Vernon Don Mayer was born to Emil and Hilda (Roth) Mayer in Power County ID on June 8, 1933 and passed away on January 31, 2021, at the Power County Nursing Home. He was a lifelong resident of American Falls.
He met Arlys Kosanke, a teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School, via mutual friends in 1960, and they were married in Bismarck, North Dakota on August 21, 1960. Their first child, son John Edward, was born on July 25,1962, followed by daughter Melanie Sue on April 29,1968. Vernon and Arlys were lovingly married until her death in 2014.
Vernon completed his early education at American Falls Public Schools, graduating from American Falls High School in 1951. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Idaho State College in 1955 and, at the same time, graduated from ROTC training being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He then served active duty with the US Army from September 1955 - August 1957 as a Finance Officer in Fort Lewis WA going on to serve as First Lieutenant Finance Corp in the US Army Reserve until receiving an honorable discharge in 1963.
Upon returning to Idaho in 1958, Vernon began full-time farming with his grandfather John and father, Emil, south of American Falls. During the winters, he worked for a brief time for the Idaho Department of Highways and Pacific Fruit Express. Irrigation came to the farm in 1959 which began a trajectory of increasing productivity that continues to this day. Vernon officially “retired” in 1996 turning sole operation of the farm to his son, John. Since farmers never really retire, he continued to work on the farm for several more years. The Mayer Family Farm flourishes today under the skillful care of Koompin Brothers Farms, Adam Permann, and Matt Hornbacher. Vernon often expressed how pleased he was that these men shared the same passion and respect for the land as the generations that preceded him.
Vernon learned piano and organ at a young age and played for Bethany Baptist Church, where he was a member, and at many community services throughout the years. This was just one facet of his service to Bethany Baptist as he was also a Deacon and Elder. In recent years, he attended American Falls Community Church and was an appreciator of the organ and piano duets of Henry Hornbacher and Phyllis Bennett and the teachings of Pastor Rob Holman.
He sang for years with the AF Sharps in American Falls, and always had an appreciation for classical music. Aside from a farmer's keen interest in the weather, he was devoted to keeping informed of news and current events. He appreciated good food, particularly desserts; delighted in games ranging from pool and ping pong to pinochle and cribbage; and enjoyed traveling when able, especially when it was to visit family.
Surviving family includes his children, John (Pam) Mayer of Colorado Springs, CO and Melanie Sprague of Seattle, WA; his grandchildren, Madison Mayer (Glenn Proudfoot) of Phoenix, AZ, and Nicholas (Hannah) Mayer of Columbia, TN, his great-granddaughter Arya Cox, his sister Marlene Woodworth of American Falls, ID and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife, Arlys.
Vernon is consistently remembered by those who knew him as being a man of great faith, kind, fair, honest, well-mannered, steadfast and as someone who wanted to be sure those around him were taken care of. He had a wholehearted and contagious laugh. He will be deeply missed.
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