Vernon was born on August 12, 1941, in Green Castle to Edgar and Ellen (Snyder) Billington. He grew up in Green Castle and joined the United States Air Force after high school. After leaving the military, Vernon worked for General Motors in St. Louis, focusing on Corvette production. He also worked at the Ford plant. Later, he moved to California to work for McDonnell Douglas, manufacturing aircraft. He also spent time in Texas and Oklahoma on oil rigs. Eventually, he returned to Green Castle, where he built a fence stretching from Green City to Green Castle. Vernon was a passionate fisherman and called himself the “World’s Greatest Fisherman.”
Vernon is survived by two brothers, Larry ”Red” Billington of Green Castle, Missouri, and Jerry Billington and wife Kathy of Imperial, Missouri, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Wanda Dillard; and brothers, Ivan Billington, Gary Billington, Ernie Billington, and Gordon Billington.
A graveside service for Vernon will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 2, 2023, at Overstreet Cemetery, north of Green Castle, Missouri. Ruschmeier-Smith Funeral Home in Green City is handling the arrangements.
Instead of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Overstreet Cemetery in c/o John Dillard, 20169 Highway 11, Kirksville, MO 63501, for the care of the cemetery.