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Richard Vernelle Nixon

Richard Vernelle Nixon, 102, of Farmer City, passed away peacefully Thursday (Dec. 7, 2017) in Farmer City.

Visitation will be 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City. His funeral will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home with Curt Glawe and Darrell Howard officiating. Burial will follow in McCord Cemetery, Fullerton.

Vernelle was born Dec. 5, 1915, on a family farm in DeWitt County near DeWitt, the son of Thomas Edwin Nixon and Lyda Jane Dawson Nixon. Vernelle was an identical twin to Vernon Nixon. Vernelle attended Swigart country school his first eight years and then Moore Township High School. Vernelle and Vernon attended the University of Illinois with a major in dairy technology. Vernelle took a job as plant manager of a dairy in Savanna. Vernelle met his future bride, Bernie, on a blind date.

Vernelle married Bernie Toepfer on May 3, 1941, in the Savanna Methodist Church, and they enjoyed 73 years together. They started homekeeping in Danville, with Vernelle working in milk plants, in Danville, Decatur and Berwyn. In 1942, they moved to the Nixon family farm where he farmed for more than 30 years with Bernie; his brother, Vernon, and his wife, Mildred.

Survivors include his three children, Connie (Tom), Farmer City; Bob (Joyce) Nixon, Albert Lea, Minn.; and Kay (Gary) Turner, White Heath; six grandchildren, Curt (Rhonda) Ellis, Kristi (Brent) Jayne, Tempest (Brad) Arends, Heidi (Rod) Brandt, Toni (Matt) Dalton and Tasha (Jeremy) Lane; and 16 great-grandchildren, Tyler (Amy), Taylor, Lauren and Lexi Ellis; Cory and Aaron Jayne; Amanda, Abigail and Emily Arends; Cody, Zachary and Joseph Brandt; Alexandra and Raegan Dalton; and Elena and Raymond Wachob.

Vernelle was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Bernie; and his brother.

Vernelle was baptized and joined the Fullerton Cumberland Presbyterian Church on March 25, 1951. He was very dedicated in his faith.

After retiring in 1979, they took up residence in Farmer City, with winters spent in Lakeland, Fla., enjoying friends and playing bridge and shuffleboard; golfing; playing cards, particularly pitch and ponce; along with enjoying the weather.

Vernelle was a warm, kind, fun-loving dad, grandad and great-grandad and friend.

The family would like to express their appreciation for the care received from Dr. David Webb and all of the other wonderful caregivers with their gentle kindness and love shown to Vernelle.

We will miss you but know that our loss is your eternal gain.

Memorials may be made to Fullerton Cumberland Presbyterian Church or other charities of choice.

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