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MOTTINGER VERNON REX
VERNON REX MOTTINGER
Vernon Rex Mottinger, a resident of Hamlet, died 3 days before his 99th birthday in Chagrin Falls on March 9, 2010. He was born on March 12, 2011, in Merna, Nebraska, to Alvina and Charles Mottinger, a school administrator and college professor, who moved the family from Merna to El Paso, Texas, where Vern graduated from high school in 1927 at the age of 16. He entered Texas School of Mines (now Texas Western) and graduated from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with double degrees cum laude in electrical engineering in 1932 and mechanical engineering in 1933. He was a member of two honorary engineering fraternities.
He met Virginia Lang Mottinger while she was a student at UCLA, and they were married for almost 59 years. He always joked that he "married Virginia for her money" because she had a teaching job in Baldwin Park, California, during the depths of the Depression while he worked nights as the campus electrician at USC.
An executive with the Continental Can Company for 16 years, he then became Director of Quality Control with Carrier Corporation (Day and Night Division) in the City of Industry, California, for 26 years until his retirement in 1975, when he began his favorite hobby of traveling —visiting over 50 countries. He has left a legacy in his love of travel to his children and grandchildren.
Among his many civic interests, he was Mayor of West Covina, California, from 1958-1959 at the time when it was the fastest growing city in the U.S. A member of the West Covina School Board for 9 years, he was President in 1955. A charter member of Community Presbyterian Church of West Covina, he was a ruling elder and also Clerk of the Session for 30 years and a member of Covina Masonic Lodge.
He moved to Chagrin Falls in 1996 after his wife died and started a group for widowers there called "Same Boat Friends," from which he was evicted when he married Jeanne Farran in 2001 at the age of 89. He was very active in the Elder Life Group at Federated Church.
Vernon lived life to the fullest and was active on his computer until his last days. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, of Chagrin Falls; daughter, Marcia Anderson of Moscow, Idaho; and his son, Donald Mottinger, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio (wife Janice); as well as 5 grandchildren, Pamela Smallwood of Houston, Texas; Anne Anderson of Palouse, Washington; Courtney Cole of Newton Centre, Massachusetts; Kate Bjordahl of Park City, Utah; Drew Mottinger of Brentwood, California; and 3 great-grandchildren, Caroline and Zoe Cole and Bergen Bjordahl. His brother, William, of El Paso, Texas, survives him, as well.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Elder Life Group at Federated Church, 76 Bell Street, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022. A memorial service was held at Federated Church on March 16, 2010.
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