CURLEW -- Vern John Lyon, Jr. was born in Emmetsburg on June 1, 1941. He was the only child of Vern and Mary (Clark)?Lyon. He lived with his parents on a farm near Curlew until graduating from Laurens High School in 1959. During his High School years, Vern started his first business, Vern's Hedge Trimming Service. After graduation, Vern continued his landscaping business while also working at the local grocery store in Laurens. In addition, Vern attended The American Landscape School of Des Moines, graduating with a Certificate on March 1, 1963.
Vern John Lyon, Jr. and Linda Lou Wassom were married Aug. 18, 1963, at Trinity Methodist Church in Webb. Vern and Linda started their married life at Wall Lake.
On Aug. 5, 1964 their first child, John Vern Lyon, was born. Their second child, Lauri Lea Lyon, was born Dec. 6, 1966. In 1967 the family moved to Ruthven. Their third and final child, Jay Harold Lyon, was born Aug. 9, 1971.
In the mid 1970s Lyon Landscaping became Lyon Fence Service. Vern and his family removed old and built new farm fences. Following the farm crisis Vern sold cowboy joke books, hat pins, tie tacks, hay moving equipment, and sew-on patches. Later, Linda would travel with Vern on his many trips and sell her homemade crafts.
Vern became a legend in his own time. He was interviewed by many newspapers and magazines, made an Honorary Duke of Hobos, and was given the nickname "Krazy Karney" for the antics and extremes he will go to make a sale or, at the very least, educate someone. Staples in his bag of tricks included plastic hotdogs, black bees from east Texas, a rubber chicken and his faithful invisible dog, to name a few. He delighted in telling people their shoes were not the same.
Despite his own problems, Vern was friendly, smiling and quick to make a joke and loved to see those around him smile, even if he made himself the center of the joke.
Vern John Lyon, Jr. passed away Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at St. Luke's Lutheran Nursing Hime in Spencer.
A Tribute/Memorial time of service was held Monday, Feb. 18, at Hope Reformed Church in Spencer.
Harris Funeral Home of Mallard was in charge of arrangements.