December 2, 1927 ~ June 27, 2011
Vernon R. Way
Vern ‘Popeye’ Way of Beacon, entered into rest June 27, 2011 at home. Born December 2, 1927 he was the son of the late Samuel Leroy and May Fleming Way.
He was married to Antoinette (Dolly) Silvestri Way, in May of 1951.
He was a proud member of the U.S. Navy and served as Seaman 1st Class.
Vern was a retired Detective for the City of Beacon Police Department, he also served as The Commissioner of Public Safety and Commissioner of Public Works, Beacon.
He founded the Pop Warner Football League where he prided himself in inspiring sportsmanship, scholarship and physical fitness in todays youth.
He was so incredibly proud that he not only created this wonderful league but also established this great organisation. He was instrumental in bringing the Beacon Bears original football team back together.
He was the proud owner of Miro’s Restaurant and Bar which was an icon in Beacon for over 29 years. During these years, Vern sponsored various sports teams and helped to support numerous recreational programs through his business name.
Vern was a member of many different organisations including the following: Beacon Engine, Slater Chemical, Dutchess County Fireman’s Association, B.P.O.Elks, Beacon, Retired Beacon PBA, Westchester PBA, St. Rocco’s Society, Southern Dutchess Country Club, American Legion, VFW, Etc…
A big honor in his life was his induction into the Dutchess County Sports Museum Hall Of Fame.
Vern leaves behind his beloved wife Antoinette (Dolly) Way, as well as his two brothers, Don (Patty) and Samuel (Donna) Way, his brother and sister in law Horace and Fran Silvestri, his sisters -in- law Helen Way, Carol Way, and Sheila Way, his cousins Fred and Carol DiBerto, along with numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great- nephews and many extended family members.
He was predeceased by his brothers Leroy, David and Larry Way.
Visitation will be held Thursday June 30, from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Libby Funeral Home 55 Teller Ave. Beacon, NY.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Friday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 11 Clinton St. Wappingers Falls, NY. Interment with Military Honor’s will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Beacon Pop Warner Football League P.O. Box 221 Beacon, NY 12508
You may also leave a condolence at the http://wwwwww.poughkeepsiejournal.com
Uncle Vern – Eulogy
First and foremost, on behalf of my Aunt Dolly, my Dad and My Uncle Don, along with the rest of my family, we would like to thank each and everyone of you for attending my Uncle Vern’s funeral this morning. The outpouring of love, shown by each one of you being present here today is truly overwhelming. If my Uncle Vern were here to see all of you, who in some way have been touched by him, he would have been truly humbled. Uncle Vern (AKA ‘Popeye’) would definitely want us to think of this as a celebration of his life, so as we continue to remember his life in conjunction with ours, that he’s touched in so many ways, he will understand that we must grieve, but he wouldn’t want us to continue without an endpoint. As we all know his mission in life was always to help others and give back to his community he would want all of us to keep his spirit alive and to Honor and express all of the positive qualities in ourselves and live in a way that would continue to make him proud ! He would want us all to continue to support the great programs that we have in Beacon, especially Pop Warner Football League, the Men’s and Women’s Softball Leagues, the children’s sports and recreational programs, in which he felt that all children should be a part of. Not only did he help to run, coach, and fund the aforementioned but also he truly believed in the difference that they could make not only in our small community but also in the lives of our youth. He was such a big proponent in supporting these various causes and I think there’s no better way to carry on his legacy then for us to do the same! In an award the he received, it stated that, ‘The more boys that Vern meets on the field today, the fewer that he will meet on his job tomorrow.’ (How well said).
Uncle Vern married the love of his life ‘Dolly’, (who has similar resemblances to Olive Oyl) in which he, as tough as he was, just melted in her presence. The love that he had for her and how he put her first over all of their 60 + years of marriage was a true testament to the unity and spirit of love and marriage, which we should all desire to have in our own lives. All Uncle Vern strived for was to always put his lovely first, make sure that she was taken care of and love her unconditionally. She was truly his everything!
He served in the US Navy where he prided himself on being a First Class Navy Sea Man, much like Popeye who was a middle aged sailor with a unique way of speaking, muscular forearms and an ever present pipe in his mouth, which of course Uncle Vern substitute with a cigar. (Speaking of his cigar, a customer of Mi-Ro’s said that once he took his lit cigar, put it on the side of his head and said, ‘Its’ Ash Wednesday).’ (Only him)!
Known as ‘The Godfather’ to so many, he said that he was the strong one, ‘tough as a bull’ (as he would always put it) //(Funny as it was, the character of Popeye, which he prided himself on being like, was a character who had supernatural strength…very much like the dominant ‘Way’ gene (that he claimed he had) that would allow him to outlive the rest of the Way Clan. How we wish this were true, yet he did hold on for many years…. continually proving his determination and strength; especially to my father and Uncle Don. (It was always a competition between the brothers: who would grow the biggest tomato, who had the best garden, who got the best deals on groceries or gas). He had a good life, and for almost all of it, he was blessed to have not only a good 84 years but an 84 healthy, active years, which there’s a lot to be said for! And during those 84 wonderful years, he would always make it known to us all, who was in charge, who was the quote unquote boss and of course who’s a@^ he would kick if we gave him any trouble, along with the ‘knuckle sandwich’ that he shook at you, while saying this infamous line (Ha! Ha!)
Anytime we would see his old red Ford pick-up in town, (and more recently the blue Lincoln (the Sunday car as he referred to it), we knew that he would be hanging his head out of one of these windows, with a cigar in hand, beeping that old rusty horn of his, just so that everyone knew he was coming through. Yeah, he liked a bit of attention you might say, but all for a good cause. That Vern, he just wanted to be noticed, talk about the happenings going on in Beacon and then he’d be on his way! With a sweet grin on his face, a puff of smoke and a beep, he’d be gone in an instant that was if he didn’t take your mirror off first. (Ha! Ha!)
