When Vic Vervynck, an active member of the Gardner Lions Club, passed away last April, club members were on the hunt for a way to find a way to honor their late fellow comrade.
His family donated funds to the club toward a memorial in his honor.
Lions Club member Butch Freund took on the project to find a way to memorialize his good
“He was a dedicated Lions Club member and Gardner citizen, so I wanted to find something that he would really be proud of,” Freund said. “I wanted to find something special.”
Butch visited Gardner Edgerton High School and toured the property to see if the Lions could benefit the school in Vervynck’s memory. Since Vic was a World War II veteran and active in veteran activities, Freund had the idea to update the Veterans Memorial wall at the high school.
The Veterans Memorial wall was constructed when the new Gardner Edgerton High School was built in 2001. Gardner’s VFW Post No. 11234 and American Legion Post No. 19 helped produce pictures of Gardner Edgerton graduates who have died while serving their country. The community has experienced casualties of every war since 1857.
Using his computer Photoshop knowledge, Butch produced a new layout and design for the wall that included a new lighted sign and new lighting. He presented the design to his fellow Lions
Club members and then to GEHS Principal Tim Brady and former school district administrator Bill Miller.
“The Lions Club spent four months planning this project,” Gardner Lions Club President T.C. TanCreti said
On Tuesday evening, May 17 at the high school, the Gardner Lions Club presented a plaque in memory of Vic to the Vervynck family. The plaque is now on display on the Veterans Memorial wall. Present were Vic’s sister, Betty Vohs, his daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Joe Harvey.
Vic’s daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Charley Griffin live in Estes Park, Colo., and were not able to attend.
Daughter, Jan Harvey said, “Dad would really have appreciated this.”
Vervynck was born Dec. 30, 1922 to Thomas C. and Mary Elizabeth (DeGrande) Vervynck in rural Olathe, Kan. He was a Gardner High School graduate in 1940. Vic married Betty Ann Eder in June of 1948 in Gardner, and he served in the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII. He was a civil service employee at the Naval Air Station as Quarterman in the Public Works Department serving as the director of facilities, retiring in 1985. Also, Vic was an agent for American Family
Insurance part-time for 37 years. Vervynck was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the American Legion, the American Society of Military Engineers, the Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Gardner Lions Club. He was a sports enthusiast and a loyal K-State fan. Vervynck was also a founder of the girls softball program in Gardner.
For additional information about the Gardner Lions Club, and the many attributes they perform for the community, please visit their website: www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/gardnerks