4/13/2005 Kerens honors its grand lady April 9
From Staff Reports
Friends and family gathered April 9 in Kerens to “roast” Fannie Mae Vernon.
Buster Atkeisson introduced Betty Partain, who was a student of Vernon’s in the
1950s. Vernon and Partain graduated from Texas Woman’s University. Partain read
a letter from Ann Stewart, chancellor and president of TWU.It stated, “It is
with pleasure that we congratulate you upon being honored with a ‘roast’ by your
local Chamber of Commerce on April 9, 2005. As a 1942 graduate of the Texas
State College for Women, you have shown that you are a true ‘pioneer’ through
community service to your county over the years. We understand that you are held
in high esteem in your community because of your efforts on behalf of youth
groups, the library, schools and other civic organizations. It is not everyone
who has a building named in their honor on the local fairgrounds. We are proud
that you bring distinction to yourself, to your alma mater, Texas State College
for Women (now Texas Woman’s University). Congratulations.”
Connie Beal from Navarro Regional Hospital was next with a group of “pink
ladies” presenting Vernon with a rod and reel to help her reel in all her
customers at the hospital gift shop as they enter the front desk.
Daryl Schliem, executive director/CEO of the Corsicana/Navarro County Chamber of
Commerce, told of the time when he came to town and took on the project of
remodeling the Navarro County Exposition Center and Fannie Mae Vernon Room. He
had removed the name on the building. He received a phone call from Vernon. She
said, “Young man, I haven’t met you but I need to explain a few things to you
about the Vernon Room.” He gave Vernon a personal check in the amount of $1,000
in her honor to spend any way she wanted to.
Tom Darby told as a senior at Kerens High School, just before he graduated, his
father put a white shirt and tie on him and sent him to see Fannie Mae Vernon,
who at that time worked for Texas Power and Light Company. He said he didn’t
know exactly what happened, but he got his first job with T P&L.
Vernon also helped organize the Friends of Youth which helps purchase the Kerens
FFA and 4-H students’ entries in the Navarro County Youth Exposition every year.
Geral Nichols, who was the construction contractor on the Navarro County
Exposition Center and Fannie Mae Vernon Room, presented her with pictures of the
building as it was being constructed. Vernon was the first construction
Everyone attending had an enjoyable evening helping “roast” Fannie Mae Vernon.