Vernon John Alt 1925–2020 Owatonna—Vernon John 'Vern' Alt, 95, passed peacefully into God's hands on December 8, 2020 at Timberdale Trace Memory Care in Owatonna, MN, with family members beside him tenderly holding his hands. Vern was born on April 19, 1925 in the family farmhouse at Alt Corners, Grant County Wisconsin. He was the oldest child of Clarence and Philomena (Berning) Alt, who farmed outside of Cuba City. Vern loved life on the farm where he drove the local milk and cheese wagon before heading to high school classes. He graduated from Cuba City High School, then joined the US Navy - Amphibious Section in 1943, where he served in many capacities - ROTC, Active Duty during WWII, the Naval Reserve and active duty during the Korean War. During his time in service, Vern was stationed at Portsmouth, Virginia; Guantanamo Bay Cuba & San Diego. He served on an LSMR Rocket ship; and then on a destroyer escort that had been kamakized and later turned into a troop carrier. He was honourably discharged in May 1953 with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Between his 2 active service stints, he attended the University of Minnesota during which he had jobs at the Golden Rule Department Store in St. Paul, and one significant life changing job as a soda jerk behind the lunch counter of the Walgreens Drug Store. Here Vern met Georgine Lang, a nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital St. Paul, who came in daily for her usual cup of coffee and chocolate éclair. Vern took a shine to this young lady, and spent his last $10 from his navy discharge pay to take her out on a date. He often said he chased Georgine all over St. Paul until she finally caught him. They married in 1947 and were happily together for 54 years. Vern graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, and later attended the University of Wisconsin Platteville. He loved being involved in sales. Vern sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door during college; and after college worked for various plumbing and heating firms in Wisconsin, including Stewart-Warner Winkler. He did so well at his Stewart Warner job that on the day his 4th daughter, Amy, was born, the competition, Lennox Industries, called and offered him a job with their national HVAC company. He joined Lennox as a Territory Manager in 1960, living 15 years in Owatonna, and then moving to a lake outside Elysian, MN. He grew his Southern Minnesota territory into the most profitable region in the US year-upon-year, and was proud of his 'Earn with Vern' motto. He loved driving the back roads in his territory and relished exploring southern Minnesota's countryside. He was eventually promoted to a regional marketing manager position; and retired from Lennox in 1990. He and Georgine then spent the winters in McAllen Texas and summers at their beloved lake home until Georgine's death in December 2001. Vern married again in 2003, to Dorothy Richards Klaas, his high school junior prom date. They resided in LaValle, Wisconsin until Dorothy's death in 2011. Vern then moved back to his beloved lake and resided there, and Texas in the winter, for a number of years. As his mobility decreased, he moved into assisted living in Owatonna to be closer to family. Vern loved a good gadget and kept up on the latest technology—cameras, tape recorders VCRs and DVD players—whatever was new probably found its way into his hands. He purchased the first personal computer that ran on a cassette tape; and saw the potential of the first Apple computer in the 1970s, incorporating it into his work life. He ran computer clubs during his retirement because he saw the importance of keeping seniors updated on technology. Vern focused on the positives in life—perhaps that is what made him such a good salesman. He always had a heartfelt greeting and good word to say to everyone he met. His favourite phrases were 'wait to worry' and 'make it a good day for someone'. That was how he lived his life. He was active in church and local organizations: the American Legion, the Elks, the Knights of Columbus and also dedicated many of his retirement years to putting on AARP's Drivers Safety courses. Vern and his wife Georgine were also founding members of Little Theatre of Owatonna. His Christian faith was an essential part of him; he was a devout Catholic who contributed time and energy to the church and made sure his children had a solid Catholic education. Vern was preceded in death by his beloved parents, his two twin brothers Myron and Meldon Alt, and his sister Arella 'Lolly' Sarette; as well as his wife Georgine Lang Alt, daughter Denise and second wife Dorothy Klaas . He is survived by his three daughters Marlene Alt of Minneapolis; Leanne T. Alt and husband Gary Johnson of Owatonna and Amy Emm and husband Derek of Cape Town, South Africa, sister-in-law Patricia Golden of Mankato; as well as nieces and nephews, all of whom have numerous stories of Vern's antics as they were growing up. Memorials are preferred to be sent to daughter Leanne Alt, 1130 North Elm Ave, Owatonna MN, where, according to Vern's wishes, they will be divided among the Catolic Churches he belonged to over the years, and a special project of the Owatonna Knights of Columbus. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, a mass of Christian Burial is planned at a later date in 2021 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church. Elysian, MN.
To plant a tree in memory of Vernon Alt as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.
Success! An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.