He’s been an inspiring man to look up to, who’s continually given to each and every organisation as well as various friends and family who have needed assistance in any way that he possibly could! This again just goes to show the kind, thoughtful, and generous man that he was! (A stand-up guy / A true man of character), above all else.
Oh and how can I not mention ‘Popeye’ again and Mi-Ro’s, where so many of us gathered over the years to celebrate softball wins, toss around some horse shoes, or just back, relax and throw back a few beers? (For us, nieces and nephews, we recall playing pool and slot ball and feeling oh so cool just sitting on a bar stool, sipping on a Shirley temple and eating a bag of chips, which of course we got for free. And then there were times that someone would get into a fist fight and of course would run to see who get under the pool table the fastest, to get away from it all. After the fight would break up, Uncle Vern would come to the pool table, ask if we were ok and then bring us back to his special freezer, where he would make everything better with a root beer ice pop). He prided himself in running this bar and restaurant for over 30 years, where he stated that it was open for 24,000 plus days-including all holidays! He even told us that Mi-Ro’s was recognised as being one of the premier sports bars in the area. And even though it’s hard to believe that this establishment has been closed for over six years, you would never know judging by the amount of Mi-Ro’s/Popeye t-shirts that are still worn all over Beacon; yet another thing that Uncle Vern loved to see! In fact, he still purchased them and gave them out just recently again. For those of us, that have them, they’re now another reminder of a true icon in our town and we should wear them with pride!
Being on the ‘force’ and playing the role of detective in The City of Beacon Police Dept was yet another qualifying role for him over the course of his life. Uncle Vern received many awards and citations for not only his acts of bravery, teamwork and heroism but for his selfish acts of kindness as well. Again, values that were instilled by him, yet left untouched by what sometimes could be the rough street life of others! He was what one would call :a good cop,’ always finding the best in people and striving to make the streets safer but yet giving assistance to the troublesome and finding the ‘good’ in them, instead of being harsh and cruel. A fellow detective when asked about Vern’s police career said, ‘That guy never arrested anyone.’ With yet another reference to Popeye and in tandem with who Uncle Vern was, Popeye was depicted as capable of coming up with solutions to problems that seemed insurmountable; displaying almost Sherlock Holmes qualities and keen investigative powers, again much like him. In addition to this, he was also the Commissioner of Public Safety and Public Works where it once said that, ‘As a tavern keeper, Way is perhaps one of the more accessible city officials. No one has to ask permission to walk into a bar and there are no receptionists to hold phone calls.’ Another constituent said, he’s the only guy who ever won an election and still demanded a re-count.’ (Only Him)!
He was so incredibly honoured to be inducted into the Dutchess County Hall of Fame and to have his friends and family share in this special commemoration with him. It was this, along with the little things in his life, like his trophies, plaques, certificates, receiving a thank you in the mail, a card, a pat on the back and acknowledgement of any sort would be larger then life for him and played such an intricate part in what he stood for and what he was most proud to share.
More recently, he thoroughly enjoyed his ‘little outings’ with both Uncle Don as well as with good friends, where they would chat about politics, sports and such. He would stop down to his ‘bro’ and while there pick up some good eats as well, as Uncle Don is always preparing sauces and foods to gladly share with others. They would go on about their various coin collections and ‘shoot the sh@#’ as Uncle Vern would say.
Uncle Vern also had two coffee groupings: one where he would of course dictate all of his wants, wishes, and desires of he beloved football league each and every Sunday morning at Pete Goodall’s house, along with his good buddy Lew Swain and his other friend Pete Hensen. Lewie said that, ‘We would of course have to bow down to your Uncle Vern and always did what he asked of us for the best interest of his league or else.’
There was also the great beeping that could be heard on Vail Avenue for when he would wait impatiently to pick up Louie Amoroso for coffee. They would often take a ride over to Newburgh on Tuesdays to the Fast Pitch Hall of Fame. He always looked forward to meeting with these people who not only kept him busy but entertained. (Thanks for being such good friends to my uncle)!
And we certainly can’t forget his best buddy of all, Jack Dexter. (‘Dex’ as he referred to him). There’s nobody that knew the ins and outs of Uncle Vern and no friendship like there’s. They would call and wake each other up each morning, discuss their investments, the goings on in Beacon, share gossip. talk about horses, betting and the like. They truly shared a unique relationship, which my uncle cherished above alll the rest. Even though Jack couldn’t be here in his mere presence today, (because of his health) we know he’s here in spirit.
A special thanks to his dear cousins and neighbours, Carol & Fred DiBerto, who played a special role in not only my Uncle Vern’s life but my Aunt Dolly’s as well. They were both always there to lend a hand and hep out when needed. They truly are ‘special angels’ who we, as his family, are all so blessed to have had to watch over them. Thank you for all that you’ve done to help out over the years.
Although I know this is a bit lengthy and contains a lot of information, it’s what my Uncle would have wanted; for all of his accomplishments to be heard, his friendships to be acknowledged and his family to be recognised. There’s really no other way to say it all! I know that he’s looking down on us all with a smile on his face. Uncle Vern, you will be missed dearly. You’re a man that could never be measured up to nor replaced and we all find ourselves being so thankful for the conversations and great moments we had with you.
Your niece, Andrea (Way) Davis
Date Of Service
12/02/1927 – 06/27/2011
Location Of Service
Libby Funeral Home, Inc.