provided by the Pelican Rapids VFW

Funeral Home: Olson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls



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