Vernon J. Piela

Vernon Piela


Vernon James Piela, age 61, died unexpectedly in Seattle, WA on November 14, 2012.


Mr. Piela was born on September 7th, 1951 in Antigo, WI, son of the late John E. and Edna A. (Koss) Piela.  He married Margaret Leonardi on December 11,1982.


Mr. Piela is survived by his three sons: Nathen, Ryan and John of Sammamish, WA as well as three sisters:  Mary Iverson of Fort Myers, FL; Ann (Dave) Meyer of Bryant, WI; and Suzane Piela of Vista, CA and two brothers: Mark (Kate) Piela of Sun Prairie, WI and Ron (Ann) Piela of Stillwater, MN and a sister-in-law Gail Piela of Bryant, WI.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother John A. Piela.







A Celebration of Life will be held on December 9th in Sammamish, WA.


Gathering at 1:30
Ceremony: Celebration of Vernon’s Life 2 – 3:30
Socializing 3:30 – 4:30

LODGE AT BEAVER LAKE – 25101 SE 24th St. Sammamish, WA 98075
SE 24th Street @ 244th Avenue SE

Driving Directions

From Issaquah / I-90

  • Take exit #15 (Lake Sammamish State Park).
  • Turn left and go over the freeway onto the Renton/Issaquah Road, which becomes SE 56th Street.
  • Follow past Costco, the Fed Ex depot, and the 76/Brown Bear station.
  • At the signal, turn left onto E. Lake Sammamish Parkway. Continue about one mile.
  • Turn right onto SE 43rd Way, which becomes SE 228th Ave.
  • Continue about 1.5 miles up the hill to SE 24th Street.
  • Turn right at intersection of SE 24th and continue following signs to Beaver Lake Park.

From Redmond / SR 520

  • SR-520 East to Redmond/Fall City Road Exit (SR-202)
  • Turn right at the end of the exit.
  • Follow Route 202 for approximately 2.5 miles.
  • Turn right onto Sahalee Way at the Gray Barn Nursery.
  • Sahalee Way becomes 228th Avenue NE. Continue several miles past Sahalee Golf Course, Sammamish Library, and Skyline High School.
  • Turn left at the intersection of SE 24th Street and continue following signs to Beaver Lake Park.

Condolences may be sent to the Piela Family, PMB 141, 704 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA 98074.

Vernon, John, Ryan, Margaret, Nathen

Margaret and Vernon


37 Responses to “Vernon J. Piela”

  • Joe and Mary Jo Filbrandt says:

    We send our sincere condolences to the Piela family. We were saddened to hear of his sudden passing. Vern was a special cousin and friend. Always the life of the party. I recall a visit to Seattle and meeting up with Vern and his family for supper and a tour of the town. Although I hadn’t seen Vern in a few years I remember our shop talk of the construction industry. Vern was a hard worker and always dedicated to his family. Vern was someone to admire. I am saddened that I will not be able to have any more laughs with him. He will be surely missed.

  • Pat & Mike Tatro says:

    Such wonderful memories of Vern. We laughed alot and in the earlier days Vern visited us in Wausau many times. Came for a few hours or a day and would still be there several days later. We made many trips to Madison to visit him when he lived there. Last time we saw him was on a trip back to antigo with the boys. Even though he lived so far away he was always in our thoughts and he always will be. He will be missed, he was a great guy always with a big smile! He loved his family very much.

    May he rest in peace!

  • Jim & Barb Honzik says:

    We surely had lots of memories of Vern. He was a good next door neighbor in Bryant. Even our daughter, Jodi, remembers a spur of the moment trip to Canada with him. His time on earth came to an end much too soon. Our sincere sympathy to all of his family.

  • Jim & Barb Honzik says:

    Our sincere sympathies to Vern’s family. He was a good neighbor back in Bryant WI and also a friend. Our daughter, Jodi, remembers a spur of the moment trip to Cananda with him and it brings back good memories. His time on earth was cut short much too soon.

  • Mark & Lee Stoering says:

    Ron, Ann and Max,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Debra Crain says:

    My heart & prayers are with Vernon’s children & family. I have fond memories of Vern during the Z days and had some great laughs with him. The day before I heard of his crossing he popped into my mind and I wondered what he was up to. Hearing of his passing I experiened a peaceful, high vibrational energy around me as I thought of him. It remained for some time & I know he is beyond happy.

