Vern Wayne Ballenger
September 29, 1924 – November 12, 2020
Vern Wayne Ballenger passed away on November 12, 2020, he was 96.
Born on September 12, 1924 to Richard L. and Linnie Ballenger. He was raised in Harlem by the downtown airport with his older brother Bob. He developed a passion for airplanes and flying at an early age, eventually earning his pilot’s license. He graduated from North Kansas City high school in 1942. During World War II he was an aircraft mechanic with the 13th Air Depot group in the SW Pacific. He married Doris Dougherty in 1948, they had two sons, Wayne and Donald. He graduated from KU in 1950 with a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He went on to work with the air transportation association, TWA and other aviation related organizations.
He was an avid outdoorsman, traveler, educator and was always ready to share a great story and some bourbon. As a financial benefactor to KU, his legacy will continue for future generations.
Vern was preceded in death by his wife, Doris; son, Wayne; and brother Bob. He is survived by his son, Donald of Rockport, Texas.
A great friend and mentor to many, he will be truly missed.