EDISON, NJ - Vernon Packard of Edison died Aug. 27 at the Trenton Trauma Center after suffering injuries from a horseback riding accident on Aug. 17, 2014.
Born in Paterson in 1933, Packard lived in Edison for most of his life. He was the owner of Stelton Coal and Feed Co., which was founded by his late father 85 years ago.
He was the son of Elton Vernon Packard and Jessie Dunham. Vernon was a descendent of Jonathan Dunham, the first citizen of Woodbridge who was the operator of the first grist mill in New Jersey in 1670. He was also a descendent of Edward Fuller, who came from England to Plymouth, Mass., on the Mayflower in 1620.
“Vern” was well known in the Quarter Horse world and he was an active member of the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association, NY State Quarter Horse Association and the American Quarter Horse Association. He served as President of the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association and was still an active member of its board at the time of the accident.
Packard competed in speed events and qualified for the 2014 AQHA World Select Show held in Texas. On the day of his accident, Vern was competing in a pole event and won first place. Vern was the one to call whenever you needed help. He always had the time and resources and never said no to anyone, always a smile, with a get up and go attitude. He was loved by young and old alike, a very special man who will be missed by all who knew him.
Survived by his loving sister, Barbara, and her husband Dr. Charles Horn; nephews Charles and David; niece Laura; great-nieces Jordon and Machalyn; and great-nephew, Justin.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Flynn and Son Funeral Home, 23 Ford Avenue, Fords. Interment will be in Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson. Visitation is Thursday 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations are sent to the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association, New Jersey Quarter Horse Association, or NJQHA, 100 Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090.