  • Vena Paiva says:

    I was heading out the door that Wednesday evening, and thoughts of Vern popped into my mind. He had planned on coming up to see us and my thoughts at that moment…”Darn you Vernon, if you come when I am not here, I will not be pleased.” I have no doubt that he came in to say goodbye. Happy trails my friend. You are missed. My heart and prayers go out to Nathan, Ryan, John and Margaret as well as all his family and loved ones.

  • Laureen Faust says:

    I enjoyed the times I spent around Vern but most of all the experiences we had at Pryor Mtn and the Z classes. He was a delight to spend time with, all the light hearted laughter. You’ll be missed sweet man. Prayers of love and support to your kids and family.

  • Mary Shustov says:

    What a beautiful family Margaret and Vern have loved and nurtured into being. A beautiful Legacy. We are privileged to know and to have grown with you guys during the times our “seasons of life” have coincided. Our prayers and condolences. May our Good God. Continue to bless and guide,nprotect, and comfort you all.

  • Irene Morgan says:

    Margaret and Family,
    Blessings to you and your family in this time of great loss .
    I regret I will not be able to attend Vernon’s memorial as prior
    Coalition Board committments are in place.

    I was invited to attend some of the soccer games that John played
    in at the soccer fields in Whatcom County. It was the extremely
    proud Dad that I saw in Vernon as he watched his son perform. It
    was, from my persective, some of the grandest moments of parenthood,
    watching from afar to witness the magnificent dance of a child at
    their best.
    I wish him peace and grace in his new choice as those who remain
    may struggle in his absence.
    Blessings – ALL WAYS,

  • Robbie Holz says:

    Vernon loved his family dearly and talked of them often. He was a gentle heart and will be missed.
    Blessings to his family.

  • Aloka Parson says:

    I have goose bumps – I remember seeing him a few weeks back at your center. Strange is life 🙁

  • Vernon Piela says:

    Hi Vernon Piela Family,
    Elmer talked to Vernon this summer when we had planned on going on an Alaskan cruise which didn’t materialize.
    We were planning on stopping in to see him but that to didn’t materialize.
    We are sorry to hear about his passing. What was the cause of death?
    We send our deepest regrets!
    Our deepest sympathy, Elmer & Verla Piela

  • Sage Dahm, Beryl Standley says:

    We were just thinking of using Vern for a construction job when we heard from Margaret of his passing. We both liked Vern and thought him a hard working, kind and generous family man. We’re sorry he’s gone and we wish the joy he now has to be felt by all who knew this good man.
    Health and joy to his family,
    Sage and Beryl

  • Robin Maynard-Dobbs says:

    Margaret and family;
    I remember so well when Vernon came for a session with Brian and we had a chance to take a walk in Carkeet park. He spoke with great enthusiasm of his love for hunting elk with a bow and arrow no less! I will never forget when he mimicked the elk’s call and the joy on his face. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. love, Robin
    Brian sends his love too.

  • Sheila kenny says:

    Margaret, Nathan, John, Ryan and all of Vernon’s family, I am so sorry he has left this world. What a bright light Vernon is, our world is not the same without him. I had the privilege of having many great talks with Vernon and I was always amazed at his insatiable curiosity and his perspectives on life. He had great depth and wonderful enthusiasm. His outrageous wit and humor and his contagious laugh got me laughing and everyone around every time.
    When having a conversation with Vernon, you always knew to not answer the door, make yourself comfortable in a chair and forget about the outside world and just totally immerse yourself in great lengthy conversation, whether in person or on the phone. I think all of us will miss that.
    When I heard the news, I was shocked and saddened, but felt Vernon happy and free in the light. I feel that Vernon wherever he is, has many things for us to learn from him. His light, his wisdom and his humor will continue to be with us.
    Margaret and Vernon incredible parents, who have raised 3 wonderful boys with incredible strength and wisdom far beyond their years. We are all lucky for that.
    It was an honor to know Vernon. I will miss him.

  • Daniel Seirawan says:

    To the uncle I always wish I had, Vernon James.
    Somewhere I heard that an attitude of gratitude is the first religion. Vernon was someone who lived this to the fullest. In my every moment with him, I felt no end of his readiness to be helpful and comforting.
    Vernon helped me build a wall in my cottage and I am grateful for the day we shared. Just the two of us. So skilled and quick. I got to enjoy a couple of dinners with him, as well. He is such an easy guy to converse with. Heck he even helped us move our stuff into our truck! I am grateful I got to know and enjoy his vibrant energy, and his calm and good-natured spirit within.
    I will miss him sorely. xo

  • Bill Doerrfeld says:

    Valerie forwarded your beautiful note to me and our kids. Our deepest and sincere condolences to you and your family and here’s to Vern’s gentle nature basking fully in the glory and peace of the Light.

