Vernon Auer

Monday, January 7, 2008

Vernon A. Auer, 90, of Cape Girardeau died Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau.

He was born June 13, 1917, at Prairie du Rocher, Ill., son of John N. and Olive Rauch Auer. He and Charlotte L. Walther were married Sept. 21, 1940. She died March 22, 2006.

Auer attended Charminade High School in St. Louis. He was vice president of Walther's Furniture Co. Before service with the U.S. Air Force in World War II, he was a traveling salesman for the Southeast Missourian. After the war he worked at Dysert Auer photography in Sikeston, Mo. He was a member of St. Mary's Cathedral in Cape Girardeau. Memberships included Knights of Columbus Council 1111, Cape Girardeau Elks, VFW, American Legion, Exchange Club, Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce and St. Mary's Cemetery Association.

Following his marriage to Charlotte, Vernon enlisted into the United States Air Force in 1942. He received pilot's wings in 1944 and flew in the India, Burma and China Theater in 1944 and 1945. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, four air medals and three battle stars. After the war, Vernon was awarded the Chinese Memorial medal, Air Force wings and a certificate signed by General Chen Hsing-Ling, commander in chief of ROCAF, making him a Reserve serving as Commander of the 9671st Air Reserve Squadron at Cape Girardeau and Commander of the 9548th Recovery Squadron at the Malden, Mo., Air Base. Vernon retired from the military in 1972 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In 1952 Vernon was appointed to serve as judge of the Cape Girardeau Police Court. He helped form the Missouri Municipal and Magistrate Judges Association in 1958, of which he is a charter member and served on the first board of directors council. In 1959 Vernon was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to serve on a panel to instruct new judges of the Eastern Missouri area. Vernon retired as a judge Dec. 27, 1982, on which date Mayor Howard Tooke issued a proclamation declaring it "Vernon Auer Day" in appreciation of his outstanding community service for more than 30 years.

Survivors include a son, Andy G. (Gail) Auer of Cape Girardeau; three daughters, Pat Rushin of Jackson, Judy (Bob) Stricker of Cape Girardeau, Mary L. (Jim) Sturm of St. Louis; mother-in-law, Lois Walther of Cape Girardeau; a brother, Bob Auer of St. Louis; a sister-in-law, Emily Weinheimer of Houston; 12 grandchildren, Stephanie (Steve) Jackson of Rolla, Mo., Kim (Mark) Rushin of Jackson, Jeff (Bonnie) Stricker and Jimmy (Jennifer) Auer all of Cape Girardeau, Brian (Kristi) Stricker of Kansas City, Katie and Sarah Stricker and Chrissy (Drew) Hrach all of St. Louis, John (Denean) Auer of Scott City, Tammy Levell of California, Luke Auer of Spokane, Wash., Nick (Jennie) of Peoria, Ill., Jessica Daniel of O'Fallen, Mo.; and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; two sisters, Lucille Bielefeld and Wilma Casey; a brother, Alvin Auer; a son, John Auer; a grandson, Mike Stricker; and a son-in-law, Jack Rushin.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Lorberg Memorial Funeral Chapel. There will be a Knights of Columbus rosary following the 7 p.m. parish prayer.

The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Mary's Cathedral, with the Rev. Thomas Kiefer officiating.

Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.