Vernon E. Matlack, 85, of Brighton, died at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, at home in Alton.
He was born in Alton, the son of the late Charles and Norene Matlack, on Oct. 6, 1929.
Vernon married the late Edna Mae (Stewart) Matlack on Nov. 15, 1953, at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Brighton.
The Korean War veteran retired from Local 520 as a heavy equipment operator after 21 years. Vernon was a lifetime member of the Alton VFW Post No. 1308 and a 32nd degree Mason of the Hibbard Lodge in Brighton. During his working years as an operator, he built his own photography studio, where he retired from the business after 27 years and a credit of more than 900 weddings.
He was a self-taught musician, playing the guitar while in high school and then landed a job on the Jacksonville, Ill., radio station WLDS, with a country-western group of five. They were named the Virginia Buckaroos in 1950.
After returning home from the service, he formed his own band of 18 years called the “Matlack Serenaders.”
Vernon was a Red Cross Volunteer Blood Donor for years, with a credit of more than 13 gallons.
Surviving are daughter and her spouse, Rita and David Wannamaker of Alton; two grandchildren and spouse, Jenny (Wannamaker) and Robert Nelson of Alton, Audrey Wannamaker of Alton; four great-grandchildren, Brandon, Haley, Dylan and Alex; three sisters, Delores Hunt-Wells (Jim), Janice Bagwell (Savern) and Marilyn Purdy-Stern (Ernie); and two brothers, Charles Matlack Jr. (Judy) and Marvin Matlack (Alice Jean).
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, at Targhetta & Wooldridge Funeral Home in Brighton.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Brighton, with military graveside rites being conducted by Alton VFW Post No. 1308. The Rev. Patty Stone will officiate. Inurnment will take place at Shipman Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the 1st Presbyterian Church of Brighton.