  • Carrie Miller says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I am so sorry for the boys and I’m so glad to hear that they were there to be with him when he crossed. Even with the clear understanding of how we cross it is never easy and I know it will leave a space in your life that is unfilled for a time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Vernon as your family makes this life transition. If there is anything I can do for you or the boys please let me know.
    Love and peace,

  • Danica D’Emilio says:

    Dear Margaret, Nathen, Ryan, John and Piela Family,

    I was struck with deep sadness to hear the news of Vernon’s passing. What a tremendous loss for all of us. Vernon was such a kind, warm and generous man, so full of light! We had great conversations of spirituality, health, relationship, family and more. He was quite a talker and once he got started on a topic you knew you were in for some interesting and out of the box thinking.

    As some of you know, I met Vernon through my mother-in-law Esmeralda (aka Margaret Elvin). I knew from the first time we met that he was no ordinary man. In a short time we became friends and shared many laughs and life stories. He also got to know my husband Daniel and was a great help to us with our house remodel as well as our move to Austin, TX.

    Vernon and I kept talking about getting our families together for a venison BBQ before we moved out of state, but it never manifested, damn it! I feel so fortunate to have known Vernon and I will miss him! It makes my heart ache to think of the boys without their father. He spoke so highly of each of you Ryan, John and Nathen. He wanted to be a better man for you boys, to bond with you all. He loved you three dearly and even when one or more of you were in a rough patch, Vernon still felt so lucky to be a father, so grateful for his sons!

    Margaret, thank you for including us in your grief. I know it will be a long road of healing ahead and that the void of Vernon can never be filled, but in time, there will be some healing and acceptance of his unexpectedly short life.

    Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend the memorial service, however you all will be in our hearts and prayers. Please let me know if we can help in any way.

    Blessings and Love,

    Danica D’Emilio and Daniel Seirawan

  • The Schmidts says:

    We were saddened to get the news of Vernon’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the boys. We always enjoyed the time we spent with him, he was so full of enthusiasm and passion for life!

    Best wishes,
    Diane, Bob, Kelsey, Garrett and Devon

  • David, Mary Jane, Sean, Jackie says:


    We were stunned and saddened to receive your news about Vern. We’ve enjoyed many delightful and spirited conversations with him and your boys over the years. It is an honor and a blessing to have known him and all the Pielas. Your family has been an integral part of our family history. You’ve raised such wonderful strong boys – what a blessing.Vern will live on in our home and in our hearts. All the love and prayers to you all from all of us.

    With love,

    David, Mary Jane, Sean, and Jackie

  • Bonnie Pemberton says:

    You and your family are in my prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.

    In Sympathy and Sorrow,

    Bonnie Pemberton

  • Helen Perkins says:

    Dear Margaret and family,

    Thank you for sharing with us the sad news of Vernon’s passing. Although I didn’t know him well, we did have a number of in-depth conversations, and I appreciated his sincerity, honesty, and deeply-felt caring for the loved ones in his life, as well as his wanting to do what was right. I know that he was a good man, and I’m sure that he has been blessed beyond measure in his journey back to the Light. With no returns this time.

    I pray that you all will be sustained with the same Love that now surrounds Vernon, and that you and your sons, and all other loved ones, will feel much comfort in this time of grief and sorrow.

    With heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy,

    Helen Perkins

  • Joan Jerman says:

    Thank you Margaret for letting me know about Vernon’s passing. May he be basking in peace. I send you and your sons love and support! Love, Joan

  • Peter & Joan Rogerson says:

    Dear Margaret,

    I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Vernon’s passing. I will miss the frequent encounters and chats at your office. Peter and I have such fond memories of the time he shared his favorite venison recipe with us. I think David was very surprised that we knew how to prepare it and that we did it up right.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the boys. We are available for anything you need.


    Peter and Joan

  • Lyle Kuchenbecker says:

    Margaret, oh man I am so sorry and shocked like you all are. Vern and I talked back in July about one of your sons going up to AK and he wanted to get in touch with my brother, Roger. We had a nice talk, I’m glad we did. We roomed together 3 years at Stevens Point, that seems like so long ago now. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Please keep us informed.


  • Martha and Scott Miners says:

    Scott and I send our heartfelt love and prayers. I know you will all miss him and I also know he is with each of you in spirit.

