Monday, October 15, 2018
 In Memoriam – LaVerne E. Johnson  

It is with deepest sorrow that we announce LaVerne E. Johnson, 86, founder of VernDale Products Inc., passed away on February 22, 2012. VernDale has been a manufacturer of roller dried milk powder for over 50 years and still continues today as a family business.

Prior to starting the dry milk power plant, Vern, a WWII veteran, managed a creamery in Chicago, while his future wife Marlene was living at home over her father's creamery in Chicago (which just so happened to be the same one that Vern was managing).

LaVerne and Marlene Johnson married and using their life savings moved their family from Chicago to Detroit and founded VernDale Products Inc. in 1958. The two were 50/50 partners at a time well before the women’s liberation movement. This small dry milk powder plant which began with one dryer soon grew to include four dryers and a crew of busy people.

Laverne is the beloved husband of Marlene. Loving father of Dale (Robin), Rhondi Kreger (Fred), LaMar Tannheimer (Daniel), and Barry (Nancy). Dearest grandfather of Corey, Christa, Daniel Jr., Kyle, Justin, Christopher, Rebecca, Michael, Timothy, Nicole and Samantha; and great grandfather of Porter and Louisa. He is also survived by his loving sister Sandra Nelson and his cousin Toni Fleckinger.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church or to Beaumont Hospice-Grosse Pointe. Light a candle and share a memory at:

Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 (Archive on Thursday, March 01, 2012)
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