Verne Wagoner Hart, 88, passed away Thursday, October 12, 2017 at his residence in Manhattan, KS.
Verne was born on June 2, 1929 in Lawton, Oklahoma, the son of James Stephen and Elizabeth Ann (Wagoner) Hart.
He graduated from McPherson High School and attended both Kansas State University as well as Kansas University. Verne began his career as the State Park Superintendent at Kanopolis Lake, the first in the state of Kansas. With the opening of Tuttle Creek Lake, he transferred to Manhattan, becoming the first State Park Superintendent there. In his final position, he was Assistant Director for the Kansas Park and Resources Authority, traveling and supervising all of the State Parks in Kansas.
Following his retirement, he stayed busy working on tractor and small engine repairs. He had a passion for collecting and working on Studebaker cars and John Deere tractors. He enjoyed traveling to Alaska to hunt and fish. He volunteered as an auctioneer at numerous charitable events. Most of all, he cherished time with his family and friends.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and Methodist Men. His other memberships included the Kansas Auctioneers Association, Kansas Peace Officers Association, Masons, the Kaw Valley Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, National Campers and Hikers Association, Man-Kan Campers of Manhattan and Past Exalted Ruler of the Manhattan Elks Club.
He and his wife, Gloria, were married on December 10, 1947. Their nearly 70 years of marriage, was blessed with three children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Cindy (Bill) Barnes of Manhattan, Gayle (Don) Connet of Manhattan and Steve Hart of Manhattan; five grandchildren, Jennifer (Brian) Olsen, Aaron (Mary) Connet, Josh Connet, Chelsey (Jordan) Frihart and Trey Connet and three great grandchildren, Luke, Brock and Zack Olsen.
The visitation will be 7:00 to 8:00pm on Monday, October 16, 2017 at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church in Manhattan with Rev. Melanie Martin officiating. Burial will be in the Sunrise Cemetery in Manhattan.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church and left in care of the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.