Vernon Kilton Crow

June 23rd, 1934July 31st, 2016

     Vernon Kilton Crow, 82 of Boulder, passed away in Thornton on July 29, 2016.     

On June 23, 1934, Vernon Kilton Crow was born to his parents William Kilton Crow and Naomi Viola Crow on his great-grandparents apple farm in Boulder, Colorado. Sonny, (yes Sonny) as he was known then, grew up on a farm in north Boulder.  Just before his mother took him to his first day of school, she sat him down and explained to him that from here on in his name was to be Vernon, and not Sonny. This just ruined his whole day, but his mother must know what is right.

      Vernon completed school in the Boulder school system and graduated from Boulder High School in 1952. While he was in his senior year, two major events happened to him. The Boy Scout troop he was in was sponsored by the National Guard unit at Boulder. On November 26, 1951, when he was 17 1/2 -the legal age to join the Guard- he became Private Vernon K. Crow. At that time they drilled once a week. He took his basic training at the armory and became a rifleman in the infantry. At the same time he was completing his requirements for his Eagle Badge for the Boy Scouts and received his Eagles Scout designation in January of 1952.

     That summer, he became the shop boy at his uncle’s sheet metal shop, and later served his apprenticeship as a journeyman sheet metal worker. He had money in his pocket now, and between building racing cars he found time for the girls. There was this particular girl down at the local A & W Rootbeer stand that caught his fancy. She was a car hop, and he found out that rootbeer was pretty good. Finally, he got courage enough to ask her out and she accepted. On April 14, 1955 Miss Gayle Macon became Mrs. Vern Crow. About two years later, they started having their family, first a boy and then a girl.

     The Guard was good to Vern. He became the supply sergeant and moved up the ranks as fast as was allowed. In August of 1955 the Guard started switching the units around and Vern found himself in the artillery. It was an observation battalion with RADAR, sound ranging and survey equipment. RADAR caught his fancy and he switched to be a RADAR operator and later went to school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma to become a RADAR repair technician. This was Vern’s first experience with the active duty army, and what a cultural shock this was to him. Gayle and the family were with him and he survived. However, while he was there the guard switched units around again and his new unit was a 155 towed Howitzer unit with no RADAR. What was he going to do with this 9 months of RADAR training? He found out that the Philco Corporation was looking for RADAR technicians to be tech reps to the Air Force to teach the Air Force how to repair and maintain their RADARs. He did this for six years with assignments in California, Alaska, and Missouri. This assignment forced him out of the Guard because he was in a non-combatant status with the Air Force. He reached the status of Site Engineer when he went to Alaska.

     In 1964, he left Philco and went into business with his father at his service station. They started a car and truck rental business to go with it. Vern later started a distributing business, and an equipment rental business. Vern and Gayle found themselves starting something else during this period. Their third child arrived, a boy, 8 years after they thought they had quit.

     At a scouting function at the National Guard Armory, Vern found himself talking to J C Ansell who was the First Sergeant. The next thing he knew, he was back in the Guard in July of 1974. The unit was still artillery, however, it had gone to an 8 inch self-propelled Howitzer battalion. Vern again moved up the ranks as fast as allowed to First Sergeant. He enjoyed the military so much that he took a reduction in rank and went full time and became a recruiter. Again, he moved up the ranks to Master Sergeant and was the recruiting supervisor for the northern part of Colorado. Vern’s last assignment was that of the state retention NCOIC.

     Vern spent many years serving his community as well as his country with the Colorado Army National Guard. He also received many awards and recognition for his service.

     He devoted 33 years to the Boy Scouts of America, earning his Eagle Scout status, the Vigil Honor of the Order of the Arrow, and many training awards such as Wood Badge and Staff.

     For 29 years he was a member of the Lions Club where he held positions of president, charter president, many district positions, district governor, and director for the CO Lions camp for the handicapped at Woodland Park. He earned the 100% District Governor, and many special and training awards.

     Vern also spent more than 15 years participating in the State 9 Health Fair as chairman for the Lions Club, and advisory board.

     During his time with the military, Vern earned the following national awards: meritorious service medal, army commendation medal, good conduct medal (with 3 loops), army reserve component achievement medal, national defense service medal, NCO professional development ribbon (with #3), and the army service ribbon.

     He also earned state awards: Colorado state achievement ribbon, long service medal (with 3 bronze stars), Colorado state emergency service ribbon (with 3 bronze stars), and the recruiting ribbon.

     Other awards and honors MSG Crow received were: The honorable order of Saint Barbara (US Field Artillery Association), Associate’s Degree from Pikes Peak Community College, Career Counselor Badge, Master Recruiter Badge, Driver Badge (with wheel vehicles, track vehicles, and mechanic devices), expert marksmanship (rifle), sharpshooter (carbine), Denver Post honor award for outstanding service, and he was a nominee for Lieutenant governor’s community service award.

