March 22, 1934 – Nov. 5, 2019
Vernon J. Easterling passed away on Nov. 5, 2019, at Lane House in Crawfordsville.
He was born in Blairs Mills, Ky., on March 22, 1934, to Edith [Cox] and Jesse Kermit Easterling.
The family later moved to Michigan, and Mr. Easterling attended Wyandotte High School, where he met Barbara Haynes. They married in 1956, the same year he received his B.A. from Eastern Michigan University. He later earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Wayne State University, where he was also a research fellow.
In 1962, Mr. Easterling accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Physics at Wabash College. Promoted to Associate Professor in 1969, he earned the rank of Full Professor in 1983 and remained on the Wabash College faculty until his retirement in 2001. He taught many subjects, including astronomy, which became both an academic specialty and an abiding personal passion. In retirement, he continued to assist with a music course, teaching about acoustics and helping students construct musical instruments.
He was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he served in numerous roles, including Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Lay Eucharistic Minister, and Pledge Secretary. He was closely connected to the Episcopal church camp, Waycross, for which he served on the board and as Camp Director one summer. He also was co-sponsor of the Wabash ‘shOUT Club and a member of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County and Kiwanis.
An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Easterling loved tennis, biking, camping and hiking in State and National Parks all around the country, and competing as a member of numerous faculty intramural teams, most especially softball. He passed on his love and appreciation for science, nature, and athletics – particularly tennis – to both his children and his grandchildren. He was also a handyman, seemingly always busy with home improvement projects of one sort or another, and often enlisting his grandchildren as assistants.
Mr. Easterling had been a resident at Lane House for 5 years, where he and his family loved and appreciated the care and support of the Lane House staff. His kindness, patience, and ever-present humor will be missed by all who knew him
Survivors include his wife, Barb; children Doug and wife Lucinda Brogden, Mark and wife Marilyn, Ken and husband Diego Cardenas, and Susan Albrecht and husband Brian; grandchildren Jason Easterling and wife Stacy; grandchildren Kristen Albrecht and Jackson Albrecht; great-grandchildren Ashlyn, Sean, and Richard Easterling; and siblings Jean Brunell, Virgie Williams, Keith Easterling, and Steven Smith.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings, Joy Rose and Kermit Easterling.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Crawfordsville. There will not be a visitation, but all are welcome to stay for a reception in Whitlock Hall after the service.
Memorial donations may be made to St. John’s or Wabash College.