Vernon (Vern) Lee Purchatzke, age 82, passed away peacefully on Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016, the first day of spring, at Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire with his family at his side.
Vernon was born Dec. 1, 1933 in Weyauwega, WI, son of Frederick Jr. and Esther (Stillman) Purchatzke. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Weyauwega. After graduating from Weyauwega High School in 1951, Vernon attended DeVry Technical Institute of Technology in Chicago, graduating with a diploma in Electronics Automation Technology and Communications in 1956. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 until 1958, completing several electronics communication certification programs at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD and Ft. Monmouth, NJ. Vernon married Shirley JoAnn Erickson on June 28, 1958 in Scandinavia, WI. They lived in Wausau, WI for several years and then moved to Eau Claire in 1965. He was employed by Fabri-Tek as an assembly and test supervisor until 1967, and then as a field engineer for Finley Engineering until 1970. He worked for Team Electronics, later becoming the owner/operator of Team Commercial Electronics from 1976 to 1981. Subsequently, he opened and operated the Curtis Mathes Home Entertainment Center in Eau Claire until his retirement in 1991.
Vernon is survived by his wife Shirley of 57 years, son Jeffrey (Loren) Purchatzke of San Diego, CA, grandsons, Jeffrey and Matthew; son Mark (Kris) Purchatzke of Fair Oaks Ranch, TX, granddaughters, Alexandra, Elise and Jaclyn; as well as his brother Bryan (Arlyss) Purchatzke of Oshkosh, WI; brother-in-law George Hayes of Crandon, WI and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Fred and Esther Purchatzke, sister Beverly Hayes, and brother and sister-in-law Willard and Donna Purchatzke.
In his early years Vernon was an avid baseball player, playing through his service days in the Army. In his retirement Vernon enjoyed visiting his children and grandchildren, golf, travel and tinkering with electronics. He and his wife Shirley briefly lived in and enjoyed Fountain Hills, AZ from 2012 to 2013. Vernon succumbed to a long, courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. His family thanks all the dear support from those at Azura Memory Care and St. Croix Hospice.
Memorials can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 1314 E Lexington Blvd., Eau Claire, WI 54701.
Funeral Service will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1314 E Lexington Blvd, Eau Claire, WI with Pastor Brahm Semmler Smith officiating. Visitation will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church, Thursday, March 24, 2016 from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Military honors will be rendered by American Legion Post #53 and will take place outside the church following the service. Burial will take place Friday, March 25, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at Scandinavia Lutheran Cemetery in Waupaca County, Scandinavia, Wisconsin. Pastor Mark Sabin will officiate the committal service on Friday. Friends may offer condolences online at www.fullerspeckienhulke.com. Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI is assisting the family with the arrangements.