OWATONNA, Minn. — LaVern “Vern” Newell Smith, 83, of Owatonna died Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Brookdale Memory Care.

He was born March 23, 1934, in Dunnville, Wis., the son of Willis and Charlotte (Wold) Smith. Vern graduated from Menomonie High School and later received his Bachelor’s Degree from UW Stout. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955 as a paratrooper. Vern worked as a manager in various manufacturing facilities including Crenlo, Fabri-Tek and Wenger Corporation which moved the family between the communities of Rochester, Minn., Litchfield, Minn., Waseca, Minn., Amery, Wis., and Owatonna.

He was a member of the Elk’s Club, Lions Club and the Waseca boosters Club. He was very dedicated to Junior Achievement while living in Rochester. Vern loved to bowl, golf, play softball and attend his children’s sporting events. He enjoyed fishing and camping with his family and served as a personal handy man for his family members. He had a knack for nearly any project that needed to be done and would complete it with accuracy.

He is survived by his wife, Audrey Smith of Owatonna; sons, Craig Smith of Waseca, Marty (and Leslie) Smith of Rochester, Brian Smith of Owatonna; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by one son, one grandson, two brothers and one sister.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, at Michaelson Funeral Home with the Reverend Amanda Weinkauf officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

Interment will be in the Owatonna Crematory in Owatonna.