Vernell E. Soper, 91, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at his home at Odd Fellows.
Vernell E. Soper, 91, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at his home at Odd Fellows. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Tuesday, June 13, 2017 (today), from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Graveside Service will be on Wednesday, June 14 at 10 a.m. at the Devils Lake Cemetery with Reverend Timothy Stout, Army Chaplain (Cpt) officiating. Military Honors will be accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post #756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team-Marines. Vernell Earl Soper, son of Audry E. and Alma (Malingen) Soper, was born on December 19, 1925, at Weaver, ND. He attended Devils Lake Public Schools after the family moved to Devils Lake. He was drafted into the United States Marines on March 28, 1944. He served in the Pacific Operation on the Hawaiian Islands, Battle of Iwo Jima, the occupation of Japan and briefly in China. He was honorably discharged on June 18, 1946, with the rank of Corporal. Returning to Devils Lake, he married Clara Tweeten on May 21, 1947, where they lived and raised their family. Vernell worked for his Dad and Soper Construction in several aspects of the road construction business. In 1954, Vernell, Byron, Roger and Glenn began operating the Exxon Service Station at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street. In the late 1960’s the Soper Brothers purchased the Exxon Station at 4th Street and 6th Avenue and Humble Oil Company. In 1963, the brothers began another enterprise, Soper Brothers Construction. In the early 1990’s, the business was sold and Vernell retired. Vernell was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, the Elks Lodge, VFW, the American Legion, the Town and Country Club and was a Life Member of the Iwo Jima Veterans of North Dakota. Vernell is survived by his sons Keith (Jody) Soper (Lincoln, Arkansas) and Kent Soper (Oklahoma City, OK); daughter-in-law, Diane Soper (Grand Forks); four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother, Jay and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Clara and son, Sanford Soper; brothers, Donald, Roger, Byron and Glenn Soper.