Vernon was born March 29, 1920, in Old Truxton, the fifth child for Gustave H. and Ada C. Bahr Sievert. He and June F. Hawkins married in Merced, Calif., April 6, 1944. After the passing of June in 1999, Vernon married Marjean Miller in 2000.
Vernon loved to travel, read, enjoyed old Western movie classics, visited with family and friends, and watched his cattle graze and play in a field of deep grass. He was kind, generous and was pleased to be involved in setting up Missouri’s state budget office on computers, working with the Missouri Department of Conservation as fiscal director, the university cashier for University of Missouri and their supervisor of Veterans’ Service Office — joint title — immediately after graduation in 1948, with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. His only child, Margery June, was born soon after in 1949. Before enlisting in the U.S. armed services in 1942, he was employed as an aircraft sheet metal specialist at Glenn Martin Aircraft Co. in Baltimore, Md., and McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. Baltimore holds lots of great music memories because the big bands played in Baltimore, and Vern spent a lot of free time dancing. His favorite memories at McDonnell involved the management there: Mr. McDonnell walked around the floor visiting with his employees.
After leaving MU, he was employed by General Motors and Westinghouse Electric, both in Kansas City, as a systems and procedure specialist. His first management training was through GM, and this opened a new career direction. In 1957, Vernon was invited to serve on the first professional budget staff that Missouri has had since the early 1920s, with the Missouri State Division of Budget and Comptroller as a system analyst under Gov. James T. Blair. He then moved to the Missouri Department of Conservation, where he spent 20 years of his career as internal auditor and fiscal director, retiring in 1981.
Vernon was a member of Ashland Baptist Church since 1958. He was a lifetime member of the Ashland Masonic Lodge, a Scottish Rites Mason, a York Rites Mason and a Shriner. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 152 and a recent member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mountain View Post.
Vernon was active in several professional and civic organization and was past president of the Conservation Business Management Association, the Association of Government Accounts, and the Administrative Management Society — an international organization — from which he received the prestigious Diamond Merit Award for outstanding service. He also served on the Heart of America’s Girl Scout Council Finance Committee and was a past project adviser of the Ashland 4-H Club. He was listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest and was voted “Boss of the Year” by ABWA (American Business Women’s Association) in 1970. Vernon served in the 8th Air Force during World War II as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber, nicknamed Lil’ Audrey. He was awarded an Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and three Bronze Star medals.
Vernon was given his three Bronze Stars in August 2012 by VFW presenters “for courage, coolness, and skill” in bombing attacks over Germany (quote from Columbia Missourian. May 5, 1945)
Survivors include his wife, Marjean Miller Sievert; daughter, Margery Detring; grandchildren, John and Erika; great-grandchildren, Brennan, Kylie, and Eli; two sisters, Ruth Colvin Laney and Jane Young Belk; and a brother, G. Gale Sievert.
Preceding him in death were his wife, June Hawkins Sievert; and three brothers and two sisters, Arnold, Vera, Pauline, Zolen, and David.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks to make donations to Hospice Compassus, the Ashland Baptist Church or Wounded Warriors Project. Arrangements are under the direction of Robinson Funeral Home.