     MSG Crow also served 5 ½ years with the Boulder County Sheriff’s department as a reserve officer working operations and the jail. Vern continued to work for the Boulder County Sheriff's Department as a jailer and eventually retired in 2014.  The inmates would say, "Don't mess with the Old Man."  They knew he was strict but he was also fair.  

     As if he had nothing else better to do he decided to join the Coast Guard Auxiliary August 5, 2002.  He served in several elected and appointed positions. He served as Vice Flotilla Commander in 2008, as Flotilla Commander 2009-2010, Division Vice Commander 2011-2012, Division Commander 2013-2014, and District Captain 2015-present.  Staff positions include Flotilla Staff Officer for Vessel Examination, Flotilla Staff Officer for Member Training, Flotilla Staff Officer for Human Resources, Division Staff officer for Human Resources, and Assistant District Staff Officer for Human Resources.

      Awards received include a Presidential Unit Citation, 2 Coast Guard Unit Commendations, a Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation and 10 Sustained Auxiliary Service Awards recognizing over 7,500 hours of service.

     Even with his volunteer activities Vern couldn't stand sitting around home so he got a job working for Jax as a Sales Associate in their Hardware & Paint Department in August of 2014.  He loved working there and worked up until his death.

      The final award he received just a few weeks ago was the National ESGR Award-Lifetime Achievement Award and 25 Year Pin from the ESGR.  He was recognized for his significant achievement in promoting ESGR objectives.  He was very proud of that award.

If three words could sum up Vernon Crow's life they would be: "In Service Of". 

     Vern is survived by his wife Gayle, son Rodney (Moira), daughter Rhonda (Brian) Hillabush, sister Joanne Oliver, 8 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and numerous friends. This amazing, honorable man will be truly missed by many. 


Please consider making a memorial donation in honor of Vern to the Boyscouts of America:


A military graveside service will be held Friday, August 5, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at Mountain View Memorial Park: 3016 Kalmia Ave, Boulder, CO 80301.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Gate House: 1055 S 112th St, Lafayette, CO 80026.






Gate House at Lionsgate Event Center | Map


I worked with Vern at Jax. I'm so sorry for your loss.
The members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offer their sincerest condolences to the Crow family. Vern was a vibrant and beloved member of Flotilla 6 in Fort Collins, and served as the Eighth Western Rivers District Captain - West. Vern's passion for service to others throughout his lifetime will be greatly missed by all who knew him. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Eighth Western Rivers, Division One
I met Vern at Jax in Lafayette, we worked together there for a while. He borrowed a trailer last year from me to pick up a wheelchair ramp for his wife. It was very sad to learn about his health issues just a while back, but exciting to see him when he came back to work. He was a very pleasant and happy person. He will be missed.
Vern was a very special person, I have known Vern for several years and you will never find a better person or FRIEND. Vern was not only my friend but the father I never had.
It is with sadden heart that I will not be able to make the trip to Colorado to be with you during this time of sorrow and our great loss. Vern was a friend, a man among men and yet a man with a great heart for mankind. I will miss him and if there is anything that I can do please just contact me. Bob Tippett District Chief of Staff 8th Western Rivers Region U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Vern was a friend, a boss, and family. He was kinda like a big brother to me. He will deeply be missed by family,friends, and the Coast Guard. Vern was an awesome person. I will remember him in his kilt which he proudly wore. My love to Gayle and to JoAnn, and the rest of his family
I only knew Vern a short while,working with him at JAX. What a kind sweet hardworking soul. He will be missed. Michelle.
Wonderful person to work with. Lots of good memories with him and Gayle. He will be missed.q
Vern was a wonderful man he always walked me to my car to make sure I was safe after work at Jax. He will be greatly missed by the team at Jax. Rest in Paradise Vern.
Vern was a very kind person. I worked with him all his life at Jax. We all will dearly miss him. I went to visit him in the hospital and we laughted.
It's hard to believe that this extensive list could be missing anything and yet our friend Vern was also active in the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (serving as District Captain) and was the guardian of "Coastie" - a robotic boat that delighted children at events. He also volunteered for many community programs (such as the volunteer fire department). Most recently, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Defense for his role in Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve he was an Ombudsman/Unit Liaison. Vern was our good friend and we will miss him so much
I am blessed to have known and worked with Vern at jax farm and ranch. He was truly an amazing man whom I will truly miss. He accomplished so many great things in his life. Always a smile and a warm greeting. Rest in peace Vern you have served and loved your country, your family and friends.
Our loss with Vern's passing is heaven's gain. Rest in peace, Vern. You have earned this eternal rest as you served so many good causes and people during your earthly stay.
I had the privilege of knowing Vern through both the Lafayette Lions Club, and the 9Health Fair. He was a wonderful, kind, generous man who volunteered for so many great causes. He will be sorely missed.
The best "brother" a gal could possibly have in her life. He is greatly missed.
Vern was an incredible man. He welcomed me into the Coast Guard Auxiliary as a shipmate, family, with open arms. Anything I needed, he helped. His public outreach, humility, and kindness will continue to live on.