Former President of Standard Electric Company Passes Away

Laverne Norman Weber, better known as “Vern”, 85, passed away on Friday, October 15 with his family at his side.

The son of Norman Carl and Emma Christine (Woelfle) Weber, he was born on July 11, 1936, in Auburn, Michigan. After graduating from T.L. Handy High School in 1953 at age 16, he sailed the Great Lakes on the SS William P. Palmer ore carrier. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, Signal Air Defense Engineering Agency, as a radar repair specialist on the Missile Master system protecting Washington, D.C., stationed in both New Jersey and Maryland.

Vern joined Standard Electric Company in 1963 to open and manage their Bay City location. He was promoted to Saginaw District Sales Manager, District Manager, Vice President, and President in 1988. He served as the President and CEO at the Saginaw headquarters until his retirement in 2017, at the age of 80, after 54 years of service with the company. He grew the company from 3 to 30 branch locations throughout Michigan and Indiana during his tenure. Vern had a way of treating employees as family, while helping them to be the best they could be, which is a rare quality in today’s world. He truly cared about each and every one. Someone once asked Vern what the secret was to making Standard Electric a success, and he replied, “I was fortunate that God gave me the ability to hire good people”.

While employed by Standard Electric Company, in 1978 Vern received his Michigan Police certification from the Flint Regional Police Academy. He fulfilled his lifetime desire to participate in law enforcement as a part-time patrolman for Thomas Township Police Department for 14 years, was Captain of the Support Units of the Saginaw County Sheriff Department, and was on the Board of Directors of the Saginaw County 911 Emergency Center Operation. He was a licensed commercial pilot, and conducted air speed timing and marijuana eradication for the Saginaw County Sheriff Department.

Vern received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1979 at 43 years of age from Saginaw Valley State University after attending night classes. In 2009 SVSU awarded him with the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” for his career and civic achievements.

His other contributions and achievements include: One Hundred Club Board of Directors, Kochville Township Downtown Development Authority Vice Chairman, Thomas Township Board, Treasurer, Chairman of the Personnel Committee, and Member of the Public Safety Committee. He was also a member of the Thomas Township Kiwanis Club, the Fordney Club, and Germania Town & Country Club.

Besides being a strong leader, advisor, and friend to many, Vern, above all, was a godly man who lived his life by Christian principles and morals. He and Yvonne were long time active members and supporters of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

Surviving Vern is his loving wife, Yvonne, and four children: Bonnie Weber (Lyle Visser), Wendie (Dr. Sam) Bander, Kevin Weber, and Todd (Lupe) Herhold; seven grandchildren: Sarah Christopher, Robert Visser (and fiancé Tori Patch), Dr. Thomas (Amy Oberlin) Bander, Jennifer (Cody) DeLonge, Alexis Weber, Lindsay Weber, and Jared Herhold; and seven great grandchildren: Camden, Connor, and Kyle Christopher, Landyn and Dawsyn Visser, Avah Perez and Lorelai Delonge. Also Lucille Corbat (mother-in-law) and sisters and brothers-in-law: Margaret (Dave) Purcell, Janet (Joe) Blasko, Don (Marlene) Corbat, Pat (Jim) Darland, Debbie (Mike) Keenan, Dodie Heinlein, Tom (Patty) Corbat, Annette (Calvin) Bigelow, Dave (Kelly) Corbat, and Beth (Darren) Moulton.

Besides his parents, Vern was predeceased by his sister, Marjorie White, Ayden Christopher, great grandchild, and Harold Corbat, father-in-law.

Funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 2526 N. Miller Road, Saginaw, Michigan 48609. Rev. Mark Hill will officiate. Military Honors will take place under the auspices of the United States Army and American Legion Post 22. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at W. L. Case and Company Funeral Chapel, 201 N. Miller Road, Saginaw, Michigan 48609, and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Wednesday. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Thomas Township Parks or St. Mark Lutheran Church.

Vern loved these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To laugh often and much
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better,
Whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition,
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

Vern’s full obituary can be found here.

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