Vernon Lunn, a lifelong Nazarene layman and General Board member for 24 years, passed away August 8. He was 93.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, he was one of seven children born to Mervel and Alma Lunn. Vernon attended Westport High School in Kansas City and Pasadena Nazarene College (now Point Loma Nazarene University). His studies were interrupted by World War II, where he served as a first sergeant in the Army Air Force Engineers, a branch of the Air Force responsible for building runways. He received a Battle Star in the Okinawa Invasion.
After the war, he returned to Kansas City and worked for 16 years as merchandise manager for the Sears Mail Order Plant in Kansas City. In 1965 he moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he joined a new company, Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Company. Entering the company in the sales division, he soon joined the management team and eventually became senior vice president. When he retired in 1988, he had served the company for 22 years. At his retirement dinner, an employee said, "Well, we won’t be losing the head of the company, but we sure will be losing the heart!”
Vernon followed in the footsteps of his father, Mervel, who directed the Church of the Nazarene's Pensions and Benevolence department from 1940 to 1956, by serving on the department's board. Between 1960 and 1989, Vernon served for 24 years on the Church of the Nazarene's General Board as a member of the Finance or Pensions and Benevolence committees. He also directed Indianapolis Project '93, the first service project held before the denomination's General Assembly and Conventions, and led the International Layman's Retreat for 16 years.
Vernon later returned to Kansas City and has lived in Olathe for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, daughters Sharon Clair (Bill) and Susan Denham (Bob), and son, Kevin. He has five grandchildren: Aubrey Parker (Taylor), Ashley Clair, Crystal Campbell, Carter Clem, and Meg Lunn.
A memorial celebration will be held at 6 p.m. August 22 at College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe. Visitation with the family will be from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. with further visitation with the family and reception in the fellowship hall from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kansas City Rescue Mission, 1520 Cherry St., Kansas City, MO 64108, or the College Church of the Nazarene Benevolent Fund, 2020 E. Sheridan St., Olathe, KS 66062.