CHINOOK Vernon Gale Elkins, 86, died Thursday, April 5, 2007, of natural causes at Northern Montana Hospital.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home in Chinook with Pastor Mike Bradley officiating. Cremation has taken place. Vernon was born Oct. 4, 1920, to George D. and Lillian (Ketchum) Elkins in Mount Vernon, Wash., and attended school in the area. He graduated from high school in 1939. In 1942, he enlisted in the Navy, served honorably for 21 years and retired in 1963. While in the Navy, he served in the South Pacific on several different ships. He also served during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Vernon married Lucy Prescott April 1, 1953, in Honolulu, Hawaii. They had seven children. Lucy died in December 2000. He then married Nancy Elliott on April 13, 2003. While serving in the Navy, Vernon was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, American Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, African- Middle-Eastern Area Campaign Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and five Good Conduct Medals. At the time of his retirement, Vernon had advanced to the rank of store keeper First Class, SK1. He served aboard the USS Mount Vernon, USS Pyro, USS Rail, USS Prometheus, USS Bowie, USS Sperry, USS Greenley and the USS Chowanoc. He also served at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, Advanced Naval Base, Tulagi, S.I., Naval Base San Francisco, SCTC Terminal Island, Calif., and the TADCEN Shoemaker, Calif. Vernon was the most forgiving person and one truly without malice or guile. He was a true friend to all he met. He loved life and his family. He had wanted to pass on information about his family to his children but passed away before this could be accomplished. Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, and wife, Lucy P. Elkins. Survivors include his children, Ron (Karen) Elkins of Okanagan, Wash., Vernon G. Elkins Jr. Of Everett, Wash., Keoki (Elaine) Elkins of Lake Stevens, Wash., Haunani Ryan of Okanagan, Wash., Andres Elkins of Washington, Lance Elkins of Everett, Wash., and Scott (Cathy) Elkins of Mountlake Terrace, Wash.; brother, Daniel (Pam) Elkins of East Wanatchee, Wash.; sister, Laura (Harold) Kortleber of Blaine, Wash.; 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Services are under the direction of Edward’s Funeral Home in Chinook.