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Vernon A. Close passed away on Saturday March 29, 2014 in Phoenix, Ariz., from complications due to his 13 year battle with lymphoma. As a result of his exposure to Agent Orange, he also suffered from many other diseases.

Vern served two years in the Army (1966-68) and was a Vietnam veteran. He was a graduate of Northeast MIssouri State and received a masters degree from UMD. Vern worked for State Farm Insurance Company for 28 years (13 years in Duluth).

Vern and his wife Edie were residents of Phoenix, Ariz., for the past 13 years. They enjoyed their summer home on the North Shore of Lake Superior with family and friends.

Vern was a member of Saint Joan of Arc Church in Phoenix. His deep faith sustained him especially through the difficult times. He was devoted to his large family and friends.

Vern obtained his pilots license at the age of 16 years and enjoyed flying in upstate New York as well as Duluth. He loved driving his 1980 MGB, as well as fishing with friends. He was a passionate Phoenix Suns fan and had many t-shirts to prove it!

He was preceded in death by his mother, father and brother DJ.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Edie; stepson Erik and four grandchildren of Knife River, Minn.; his brothers Larry (Phyllis), Zimmerman Minn., Stephen (Lori) Painted Post, N.Y.; Edie's family (seven sisters, brother and brothers-in-law); numerous nieces and nephews and their families, aunts and uncles. Vern's many nieces, nephews, their families, aunts and uncles. Vern was also blessed with many dear friends. He will be deeply missed by all.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: will be held at a later date in Minnesota, at Fort Snelling Military Chapel. If you wish, donations may be made to Vietnam Veterans Association.