Vernon J. Loecker
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Vernon J. Loecker, age 78, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Monday, August 28, 2017, at Avera Sr. James Care Center in Yankton.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM on Friday, September 1, 2017 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Reverend Larry Regynski and Reverend Michael Schmitz officiating. Burial will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791. Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Thursday, August 31, 2017, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a rosary at 6:45 PM and a vigil service at 7:00 PM.

We celebrate Vern for the simple, yet core principles of his life. The strength of his marriage, love of family, a strong work ethic, the impact of faith and his joy of the outdoors.

Martin and Frances (Merkel) Loecker brought Vernon Julius Loecker into a small rural Nebraska community called Menominee on March 6, 1939. The oldest of five children, Vern graduated from Yankton High School in 1957, and immediately enlisted in the Army, serving in America and Europe. After being honorably discharged in 1959, he married a beautiful Nebraska girl, Marilyn Kruse, on December 29, 1959, one day later than scheduled due to a blizzard.

A small ranch style home on East 21st Street in Yankton, SD provided the backdrop for this 58-year-old "from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer…" storyline. Vern's love of his bride and best friend, along with their two girls and two boys, were paramount in his life. The kitchen table they shared was outgrown over the years. Vern, lead the Catholic blessing, and always sat at the head of the table with Marilyn at the other end. Joined together were daughters Cheryl (Craig) Sommer of Yankton, SD, Cindy (Mike) Huether of Sioux Falls, SD, sons Mike (Tami) Loecker of Lennox, SD, Brad Loecker of Buffalo, WY, granddaughters Jennifer (Derek) Thompson of Fort Irwin, CA, Kylie (David) Kiesner of Sioux Falls, SD and two rambunctious great grandsons Kohen Thompson and George Kiesner. A "grand dog" was never far away.

Life lessons were shared. Home grown is better than store bought. Church and prayer sustain us when we need it most. A granddaughter's dance recital or tennis match will cause a stern and strong man to shed a tear with the best of them.

Vern taught others the value of hard work and sacrifice. His stocky, sturdy frame allowed him the strength to work 50 years at Conkling Distributing in Yankton. Countless kegs and cases of Budweiser carried up and down old rickety wooden steps, along with frantic 4th of July "I am out of Bud Light" merchant calls, showed his determination and pride of the King of Beers. He never thought twice about putting in a hard day's work regardless of the pain his body endured.

The outdoors was his playground and his attire often consisted of a Bud logo t-shirt and cap, accessorized with camouflage. Any wildlife near his boat, blind or stand ended up in the freezer or on the living room wall. Vern enjoyed other fields of green as a long-time umpire for the South Central and Cedar County amateur baseball leagues and as a golf enthusiast. We know Vern is in Heaven with numerous hunting and sporting friends limiting out on roosters, waterfowl, bucks, walleyes and tall tales.

Also proceeding Vern in death and sharing his love of family are parents Martin and Frances, sister-in-law Shirley, and brother Marlow, who valiantly served and perished in Vietnam.

The Loecker Family can't thank you enough for your love and support, including the Majestic Bluffs team, as they joined our family's table over the last year. "Bless us oh Lord, and these gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty through Christ, our Lord. Amen."

Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

You have my deepest sympathy in the loss of Vern. May God bless you with the strength to deal with the grief.

Laverta Mauch

Dear Loecker family: so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember the house across the street from the high school and how warm and inviting it was. May all the great memories comfort you until you meet again!

Denise DeLozier Telthoester

My sincere condolences to the Loecker family on Vern's passing. I have many fond memories of Vern from both his baseball umpiring and Budweiser days.

Pat Kollars

God bless and peace to all of Vern's family and friends. It was an honor and pleasure to get to spend time with Vern.

Leon Steffen

Marilyn and family, please accept our heartfelt sympathy in the loss of Vern. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time!

Jim and Joani Arens

Maryilyn and family, may you find solace in all the fond memories that you and your family have.

Beverly Freng

Marilyn and Family. In this time of sorrow and heart break, may you find smiles and laughter from all the stories told by friends and family about Vern. Use this time with family and friends to comfort and reminisce, as life tends to fly by so quickly. May peace be with all of you, my peace I give you.

Dave and Gerri Lynn Pillar

Prayers to Cindy and Mike, and all of your family. We will keep you in our thoughts.

Joe & Kelly Sparks

Marilyn and family, my thoughts and prayers during this time. I always enjoyed talking with Vern through the beer business and visiting you both about ponds.

Phyllis Schwandt

Prayers to Mike and Tami, and your whole family. Wonderful memories of Budweiser stickers and seeing the evergreen tree on 21st St. decorated with hundreds of lights at Christmas time. You are all in our thoughts and prayers ... cherish the memories. He was a very special man!

Jodi, Brad and Nathan List

Marilyn and family I am so sadden about the loss of your love one . I worked with vern on the beer route in the middle 60s and loved working with him . he was very fun to work with and always had a grear addituide. I always thought about him much after I left . will always remember him well bless you all and god be with you always

tom anderson

Marilyn & family, thoughts & prayers are with you. Cherish all the memories.

Wayne & Vickie Helland

Mike, We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with your family.

Tammy (Hill) & Dennis Kokesh

Prayers to Marilyn and the entire Loecker family. This is a beautifully written obituary.

Gwen Gevens

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Vern & John spent a lot of times with boats and blinds and a lot of bull. Many great memories. God Bless you All.

Patty (Bruce) Vavra & Jim Vavra

Cheryl, Craig and family

So sorry to hear of the loss of your father. I know a piece of your heart goes with them , especially to those like you who can share such a wonderful tribute about him and his life. I pray that all the great memories help carry you through and bring peace.

Rhonda Gingerich

Worked along side Vern for years. Whether a bar, ballfield or supermarket always fun when Vern was around. Brotherhood of venders, the world lost a good man. Godspeed

Rick Stahlecker

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