Vernon Lee Waldren, age 68, passed away on January 7, 2022, at his home in Papillion, Nebraska, after battling cancer for several years.
Vernon was born February 6, 1953, in Tribune, Kansas, the son of Buford Nelson Waldren and Mildred Opal Jones Waldren. He was raised in Greeley County, mostly on the farm with his father, mother, and younger brother, Deryl. He was involved in 4-H from a young age and active in his school's academic and sport programs. Vernon was class valedictorian from Greeley County High School in 1971.
Vernon graduated from Kansas State University with BS and MS degrees in agricultural economics in 1975 and 1976, respectively. Upon graduation, he moved to the Omaha, Nebraska-area and began a long career with the University of Nebraska Extension in Douglas and Sarpy counties, 1976-2013.
Vernon had a strong passion for 4-H and served it well in multiple ways throughout his life. Vernon loved being president of NAE4-HA in 2000-2001. Another highlight was serving as co-chair when Nebraska hosted the 2011 NAE4-HA Conference in Omaha. Vernon also treasured the many life-long friendships he made with his 4-H colleagues while serving on the NAE-4HYDP Board several times in various positions.
Vernon was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of West Omaha for many years serving on the board in multiple offices and capacities. He was a member of Calvary Christian Church of Bellevue, Nebraska, where he loved teaching and being involved in the lives of those in the church.
Though Vernon was retired and fighting cancer, he kept active participating in several clubs, groups, and boards. He could often be found judging at different county fairs in his continuing commitment to 4-H.
Vernon was a proud father and grandfather (Opa) and loved spending as much time as he could with family. Once the grandchildren came along, there was only joy in his eyes when he was able to talk with and see his grandchildren both near and far.
Vernon is proceeded in death by Buford Waldren (father) and Mildred Waldren (mother).
He leaves to cherish his fond memories: wife, Cheri Waldren of Papillion, NE; children, Jennifer (Bryce) Weber of St. George, UT, Andrew (Jennifer) Waldren of Omaha, NE, Heather Judy of Beaufort, SC, Lacy (Nathan) Eicher of Bellevue, NE; grandchildren Emma, Michael John, Liam, Nathanael, Rowyn, Isabelle, Graeme, Samuel, Orion, Mairen; brother Deryl Waldren of Colby, KS, and a host of cousins, other relatives, and friends.
A Celebration of Life service is to be held at Calvary Christian Church, Bellevue, NE (North Campus) on January 25th at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to consider a donation to a 501(c)3 foundation that Vernon helped create to support 4-H and Extension:
Friends of Extension & 4-H Douglas/Sarpy County Foundation
7101 Mercy Road, Suite 108
Omaha, NE 68106
Contributions may also be given electronically: https://www.friendsofextension.org/donate.html.