Following news of a stage IV cancer diagnosis, Vernon Bartlett Brice chose to focus on palliative care to ensure quality time with loved ones. He enthusiastically watched his youngest son play hockey. He gently helped his daughter with her beauty school preparations. He encouraged his oldest son through father-dad talks. He gathered with family for Sunday night dinners. He reminisced and laughed with friends and family while talking about visions of a better world. He bragged about his beautiful and strong wife, drawing strength from her partnership. Cancer may have taken his life, but it did not take his spirit. Love won.
Vernon died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the age of 49.
Vernon was born March 2, 1971, in Fairbanks, Alaska to Andy and Lois Brice. Growing up as the third of four children, he loved hockey, Ford Mustangs, music, snowmachining, and pencil drawing. In high school, Vernon thrived in career and technical education and after graduation joined Local 302 Operating Engineers Union in which he was a member for 30 years. He additionally enjoyed service on the board of the Alaska Operating Engineers/Employers Training Trust. He became a highly skilled equipment operator through a career in the family construction business. In 2016, he branched out to follow his dream of owning his own business and opened Silver Gulch Quarry.
In high school, he met the love of his life, Brandy Lynn Brice (Herman). They married Nov. 20,1993 and have three deeply loved children, Joseph (23), Kelsey (19) and Eric (16). While Vernon enjoyed supporting all of his children's interests, he loved volunteering in a coaching capacity with Hockey Club Fairbanks. If Vernon had one deep sadness, it was in leaving his children too early in their life adventures.
Vernon is survived by his wife, Brandy; his three children, Joseph, Kelsey, and Eric; his father, Andy; mother, Lois; sister, Helen (Daniel) Clark; brother, Luther (Cassandra) Brice; sister, Deloris Brice; father-in-law, Joseph Herman; mother-in-law, Kim Herman; sister-in-law, Danielle Burleson; and a large, loving extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family is thankful for the exceptional palliative service provided by Shelli Aiken, CRNP, and by FMH Hospice caregivers Jennifer Nelson, RN, and Chenoa Decker, CNA. Thanks is also given to Blanchard Family Funeral Home for their compassionate, respectful service.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, a very small group of friends and family will gather at the family farm for the internment of Vernon's ashes. As pandemic precautions lift, celebrations of life will be held with Vernon's extended family and friends, including those in his hockey and work communities. Condolences or donations may be sent to Brandy Brice, 800 Andi Renee Lane, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99712.
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