Vernon Edward Black, 72, completed his earthly journey and reined victory over all on February 24, 2020. He was at his home in the country with his wife by his side, surrounded by his family.
He was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 22, 1947, to David E. Black and Faye C. (Morlan) Black. Growing up in Herington, Kansas, he was known as “Eddie.” The end of his junior year of high school the family moved to Topeka, Kansas. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1965. Following graduation, Vernon proudly served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. England serving two tours in Vietnam. Vernon especially enjoyed the U.S. Naval Seabees where he earned several letters of commendation as well as the Expert Rifle Marksmanship Medal.
On Valentine’s Day in 1970, Vernon married the love of his life, Janice Kay Lyda, in Topeka. In their 50 years of marriage, Vernon and Janice had four children, which they raised in Carbondale, Kansas. Vernon was a worker and typically held several jobs at one time to provide for his family. He was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 101 and worked most of his life as a heavy equipment operator. He owned and operated Vern Black Excavating in Carbondale, and Black Trucking as a U.S. Mail Contractor. But the job he loved the most was helping his son, Tanner, with his business, Black Excavating.
Preceding Vernon in death are both of his parents; his father-in-law, Billy D. Lyda of Topeka, his mother-in-law, Mildred T. “Mickey” Lyda, of Carbondale, a sister, Sylvia “Jeanne” Jaekley, of Topeka, and a brother-in-law, Robert E. Owens of Gardner, Kansas. Survivors left with aching hearts but wonderful memories are his wife — whom he adoringly called “Sweetheart” — Janice; four children: Angela Black (Buck Short), Tanner (Katy) Black, Lacy (Bryan) Smith, and Tanya (Shawn) Brown; 11 grandchildren to which he was lovingly known as “Papa”: Sam Blanchett, Willie Rhoades, Brody Smith, Max Black, Cody Black, Hally Smith, Presly Smith, Parker Rhoades, Brooklyn Brown, Reese Black, and Bryson Brown; two bonus grandkids: Savannah and Emileigh Short; a sister, Norma F. Owens, of Carbondale; his brother-in-law and best friend, Richard A. Lyda (Jean), of Scranton, Kansas; two pain-in-the-butt dogs, Macy, aka “Rat Dog”, and Mater, and one worthless “Crazy Cat”.
In his younger years, Vernon enjoyed working on race cars, riding and racing motorcycles, drinking beer, and especially hunting & fishing. Vern loved the outdoors and everything about it! He passed that love on to his kids and taught them how to fish, how to shoot, how to enjoy boating and water ski, how to have fun and how to work—but mostly how to be good people. Vernon was such a worker, often making work out of hobbies and fun stuff! Vernon was a “shade tree” mechanic, handyman and “rigger from way back!” He could fix about anything with a handful of tools, a toggle switch and duct tape! He enjoyed everything about family whether it be coaching his kids sports, shooting skeet, boating or shop partying, where he was always the best dancer! What he loved most was just being with his family – no matter what they were doing. He was a loyal supporter and fierce protector of his family, and he was incredibly ornery. Vernon—“Black Boy” to Janice—will be missed beyond measure. But his legacy will live on through his family, and we all will cherish the time we got to have with him before he went to Heaven.
“Black Boy” is so loved and was a one-of-a-kind, very unique, unbelievably TOUGH man!!!
Vernon was cremated and requested a private, family celebration of life. For those wanting to honor Vernon’s memory, contributions can be made to any of the following places:
Wounded War Heroes at http://veteran-outdoors.com/make-a-donation
Hope Lodge, Kansas City (American Cancer Society) checks may be sent to:
Hope Lodge, Kansas City, 1120 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64105
or to pay by card www.cancer.org/hopelodgekansascity
The family would like to express gratitude to Dr. David Einspahr for 10 years of caring at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center along with Christina and the other special people in the treatment center; Dr. Brandy Ficek, Lindsay, and the staff at Cotton O’Neil Palliative Care; Shade’ Downs and Interim Healthcare Hospice; and Terry of Midwest Cremation Society, Inc. for their empathy and compassion throughout this long journey and helping us with end of life care.