Vernon Brantwein, 84, longtime resident of the White Deer and Pampa communities, passed away on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, after an extended illness.
Celebration of life memorial services will be 10:00 AM, Saturday, May 20, 2023, at the Carmichael-Whatley Colonial Chapel with Rev. Byron Williamson, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Pampa, officiating. Cremation and arrangements are under the direction of Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors and Crematory.
He was cared for by his wife of 62 years, Jessie Radcliff Brantwein, until his passing, along with friends who helped him care for his flock of sheep, which kept him flourishing, occupied and entertained while living within Pampa’s city limits his last few years.
Born Hans-Werner Brantwein, (pronounced Hanz-Verner) to August and Hilda Brantwein in Landeshut, Germany, and growing up in Darmstadt, Poland, during Nazi occupation, Vernon escaped communism at age 19 with 2 sisters, living briefly in Chicago for citizenship purposes and then settling in the Pampa area, and eventually settling his family in White Deer for 44 years.
Vernon and Jessie were married in Pampa May 16, 1961, where he was learning the carpentry and construction trade, where his expertise and old-world craftsmanship would become well known throughout the area as the best of the best.
Vernon was self-taught in many respects, a testament to a drive and determination many do not have. He was always in pursuit of new challenges, from racing boats and barefoot skiing that would make people’s jaws drop to golden gloves boxing and even racing pigeons, Vernon was a busy man.
Vernon wanted to learn how to fly airplanes, so he did that for a brief time.
He was a huge animal lover, and his interests led him to become invested in cattle and horses, which led him to moving his family to the ranch in White Deer, where he had mixed breed feeder cattle, along with his specially acquired herd of Santa Gertrudis Cattle from the King Ranch, after the loss of close friend Byron Thoms in 1984.
Among the other animals in Vernon’s stables included the usual pigs and goats and sheep, but also llamas, emus, wild stallions, and every farm fowl known to man. He loved his blue heelers as well.
Vernon loved hanging out with his buddies, telling stories and sharing a beer. He was totally in love with his granddaughters. Vernon will be remembered as the funny, stubborn, hardworking German who was a loyal provider and protector for his family. His absence will be felt by all.
Vernon was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters; a brother; and his precious granddaughter, Chelsea Brooke, who took a huge piece of Vernon’s heart with her.
His survivors include his wife, Jessie Brantwein of the home; son, Bobby Brantwein of Okarche, Oklahoma; two granddaughters, Briana Brantwein of Midland, Michigan, and Madelin Brantwein of Borger; three great-grandchildren, Landyn Wilde, Owen Wilde, and Amelia Fortuna; sister, Christa Reed of Amarillo; sister-in-law, Mildred Rice and husband Bill of Canyon; brother-in-law, John Radcliff of Pampa; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family.