  • Sabrina says:

    Just heard about the passing of Vernon and sending you my love. It has been a long time that I have seen you both. Vernon was not a man that one can overlook. I so much enjoyed meeting him and I am sure – when we all go home – we will be with each other again.

    Much love to you and the kids,


  • Susan Gardner says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your news. Wendell and I were just talking last week how we needed to contact Vernon to serious look at remodeling our bathroom. He seemed so talented and confident in those skills required to do that.

    It hits home how sweet life is and how precious your time is with your loved ones because you never know when God might call you home.

    Our heartfelt prayers and love extend to you and your family. Susan

  • Valerie Doerrfeld says:

    Sending my condolences and good thoughts. I know you have had a loving relationship with Vern for so many years and you and the boys will miss him terribly. When I think of him now, I just see his smile and hear a chipper voice. Good guy. We will see him again:)

    So much love,

  • Kathlen Davi says:

    Please feel my prayers for your family and yes it is a shock but as you have said, it would be difficult to pull away from that magnificent light so full of love.

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Blessings to you and your family,

    With lots of light and love,

  • Bette Lamont says:

    Dear Margaret and Family: I was always impressed at the depths to which you and Vernon explored life, in all its spiritual wonderfulness, together when you were a couple, and how that was passed along to the boys. I know that your faith in a bigger spiritual plan will carry you far, but the reality of this loss is very, very physical and real. Take time for the self care, for the boys that you need. Your work in the world with the many clients who love you is important, but right now your inner work will be required to deal with this huge loss. I wish so much that I could be there to support you on the 9th and will not be in the area. However, know that I am thinking of you. You are always in my heart.


  • Glenn Carter says:

    Margaret & Boys, Nathan, Ryan, and Johnny
    I was so sad to hear about Vernon. He was so vibrant and full of life. He was always cheerful and loved to talk about all kinds of things. With me, it was usually about construction and building. I met Vernon way back when he took over the construction work on the Park Heights office building for Frank Baker. I think I was just out of high school. We got to be friends right away as we both loved talking about building matters. We kept in touch over the years by making a point to get together and go to lunch about twice a year from then on. Vernon is still on my ‘to do’ list to call and do lunch now. I really looked forward to these lunches! Our discussions went well beyond construction after a while. I was fascinated by his love of and stories about his hunting trips. I was struck by how much he loved being with you boys and how much he enjoyed having individual trips with each of you. I was inspired by this and do the same with my two sons. One more thing about Vernon, he was always cheerful and smiling — even when he was telling me about some nightmare project. I will always remember him that way. I think he is still smiling right now!

    God bless him.

    Glenn Carter

  • Jeanne Koss says:

    My deepest sympathy. To me he was and alwasy will be little Vern. My father, his uncle, godfather and name sake. was big Vern. My last visual memory of Vernon Piela was a few years ago at Christmas. During his trip back to Wisconsin, he took the time to stop in at the farm to visit his old uncle. Dad’s health and memory were failing. He didnt remember today, but his mind remembered yesterday. Vernon Piela pulled up a chair and sat right in front of dad and talked for hours about hunting, guns, good times, the woods, Vernon’s Dad, John Piela. The respect and kindness just beamed on Little Verns face as he sat there with the senior Vernon. Big Vernon passed away last year. I know the two of them are together somewhere, with others who have crossed and are catching up, laughing and happy. He will be sadly missed.

  • Pam says:

    Dearest Margaret, What a shock. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort as your family grieves Vernon’s passing.

    Sending you lots of love, and blessings


  • Ron Blood says:

    Sadly I will not be there today to say what I needed to say for Vernon and I became very good Spiritual Friends, He unconditionally accepted my beliefs including my shadow side.’
    I realized that as a contractor he had to walk in the World and be in the World however when he had down time, his Spirituality rose and overshadowed the Alpha Male he had become during the day.
    He was a strong person in his belief and as I shared with him my tools I learned at Church he became even stronger in his spirituality.
    On another note He Loved You boys so much , he would start talking about one of you then morph into talking about the others; often as I was in my room meditating I would hear him put in a CD of a Soccer Game.
    On a funnier note, when I first started staying there I was finding my way and sitting at the kitchen table, here Vernon comes, with some tip of shrill whistle and walking very funny I ask what in the Hell he was doing and he said “Walking like a bull elk” I couldn’t leave this statement alone and replied “if that is the way a bull elk walks he must be gay, .. we rolled on the floor laughing and from that built a GREAT and GRAND relationship
    Vernons Light will be missed However , through Him and Margaret you Boys have been passed their flame, and now its your time to shine,
    GOD be with you all,
    And thank you

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