Vernon Joseph Hanus, 91, of Traer, passed away on March 6, 2020, at Sunrise Hill Care Center from complications of Alzheimer’s. Vernon was born on January 15, 1929, on a farm southwest of Traer, the son of Charles and Anna (Suchy) Hanus. He attended country school at Carroll No. 3 and Traer High School, graduating in 1946. In 1951, he was drafted into the US Army, serving in Korea with a unit of X Corps, a tactical command between divisional and army level and one of three corps in the combat zone. He was discharged as a Sgt 1st class in 1953.
Vernon was united in marriage to Dorothy Duhachek on September 22, 1953, at Immaculate Conception Church in Clutier. They started their marriage southwest of Traer and later moved to Vernon’s home place after his parents built a house across the road. The couple welcomed two sons, Martin in 1954 and Paul in 1960. After 51 years of living on the family farm, they moved to Traer in 2004.
Music was always a staple in Vernon’s life. He had his own band in the late 1940s and played with other bands including Polka-Wind-Up. He could play drums, clarinet, and especially the accordion. He served as 4H leader, served on the Extension Council, was a board member of the NE County Food Pantry, and I.C. church council and was a Eucharistic Minister. He was also a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and the American Legion, where he held several offices.
Vernon farmed for several years, worked for Traer Cabinet and Construction, and was employed as the maintenance man at Sunrise Hill Care Center for 21 years. During their son’s high school years, they also had the privilege of hosting 3 foreign exchange students from Finland, Turkey, and the Philippines. During his life, Vernon enjoyed camping, fishing, woodworking, by making crafts for family and friends, dancing with his wife, traveling around the world, and spending time with his family.
Vernon is survived by his wife, Dorothy of 66 years; their two sons, Martin Hanus of Cedar Rapids and Paul (Kari) Hanus of Cadilac, MI; and three grandchildren, Courtney, Allison, and Abby. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Barbara Engel and Marian Schoonover; brother-in-laws, Bob Engel, Harold Schoonover, Ernest Pokorny, and Lester Pokorny; and sister-in-laws, Leona Velky and Gladys Pokorny.
Vernon’s family wants to thank the caring and compassionate staff at Sunrise Hill Care Center for all the amazing care given to him over the last 6 years. Also, a heartfelt thanks to Hospice Compassus for their care over the last few days.
The visitation will be on Friday, March 13, 2020, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the Overton Funeral Home in Traer. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 10:30 AM at St. Paul Catholic Church in Traer. Burial will follow at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Cemetery in rural Clutier with military rites conducted by the Traer American Legion.
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