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1949 Vernie 2022

Vernie McCully

March 28, 1949 — March 22, 2022

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Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 2:00 PM mountain time at the Mullen United Methodist Church with Pastor Shanon Williams officiating.  Burial will be in the Dry Valley Cemetery north of Mullen.  Memorials are suggested to the Dry Valley Cemetery or the Mullen United Methodist Church.  A visitation will be held on Friday evening 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Mullen Funeral Home.  Online condolences may be left at  the services will also be live streamed at  Govier Brothers Mortuary of Mullen are charge of arrangements.

Vernie Joe McCully was born March 28, 1949, to Thomas LeRoy and Iva (Campbell) McCully, the fourth child of five.  He attended school in Mullen, spending summers at the ranch breaking and riding ponies, doing chores and being a typical boy in the great outdoors, shaping his love of the Sandhills and the ranch. 

Vernie started working at a young age, picking up papers at the train depot on his bike and getting them delivered before school.  On a snowy day you would find him at the grade school, scooping the walks for a quarter in pay.  After school, Vernie and his friends would be at the barn north of town riding ponies.  In his free time, he could be found hanging out at Jack Carlson’s implement shop where his love of mechanics and John Deere equipment was born, evident by the many green tractors sitting in the yard today.

After graduating in 1968, Vernie married his high school sweetheart Barbara Phipps.  They resided in Sydney, NE where he attended diesel mechanic classes and Barb attended cosmetology training, working nights at a chicken farm and a feedlot, a summer as a mechanic, the winter on a ranch then back to Mullen. 

Moving back to Mullen in 1971, they brought with them their oldest son Kevin, one month old.  There, he worked as a mechanic for Fred Kraye and leased a pasture at the ranch from his mother.  Working at Kraye’s, he was soon driving a truck that would become another love.  Rafter C trucking developed into a business he maintained until his death.  In 1973, their only daughter Brenda was born and in 1976 another son, Brad.  A move to the ranch in 1973 made his home for the next fifty years.  Also picking up day work at Spike Box ranch, contracting hay and some time at Cherry County Road Department when there was time between ranching and trucking. 

Vernie found time for community service, a member of the fair, fire department and Co-op & Church boards. Pushing calves at the 4th of July rodeo in Mullen also became a lifelong love.  His son Brad rode saddle broncs, many miles were traveled for an eight second ride, many times taking his father-in-law.  Later he would travel to watch his grandkids in rodeos and sporting events, the last trip on February 15th to Chadron women’s basketball.

Vernie never spent a day in the house until the last three weeks.  He did drag himself to the barn one morning to oversee Brenda and Barb pulling a calf.

Vernie is survived by his wife of 53 years Barbara, son Kevin, daughter Brenda (Jay) Lovitt and son Brad (Traci) and his best friend Maggie.   He also is survived by 7 grandchildren – Carlene and Mallory McCully, Jessica and Jade (fiancé Adrianna Hild) Lovitt, Brittni (fiancé JT Bradley), Brooke and Brynne McCully; sisters Mary Ellen (Richard) Meidell and Marilyn (Leon) Meredith, nephew Eric Meidell and nieces Marlene Johnson, Sydney Meidell, and Jennifer Biltoft.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his father and mother-in-law, Kenneth and Harriett Phipps, two brothers, LeRoy and Bob McCully and a nephew Terry McCully

He will be remembered by friends and family for his witty comments and wonderful sense of humor.  When asked how he was, he would say “way better than I deserve” or “pretty good for the shape I am in”.  Vernie passed away surrounded by his family on March 22, 2022. 




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