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Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home

211 West Ave B, Copperas Cove, TX

OBITUARY

Vern James McIlwain

February 17, 1952December 19, 2019
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Vern James McIlwain, Born on February 17th 1952 in Hartford CT, passed away at 67 years of age on December 19th 2019 in Copperas Cove TX . Vern was a hometown hero whose youthful adventures quickly became the stuff of legends and who lived his life with an emphasis on truly living. A staunch individualist who took pride in being "Abby Normal". He liked what he liked, believed what he believed, and refused to be swayed by trends or other's opinions. He was unstoppable at Music Trivia, played guitar badly but joyously, and loved an eclectic mix of Rock and Roll from all eras, Tall and handsome. Strong willed and often too smart for his own good. An avid motorcyclist and the kind of father, husband, and friend you could always depend on to set you straight when you were wrong, help you back up when you fell, and somehow still get you to smile no matter how dire the situation. He was a Veteran who spent 22 years in the Army serving his country before finally retiring. A man who believed in solving problems rather than wallowing in helplessness, he then spent over a decade "saving the environment" as an environmental technician. His refusal to conform to the status quo carried into fatherhood. Whether it was making his kids learn how to Time Warp, persistently encouraging his daughters to form an all girl rock band despite a marked lack of talent, or announcing his arrival for an unscheduled visit at 2 am by blasting "Hey Mickey" through the house at full volume until someone came out to greet him... he was always the coolest Dad on the block.

Vern was a larger than life force of nature that refused to let age or failing health tame him, and his absence will forever echo in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him.

He is survived by sisters Alice Coleman, Jaqueline McIlwain, Vadona Cunningham, Veronica Stankiewicz, and Vicki-Jo Lucky; Brother Vadon McIlwain; Sally McIlwain and their daughters Virginia Sabala, Vanessa Yantiz, and Victoria Simmons; and grandchildren Ronald Simmons, Connor Sabala, Denise Simmons, Miracle Yantiz, and Korbin Yantiz.

He will be watching from heaven with his parents Vadon and Catherine Mcilwain; brother Vana Mcilwain, sister Vanda Mcilwain, and son Vern James Mcilwain II.

Services will be held on January 10th, 2020 at 3:00pm at: Central Texas Veteran's Cemetery 11493 State Hwy 195 Killeen, TX 76542.

Services

  • Internment Service with Military Honor Friday, January 10, 2020

Memories

Vern James McIlwain

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Nancy McIlwain

January 10, 2020

I didn't know Vern very well but I do know his brother, Vana, loved him very much and was always excited to see or hear from him. Now, they can be together for eternity.

Paul Kilchenstein

January 9, 2020

My name is Paul Kilchenstein and I worked with Vern for many years when he was with Retec, the environmental consulting firm. Our work required us to spend quite a bit of time on the road and we worked in more States than I can remember. Often we would work from sunrise to sunset and I found Vern to be a hard working individual who could always just "roll" with whatever unexpected events the project would throw at us. We both shared a love of music and as previously mentioned, he was a walking musical encyclopedia. He was a man I had tremendous respect for and I always could depend on him to be there regardless of the circumstances. I will truly miss him.

Steven Ekstrom

January 8, 2020

Vern was a great guy! He took me under his wing and invited me to live in his home when I was a young private in the United States Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in 1978. He cared for me, and about me. He encouraged me when I wasn't being the best I could be, and taught me how to be a better soldier and a better person. We were M60 tankers and he taught me a lot about M60 tanking. I cherish the memories I have living with Vern and his wife Sally: being rudely awoken at 3 am by the Kinks singing "Jack, Jack the Idiot Dunce" as loud as the stereo would go; grilling whatever he could get on the grill; and learning about the history of just about every group that ever played rock and roll. I was there at the Fort Polk Hospital when their first daughter Virginia Julia was born on December 7, 1978. Vern was so happy, and so proud. He was a good man and a good father. We lost touch over the years, but he was always in my heart. I love you Vern, thanks for loving me.

Veronica Stankiewicz

January 7, 2020

The Boys

Veronica Stankiewicz

January 7, 2020

Our Brother

Veronica Stankiewicz

January 7, 2020

The Nine

Cassandra Coleman

December 25, 2019

R.I P. Uncle Vern, I will miss you, our time together when you came home was great, loved spending time with you, going out, talking and laughing. I love you and you'll always be in my heart Ride hard sing and Fly high with Angel's in Peace
Your niece Cassandra Coleman

Cassandra Coleman

December 25, 2019

I will love and miss you always Uncle Vern, you've always made me laugh, hanging with you when you came home was a great time I will miss. I'll see you again until then sing, ride and fly in peace
Your niece Cassandra

Vanessa Yantis

December 25, 2019

My dad with the kids

Jacqueline McIlwain

December 24, 2019

Vern had to be the best brother on the planet. He was fun, funny, loving, kind, and always there when needed. I shall think of him everyday for the remainder of my life and I look forward to the day when we are joined again.

Buck shot.........I love you

Jackie

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Biography

Vern James McIlwain, Born on February 17th 1952 in Hartford CT, passed away at 67 years of age on December 19th 2019 in Copperas Cove TX .
Vern was a hometown hero whose youthful adventures quickly became the stuff of legends and who lived his life with an emphasis on truly living.
A staunch individualist who took pride in being "Abby Normal". He liked what he liked, believed what he believed, and refused to be swayed by trends or other's opinions. He was unstoppable at Music Trivia, played guitar badly but joyously, and loved an eclectic mix of Rock and Roll from all eras,
Tall and handsome. Strong willed and often too smart for his own good. An avid motorcyclist and the kind of father, husband, and friend you could always depend on to set you straight when you were wrong, help you back up when you fell, and somehow still get you to smile no matter how dire the situation.
He was a Veteran who spent 22 years in the Army serving his country before finally retiring. A man who believed in solving problems rather than wallowing in helplessness, he then spent over a decade "saving the environment" as an environmental technician.
His refusal to conform to the status quo carried into fatherhood. Whether it was making his kids learn how to Time Warp, persistently encouraging his daughters to form an all girl rock band despite a marked lack of talent, or announcing his arrival for an unscheduled visit at 2 am by blasting "Hey Mickey" through the house at full volume until someone came out to greet him... he was always the coolest Dad on the block.

Vern was a larger than life force of nature that refused to let age or failing health tame him, and his absence will forever echo in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him.

He is survived by sisters Alice Coleman, Jaqueline McIlwain, Vadona Cunningham, Veronica Stankiewicz, and Vicki-Jo Lucky; Brother Vadon McIlwain; Sally McIlwain and their daughters Virginia Sabala, Vanessa Yantiz, and Victoria Simmons; and grandchildren Ronald Simmons, Connor Sabala, Denise Simmons, Miracle Yantiz, and Korbin Yantiz.

He will be watching from heaven with his parents Vadon and Catherine Mcilwain; brother Vana Mcilwain, sister Vanda Mcilwain, and son Vern James Mcilwain II.

Services will be held on January 10th, 2020 at 3:00pm at:
Central Texas Veteran's Cemetery
11493 State Hwy 195
Killeen, TX 76542.