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LaVerne “Whip” Andrew Wilson

Birth Date: January 22, 1932
Death Date: August 5, 2017

DECATUR—LaVerne “Whip” Andrew Wilson 85, of Decatur, passed away August 5, 2017, in Kansas City Hospice.
Vern was born January 22, 1932, in Joliet, IL. He is the son of Luella Hilburn and Andrew Wilson.
He was a veteran of the Army, serving during the Korean conflict as Mess Sergeant.
Vern was a career Caterpillar Inc. employee, he began his career in Joliet and moved to Decatur when the new Caterpillar plant opened 1955, encompassing 37 years of his adult life. Vern served as part of plant management and was supervisor for a number of years.
Vern enjoyed golfing, working with leather, woodworking, and being around friends and family. He loved food, especially sweets. He spent most of his retirement between Decatur, IL and St. Augustine FL, in their residence near the beach.
Vern is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marie Celene Wilson, his two daughters, Cindi (John) Peterson of Eugene, OR, and Debbie (Mike) Fitzpatrick of Calico Rock, AR and son Jay (Karen) Wilson, of Lee’s Summit, MO and grandchildren Mason Campbell, Kirsten Johnston, Andrew Wilson, Samuel Wilson and Katelynn Bricker.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Mildred Doloris Wilson.
Funeral Services to celebrate the life of LaVerne Wilson will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at the Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday before the service at the funeral home. Burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery.
The family of LaVerne Wilson is being served by Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, 2091 N. Oakland Ave. Decatur, IL. Please view the online obituary, send condolences, and share memories at

Funeral Service
August 8, 2017
1:00 pm
Graceland / Fairlawn Funeral Home
2091 N. Oakland Avenue Decatur, IL 62526
Get Directions
August 8, 2017
11:00 am
- 1:00 pm
Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home
2091 N. Oakland Ave. Decatur, IL 62526
Get Directions
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  1. Mr. Wilson (Vern), was my first and favorite baseball coach from the time I was age 7 through age 9. Jay and I played for the Indians (Northwest Baseball league…home field was Boiling Springs). I remember Vern to have a stong presence who was still able to demonstrate patience and kindness to his little leaguers. I have nothing but fond memories of playing for him and with Jay (you were a great teammate…plenty talented… who always had such a positive attitude). ). It was a time when baseball was everything to me and Coach Wilson kept it fun. It was such a pleasure to visit with you Jay and your sister Cindi. I am sorry for your loss.

  2. So sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. My thoughts and prayers to Jay, Cindi and Debbie and to Celene and all your families. A life well lived I am sure.

    Carol Waddell

  3. Sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. I always thought highly of him, although he could be very intimidating to a 100 pound high school freshman! John G.

  4. Vern was my general foreman boss when I was a supervisor on the tractor assembly line way back in the early 1970s. He was always a great guy to work with and I respected him highly. Away from the plant he was also a great guy. Vern will be missed. My sincere condolences to the family.

    Paul Meredith

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