On May 6th, our dear sweet dad, Vernon Paul Eschenfelder Jr. went to be with our Father in heaven and the love of his life, Pauline Falsone Eschenfelder. He passed peacefully at our home, surrounded by his loving children and grandchildren. Vernon was born on November 21, 1931, in Houston, Texas to Vernon and Elizabeth Eschenfelder.
A native Houstonian, Vernon attended Jefferson Davis High School and earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Houston. He began his military career in the U.S. Army as a medic stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After active duty, he continued his military service in the Army Reserves and retired after 30 years at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In July of 1960, Vernon married his beloved, Pauline Falsone and moved to Stafford Texas. The couple were blessed with four children, Joseph, Verna, Kevin and Melissa.
Vernon started his career in the early 1960’s as the Director of Athletic Training for the Houston Independent School District. He continued as Athletic Trainer and Professor of Kinesiology at Houston Baptist University. He completed his sports medicine career at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston where he worked to establish the first sports medicine program in the Texas Medical Center. One of his proudest accomplishments was serving as the U.S.A. Olympic team trainer for the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City. He was honored with a Visiting Professorship at the University of Beijing in China for their developing sports medicine programs in the 1980s.
Upon leaving his career in sports medicine, Vernon served as the Director of Health and Safety for the city of Stafford. He loved his community in Stafford and volunteered as a Fireman for over 50 years and was named Fire Marshall for the city of Stafford. In addition, he served on the inaugural Stafford MSD school board. Whether it be his faith, family, career or community Vernon was always willing to lend a hand to help those in need.
Vernon is preceded in death by his parents, Vernon P. Eschenfelder Sr. and Elizabeth Eschenfelder, wife Pauline Eschenfelder and son Joseph Eschenfelder.
He is survived by his 3 children, Verna Eschenfelder, Kevin Eschenfelder and wife Jeanne, Melissa Salton and husband Trevor. Grandchildren, Gabby Salton, Gabby’s fiancée Richard, Nicole Eschenfelder Shepard and husband Ben, Gavin Salton, Jake Eschenfelder, and Emery Salton; Cousins, Mary and Jerry Paquette, Paul and Ann Eschenfelder, Barbara and Joe Ford, brother in-law Joe Falsone and his wife Bessie and many nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held on Monday, May 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the chapel at Earthman Southwest Funeral Home, 12555 South Kirkwood Road in Stafford, with the Recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, May 16 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1510 5th Street in Missouri City.
The interment will follow, via funeral procession, to Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with his family at www.earthmansouthwest.com.