Vernie Ray Hefler
Vernie Ray Hefler went to be with the Lord on June 28, 2021.
Vernie was born at home on November 25, 1932, in rural Cotton County, Oklahoma to the late Virgil Vernie “V.V. or Cotton” Hefler and Agnes Boles Hefler and was the oldest of two children. Vernie was raised on a family farm near Hastings, Oklahoma, graduated from Hastings High School in 1950, and then attended Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Vernie married the love of his life, Martha Mae Clayton, on August 17, 1952. In January 1957, Vernie was employed at Sheppard Air Force Base when he accepted an opportunity with the United States Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Electronic Maintenance Technician. Vernie enjoyed a successful career with the FAA for over 28 years where he was trained as an electrical engineer and oversaw the installation and maintenance of radar systems. Vernie’s recognition and promotions within the FAA gave him the opportunity to travel and live with his family in several different regions of the country. An entrepreneur at heart, after Vernie’s retirement from the FAA, he started a home repair business and then specialized in providing heating and cooling services in the Hurst, Texas area for several decades. Vernie’s professional success allowed him to continue to operate and expand the Hefler family farm in Hastings that began with his grandparents. Work was his pleasure and Vernie was known for quality, value, and perseverance.
Vernie and Martha enjoyed the successes of their children and grandchildren and spending time with family. Vernie loved annual family trips to the lake, spending time at the farm, and when he was not working, watching his favorite sporting events. Vernie was a member of the St. Paul United Methodist Church in Hurst, Texas, where he and Martha attended for over 30 years, and he was active in the Genesis Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church of Hurst in later years. He also enjoyed activities at the Hurst Senior Activities Center.
Vernie was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Martha Hefler, and a son, Gary Dale Hefler. He is survived by a brother, Harold Hefler, of Bedford, Texas; two daughters, Donna Gail (Hefler) Mitchell and husband, Randy, of Irving, Texas; and Carol Rena (Hefler) Gay and husband, Dennis, of Hastings, Oklahoma; seven grandchildren, Shawn Mitchell, Erin (Mitchell) Pope, Coby Hefler, Cody Hefler, Blythe (Hefler) Courtney, Daley Gay, and Carlyn Gay; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will take place at Dudley Funeral Home in Waurika, Oklahoma from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday July 6, 2021. Graveside services will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the Hastings Cemetery in Hastings, Oklahoma. The family will receive guests at a reception at the Hastings Senior Citizen’s Center immediately following the graveside service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hurst Senior Activities Center, 700 Heritage Circle, Hurst, Texas 76053 or the Hastings Cemetery Association, PO Box 68, Hastings, Oklahoma 73548.