Vernon was born the fifth of eight children and first twin of Merritt Walter Locke and Effie Victoria (Farmer, Burley) Locke. He was raised and went to school around the Belt area.
He was drafted while in high school in June 1943, served as an "Ack Ack" man shooting down V1's over the White Cliffs of Dover and in the Battle of the Bulge.
When he came home he finished his high school with his younger brothers and went on to college at Northern, in Havre where he met and eventually married Lois Opal Welte, December 26, 1948 in Havre.
He moved to Billings and graduated from Rocky in 1950 with a teaching degree in Industrial Arts. His first job was teaching at Garfield Junior High. He got his Masters at Greeley, Colorado, during the summers, then when Riverside Junior High was built in 1963 he taught there until he retired. He was in charge of the Parks and Recreation Department for a few years, and Boy Scout Master for Troop 4 for a long time.
He loved gardening, hunting, fishing and teaching. He wore many hats, had many jobs, and knew many people.
He had a lot of medical problems toward the end of his life but his goal was to make it to a hundred.
His marriage lasted almost 70 years, his five children, Gary, Dean, Rodney, Keith and Rita, all survived him as well as his loving, faithful wife Lois. His parents and all of his siblings have gone before him. He will be missed by many.
He was a member and deacon at the First Presbyterian church then in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The visitations will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 13 at the Smith West Chapel, 304 34th Street West. The services will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 13 at the chapel with interment to follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
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