Cover photo for Vernon Frederick Colfack, Jr.'s Obituary
Vernon Frederick Colfack, Jr. Profile Photo
1933 Vernon 2024

Vernon Frederick Colfack, Jr.

February 2, 1933 — April 25, 2024

Vernon Frederick Colfack, Jr. (Sonny) passed away on April 25, 2024, in Calvert County Maryland at the age of 91. He passed peacefully in his sleep after a brief illness.

His parents, Vernon Sr. and Nettie, welcomed him to the family on February 2, 1933. At the time they were living in the small family home in Grand Island, Nebraska which had been purchased for one dollar during the depression. Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Elaine, and a brother, Lloyd.

Vernon graduated from high school and enlisted in the United States Air Force in February of 1953.  He had his eye on a young woman (Velma May Metzler) who loved to dance (not one of his fortes). He took the initiative to learn to dance to spirit her away from her usual dance partner. In July of 1953, they began a 70 plus year journey together as husband and wife.

The Air Force allowed them to broaden their horizons beyond the expansive corn fields of Nebraska. Their first child, Catherine Elaine, was born in Massachusetts. Assignments changed and the next two offspring (Eddie Ray and Cheryl Ann) got their start at Fort Dix, New Jersey. From there the family traveled to the Philippines where they got to see what life was like for another culture. The children have many memories from the family’s life abroad. The next leg of the family journey found them settled in Temple Hills, Maryland where their fourth child, Vernon Frederick, III was introduced to the family. After 20 years of proud, dedicated service to God and Country, Vernon retired from the USAF in 1972.

Unable to be idle, Vernon then became joint owner of Uncommon Commodities (a ceramics business) where he became adept at pouring molds and cleaning greenware.  After several years, Vernon aspired to join forces with the Capitol Police. He was successful at passing all the hurdles required in 1977. Wearing badge 83, he served 18 years as a Capitol Police officer. His 18 years spanned the tenure of 5 U.S. Presidents. For several years he was honored to guard the Office of the 50th Speaker of the House of Representatives and on Inauguration Day, he was responsible for seeing that the wives of the President and Vice President made it safely to their assigned places.  He retired in 1995.

For a time after this retirement, the heartstrings tugged and he returned to Nebraska back to the   house where he grew up. He loved reconnecting with family. Many years, grandchildren would show up during the summer to learn what hard work was like by detasseling corn in the unforgiving Nebraska sun. Vernon, not one to slack-off, picked up a couple of jobs: working as facility manager at a retirement home and being a hub driver for the postal service. He ultimately returned to Maryland.

Vernon had several hobbies throughout the years: bowling, watching wrestling, and keeping up with his marksman skills. He collected beer cans, beer steins, hats, model tractors and model cars.  He also enjoyed memberships at the Eagles Club in Nebraska, the Elks Lodge, the VFW, and he was a 50-year member to American Legion Post 259.

He was a proud father of 4, and Pop-Pop to 12 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. He loved to show off the fruits of the family tree and brag about their accomplishments.

He loved dogs, but he probably wouldn’t admit to spoiling them even though he did. There was a loyalty that went both ways.

Vernon managed to always keep busy. He was meticulous in keeping his yard, cars and tools in order. He tried to keep everyone in the family in order as well, but we must admit that was a herculean effort.  

He always took care of his people, never failed to step in when needed and never complained. He was always willing to do whatever it took.

For some crazy reason, he was a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys. There was always some good- natured banter among family members and there was mention of a one dollar bet that went back and forth between him and some family Redskins fans. 

He lived and loved by deed if not by word as he was a quiet man with a huge heart. He knew that actions spoke louder than words.

The old Air Force motto was, “I pursue with wings.”  Instead of thinking of him as gone, we believe he is just pursuing with a bigger set of wings.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation for Disabled Veterans. Https://Garysinisefoundation.org

 

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Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

11:00am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Interment

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Maryland Veterans Cemetery - Cheltenham

11301 Crain Hwy, Cheltenham, MD 20623

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