Vern Gillespie Ornbaun (1931-2017)

Vern Gillespie Ornbaun, Jr. passed away February 14, 2017 in Woodland, CA.  He was born in Woodland, September 28, 1931, to Verney (Sr.) & Nellie Marie (Burtis) Ornbaun and was raised in the Grand Island area of Colusa County.

Vern attended Grand Island Elementary in Grimes and Pierce High School in Arbuckle.  Upon graduation from high school Vern attended college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and studied Agriculture.  He later enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp and served in the Korean War.  He was on the front-line when the cease fire took place.  Upon his return to the U.S. as a sergeant he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside.  In 1954 he and Marilyn Kelly were married in Arizona.  When his military service was complete he and Marilyn returned home to Colusa County where Vern immediately began farming.  This was his passion and lifelong endeavor.

Vern was always there to lend a helping hand or any piece of equipment to family and friends.

He took pride in his farm and was known throughout the county to have the cleanest fields, equipment, and shop.  Everyday included a blue work shirt, a hat, glasses, a pocketful of tools and his infamous white Dodge pickup.  And if you were lucky enough to see him you might be handed a bag of cashews or peanuts.  A regular stopping point was Dawley’s where he would get ice cream, his favorite.   When Vern wasn’t working, he was still working, he would pick tomatoes for friends and neighbors.  In his spare-time Vern enjoyed spending time with family and friends at Lake Almanor.  While there he always made sure to feed the wildlife.

Vern is survived by his wife, Marilyn Ornbaun, his son Kelly Ornbaun his wife, Johnna and their children Lindsay & Logan, son Clarke Ornbaun, Mary Ornbaun and their children, Cody, Alison, Colt, & Lauren, and his daughter, Carolee Ornbaun, Don Litchfield, and their children, Ashley Ornbaun, Charlie Litchfield, Jackie Kennedy, and great granddaughter, Abigail Kennedy.

Interment will be later at the Ornbaun Family Cemetery in Mendocino County.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made in Vern’s name to Guide Dogs for the Blind, San Rafael, CA or the Grimes Scout Cabin.

Please join his family for a Celebration of Life from 2PM to 5 PM on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 Rocco’s Banquet Hall located at 538 Main Street, Colusa, CA.   

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