Official Obituary of

Vernon B. Scoville

May 21, 1929 ~ March 19, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Vernon Scoville Obituary

Vernon B. Scoville of Schenectady, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on March 19, 2024. Born in a farmhouse in Nickerson, Nebraska on May 21, 1929 to the late Wilbur and Verna (Benfer), he embarked on a life journey marked by a quest for knowledge and a boundless passion for sharing it. He graduated from Freemont High School and immediately joined the army for a 2 year stint in Korea. Upon returning, Vern attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he discovered his two great loves: Electrical Engineering and June DeGraw. He graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1952 and began a long career with GE. Vern also began his lifelong journey as a husband when he married June, in 1953. They were married for 67 years until June’s passing in 2021.

In 1954, Vern started working at Knolls Atomic Power Lab, where he worked for 38 years as an engineer and manager until his retirement in 1992. His focus was on the electrical control of nuclear submarine engines, with a career highlight of leading the project for the electrical system on the 688 Los Angeles attack submarine.

Vern was known for his energetic, and active involvement at Emmanuel Freidens Church, as well as for his broader community service. Vern and June spent many hours volunteering at a local bookstore, Friends of Schenectady Co. Library. In 2015, he received the Schenectady County Senior Citizen of the Year award. His many acts of giving included helping those in need with home repairs, serving on all church committees, teaching Sunday school and leading youth groups. Whenever anything broke, leaked or failed, Vern was there to help.

In the 1960’s he was an active leader in social justice, playing a role in fostering positive shifts in race relations. Vern and June also hosted many foreign exchange students, were active in refugee resettlement for Eastern European families, and encouraged their church to welcome individuals discriminated against for their LGBT lifestyle. Reverends Jim Miller, Jim Stumbo and Larry Phillips along with Rabbi Matt Cutler were instrumental in shaping his world view.

Vern delighted in being a grandfather. His wit was dry and his curiosity endless. His knack for storytelling and imparting his knowledge, particularly on how things work, was unparalleled. He taught those around him the value of compassion, kindness and the importance of family and community bonds. Never letting age hold him back, Vern cared for the lawns for his beloved neighbors while he could still drive his trusty John Deere tractor. Oh how he loved his neighbors, his family by choice!

Vern had a most generous soul and a penchant for accuracy. Whether through storytelling or practical insight, he left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him. Vern lived his life with purpose and dignity, and his legacy will continue to inspire others to cherish each moment and to live with kindness, empathy and humor.

He is predeceased by his wife June and two brothers, John and Curtis. He will be lovingly missed by his three children: Steven(Gabi), Susan and Sherri(Steven), Six grandchildren: Carolin, Julie (Tim), Madeleine, David, Maya and Peyton and great-grandson Tyson. He will also be missed by many nephews, nieces and cousins as well as leaving a large void in his Fox Hollow community.

We would like to thank the staff at Brookdale Assisted Living & the Stockade at Kingsway Nursing Home for the compassionate care he received over the last two years. Additionally, Vern stated he would never have lasted as long as he did without the expertise of his cardiologist Dr. John Nolan.

A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Vern’s memory may contribute to Emmanuel Freidens church or the charity of their choice.

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