Vernon Milton Gantt Jr.

April 24, 1942March 21, 2020

*Due to the present community gathering restrictions, both funeral home and church staff are adhering to local government directives surrounding Covid-19. As such, the funeral services will be limited to close family and a small number of others, not to exceed 50.

Vernon Milton Gantt Jr., age 77, passed away on Saturday, March 21, 2020 working on the home he built in Raleigh, NC.

Born in Washington, DC on April 24, 1942, Vernon grew up in Miami, FL and Charlotte, NC. He was a chess champion and wrestler in high school and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He also earned several Master-level licenses: Builder, Plumber, Electrician, HVAC and General Contractor.

Vernon was a Marine Corps Veteran of the Vietnam War, having served from 1962 to 1964. He spent several months in “spy school” as he called it, learning Russian, how to send and receive coded messages as well as how to pinpoint their origins.

In 1962, he met the love of his life, Penelope Garn, at a Golden Green ball (a church dance) in Miami, Florida. They lived together almost inseparable for almost 55 years after having been married on July 12, 1965 in the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although they spent most of their married life in NC, the Gantts also lived in Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Vernon was an entrepreneur. In his lifetime, he owned a variety of business including a soda shop, a plumbing and heating supply store, a car dealership (Vern’s Vans & Trucks), a warehouse grocery store (long before there was Costco and Sam’s Club), a home moving business and a home remodeling business. He was also a health supplement distributor and a salesman (insurance, art lessons and lift chairs), an accountant, a cryptocurrency miner, hosted an AM radio show on home repair (Ask an Expert), built homes, drove an 18-wheeler truck and taught trades at community college but he primarily worked as a plumbing, heating and air conditioning, electrical and solar contractor. He was an early adopter of alternative power, having started working on solar in 1976. Vernon loved to learn and was a true master of many trades.

Vernon also loved antiques and history, which led to his collection of flow blue dishware. He also collected and restored music boxes and served as the President of the Music Box Association of America until his passing. He also loved telling stories and jokes and listening to audio books in the car while exploring the United States with his wife.

He was a hard worker and did whatever it took to support himself and his family. A dedicated father to eight children, Vernon even delivered one of his children on his own in their home. He was a strong patriarch of his family, a good friend to all and a man who would give his shirt to a stranger in need. He was a good father who did the best he could to teach and guide them. He loved the gospel of Jesus Christ and served in many roles in the Church, including in a branch presidency in Monroe, NC, in the Raleigh NC Temple and recently completed a service mission with Penelope for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Bishops Storehouse in Greensboro, NC.

He is reuniting in heaven with his son, Christopher Daniel Gantt, who died at age 16, and his parents, Vernon Milton Gantt Sr. and Irene Cofflin, and his sister, Barbara Lezette.

Vernon is survived by a loving wife, Penelope Louisa Gantt of Miami, FL; children and their spouses, Vernon III (Triver) and Aimee Gantt of Cape Coral, FL, Charlotte and Tim Johnson of Sanford, NC, Jason and Angela Gantt of Wake Forest, NC, Jennifer and Steven Absher of Youngsville, NC, Veronica and Bryan Kirby of Eagle Mountain, UT, Julia and Chris Deaver of Gilroy, CA and Penelope and Brian Ellerson of Leland, NC; his sisters, Carolyn Buchan of Charlotte, NC, Susan Thomas of Fayetteville, NC, Mindy Bass of Charlotte, NC and Patricia Hadden-Muden of Newington, CT; 24 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren (and two more on the way), a host of nieces, nephews and other beloved extended relatives, friends and family, including all of his employees.

A viewing and funeral will be held on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 5060 Six Forks Rd. in Raleigh. The viewing is from 12-2 pm. The funeral will begin at 2 pm.


  • Visitation Tuesday, March 24, 2020
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Vernon Milton Gantt Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeanne and David Smoot

March 24, 2020

Sincere condolences to Penny and the family. We remember them from years ago when Vernon worked on various housing projects. He was a good man; in fact, I remember one of the local television stations featuring him once. I don't remember the exact circumstances but it was something about an appliance or a system not needing any service whatsoever, and Vernon was the only one NOT to say some work was needed. He was featured for his honesty. May he rest in peace with the loved ones who have gone before him, especially his parents and his son.

Jeanne and David Smoot
Wake Forest, NC

Brenda Gantt Way

March 24, 2020

BLESSINGS & PRAYERS to Carolyn Susan & Mindy for the loss of their brother Vernon--
I remember when we were kids running around the yard at Aunt Lilly's at our Gantt reunions---
A Very Special BLESSINGS to Penny & her Family--

Susan Thomas

March 23, 2020

Vernon was my only brother. This is such a shock to his whole family and to those that knew him. He was the picture of good health. He was a very hard worker and full of life, and loved to make you laugh. He loved his family and the Lord. He will be dearly missed. Much love brother, until we meet at Jesus feet.

Terry Moore

March 23, 2020

I know what a good husband to Penny and father he was. He was a hard worker and could do anything. He built at least one mansion. And he was smart. I remember sitting with Vernon and Penny as he told stories of his childhood and Vietnam. We would laugh so hard. I am sorry he was called home so early and he and Penny will miss each other for awhile and then be reunited for eternity. I will be here for you Penny.