Vern Urlacher, 66, of Salem passed away at Sanford USD Medical Center on September 23, 2019. Funeral mass will begin at 10 am on Friday, September 27 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Salem. Visitation will begin at noon on Thursday with a 3 pm Christian Mothers rosary. Family will be present at 6 pm and a prayer service will be held at 7 pm, all at Kinzley Funeral Home in Salem.
Lavern S. Urlacher was born on December 26, 1952 to Lawrence and Clementine Urlacher. He was raised in Slope County North Dakota on a farm and ranch. He attended a boarding school at St. Mary’s of New England ND for all but three years of his primary and secondary education. Those three years were spent at Woodberry, a 2-room country school. He graduated from North Dakota State School of Science before serving in the US Marine Corps. He was a Vietnam-era veteran and was honorably discharged before returning to college at Dickinson State University. He graduated in 1977 with a B.A. in business. Through all the years in boarding school and living alone both at college and in the Marine Corps, he prayed that one day God might send him a loving spouse. That prayer was answered when he met and married Joyce Muggli. They were married on June 4th, 1977 and enjoyed 42 years of marriage together. Vern completed his MBA in 1989 from USD, and in 2007 completed his Ed. Specialist Degree from USD as well. Vern’s professional career had many twists and turns before he became a professor. He worked as a roughneck in the oilfield on wells in both North and South Dakota. He went to work for an oil field safety company and later owned his own firm. He provided training, rental equipment and technical support working on oil wells that contained poison (H2S) gas. He was on several thousand wells covering an area of multiple states. He did a stint as a stock broker, owned a restaurant, ran a small dairy farm, and imported and sold small tractors from China. He spent seven years as a tax representative for the Dept. of Labor, performing audits and other duties. He began his teaching career as an adjunct professor and taught classes primarily for Huron University but also taught for Killian College, National American University, Southeast Area Tech, and Northern State University. He became a full time professor at Colorado Technical University in 1997 and taught many different classes for them until his early retirement in 2012. He wrote a textbook for Prentice Hall while teaching at CTU and served in many capacities while with them, including acting as the undergraduate chair for a time. Vern loved to garden and always had a large garden and orchard. He did home canning, loved to cook and was good at it. He raised chickens for fun and eggs, and always seemed to have a project of one sort or another. He kept busy with his gardening, canning, and cooking, reading and attended daily mass. He had a special devotion to the Eucharist and the devotions of Divine Mercy.
He is survived by his wife Joyce, their three children, and eight grandchildren: Brian (Angie Harrison) with Jak, William, and Claire (Grand Forks), Wyatt (Heidi Kolbeck) with Harper, Mathias, and Jude (Sioux Falls), and Janna (Bryan Petree) with Reed and Coco (Spencer).