Ned E. Vermilya Sr., 80, of Onaway, died at home Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The son of Howard N. and Marvel Vermilya, Ned was born November 8, 1936 in Onaway. He married Ruth Ann Stockwell August 21, 1954 in Rogers City and they made their home in Onaway before moving to Southfield.
Ned worked as a farmer on the Vermilya family farm north of Onaway before taking employment with Michigan Caterpillar (CAT) in Novi where he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic for 20 years. With a passion for his work and a great admiration for the machines he worked on, Ned’s blood ran “Caterpillar yellow.” He was a fantastic teacher and great role model for his sons who all eventually went to work for Michigan CAT as well. Ned was a longtime member of the Operating Engineers Local 324. In 1990, Ned retired from Michigan CAT and moved back home to Onaway.
An avid outdoorsman, Ned enjoyed camping, fishing, and hunting. He enjoyed deer season in northern Michigan and had many memorable hunting trips to Wyoming. An expert at loading his own ammunition, Ned had a great appreciation for good ammunition and a nice rifle. Always a farmer at heart, Ned loved doing a little farm work and loved his Farmall tractor as well as operating his “Cat.” He and Ruth enjoyed spending their winters in Eustis, Florida but always looked forward to coming home each spring.
Surviving Ned is his wife of 63 years, Ruth Vermilya of Onaway; three sons, Ned Jr., Dale (Julie) and Brian (Stephanie), all of Onaway; two daughters, Sheryl (Brad) Hilliker of Afton and Terry (George) Jabro of Onaway; as well as seven grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and his sister, Kathryn “Kate” Adkins of Onaway. Ned was preceded in death by his son, Mitchell; grandson, Doug Jr.; and brother, Gary.
Visitation was held at the Chagnon Funeral Home Friday, July 14, followed by funeral service Saturday. Ned’s final resting place is in Onaway at North Allis Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Ned to Hospice of the Straits, c/o McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation, 360 Connable Ave., Suite 3, Petoskey, Michigan 49770. Condolences may be shared with Ned’s family at www.chagnonfh.com.