The Passing of Verlan Lauder of Rexburg, 101st Airborne, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 502nd PIR
Reshare by Flamm Funeral Home Obituary
photos by Bryan Douglass
The world lost one of its last surviving World War II veterans when Verlan Frank Lauder, 95, left this earth while sleeping peacefully and surrounded by his loving family on Friday, April 02, 2021.
Verlan was born to Frank Newton Lauder and Eva Irene Davenport in a small log cabin on his Grandfather’s farm in Parker, Idaho on October 17, 1925. He would be followed by 3 younger brothers: Eldred, DaVon and Veldon. The first 13 years of Verlan’s life were spent on the farm hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and swimming and were a very joyous and interesting part of his life, despite growing up during the Great Depression. He was taught the value of hard work by his father as he worked on the farm putting up hay, shocking grain, milking cows, and helping his mother Irene with two huge vegetable and flower gardens, raspberry patches and apple orchards.
Verlan attended schools in Heman, Idaho and Madison High School in Rexburg, Idaho. When he was 13 years old, his family leased out the farm and moved to Rexburg. His teenage years were spent seeing movies at the Romance Theater and roller skating. Following in the footsteps of his father, Frank who had fought in World War I and who was a member of the Lost Battalion, Verlan gave up his last year of High School to join the military with his father’s consent at 17 years old. He was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 502nd PIR. He fought for two years throughout Europe and was involved in the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.
The year Verlan returned home from the war in 1946, he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on walking down the street, Amy Valerie Sewell, from Driggs, Idaho. After a brief courtship, they were married on November 30, 1947 in Rexburg. To this union were later born 5 children whom he loved dearly: Lana, Kristine, Marlys, James, and Valerie. Verlan and Amy made their home and raised their family in Rexburg, where Verlan remained the rest of his life. He worked in various positions in the trucking industry including being a dispatcher, petroleum salesman, owner, and driver. He drove long-haul trucks all over the western United States and was still driving trucks at 90 years old! In the early 1970s, Verlan owned and operated Verlan’s Auto-Mat, a gas station and car wash that he took great pride in. He ensured everyone’s cars and windows were neat, tidy, and sparkling.
Verlan had the opportunity to attend the 50th, 60th, 70th, and 75th D-Day anniversaries in Normandy, France where he was honored by US Presidents at each one. The 75th anniversary celebration was particularly special as he was able to take his 4 daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. Each of these trips were highlights in Verlan’s life. Verlan was loved and respected by so many people and loved sharing his stories of the war with anyone who would listen. He had a very detailed recollection of all of his war experiences.
Verlan enjoyed extremely good health throughout his long life. He had a soft spot in his heart for all animals and kept a meticulous yard and home. He was a voracious reader and loved reading the newspaper every day. During his lifetime Verlan enjoyed motorcycling, reading, visiting friends, traveling, watching BYU and Boise football games, hot food, toothpicks, taking pictures and spending time with his 4 daughters. He would call to check in with them every day, no matter what. Verlan was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and loved passing the Sacrament to his friends at the Homestead in the last few years of his life. He will be sorely missed but we are sure he is having a beautiful, glorious reunion with his family and friends.
Verlan is survived by his 4 daughters, Lana Rae Jensen, Kristine (Randy) Luke, and Valerie Amy Lauder of Rexburg, and Marlys Birch of Salt Lake City. He is also survived by his 3 younger brothers, Eldred (Marilyn) Lauder and Veldon Lauder of Salt Lake City, DaVon (Gloria) Lauder of Bountiful, UT, and 7 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Amy Valerie Sewell, son James Verlan Lauder, and sons-in-law Byron Grant Jensen and Wesley James Howe.
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