Trudy Jelf Vernon


Trudy Jelf Vernon, age 70, with profound sadness, we announce the December 1, 2019 passing of Trudy, our loving and magical mother and beloved friend, to all whose lives she touched.  She left us peacefully after a 3 year war with cancer. Born along the Clinch River in Tazewell, VA, Trudy is a graduate of Virginia High School, Emory & Henry College, and the Medical College of Virginia (MCV).  Trudy lived a life during which she embraced every day with gusto. She was an avid card player and a member of both Bridge and Duplicate clubs. She was also a life-long bowler, participating in league and tournament play.  A master baker, Trudy enjoyed creating culinary traditions with homemade cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes and her Christmas kringle, and as an accomplished gardener, she also loved both growing vegetables and flowers which she would then can and press.  

Trudy’s work life was dedicated to taking care of others.  She enjoyed many roles within the medical field, including intensive care nursing, emergency & ambulatory transport, medical support to the U.S. Merchant Marine.  Trudy worked to create the skilled care nursing unit at Smyth County Community Hospital and then served for 20 years with the Smyth County Ambulance Service, retiring in 2016.

Most of all, Trudy was devoted to family.  She is a treasured mother to David Vernon and wife Jennifer of Ashburn, VA; Neal Vernon and wife Nancye of Columbia, SC; and Anna Vernon Bowman and husband Dustin of Marion, VA; and the beloved grandmother to 9 grandchildren, Lily Bowman, Lucas Vernon, Samuel Bowman, Alana Vernon, Miles Vernon, Clara Vernon, Jackson Vernon, Riley Vernon, & Eliza Vernon.  Trudy is also survived by her brother William E. Jelf III and his daughters, Mary & Mollie, and her sister-in-law Sandy Jelf and her children Greg & Tonya.  

Trudy was preceded in death by her father, William Engert Jelf, a former Methodist minister for the Holston Conference; mother, Anna Katherine Jelf, a former Director of Religious Education; brother Samuel McPherson Jelf, and sister-in-law Linda Jelf.

Her life was a living example of Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ”.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to her caregivers, the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center and Dr. Cheryl Carlson, Francis Marion Manor’s 2nd Floor Nursing Staff, and Dr. Robert Van Clampitt.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital,

Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church with Pastor Don Thomas officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until the time of service at the church. Graveside services will be held Friday, December 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Rose Lawn Cemetery. Family and friends are asked to meet at Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory at 10:15 a.m. to process to the cemetery.

To share memories or condolences with the family of Trudy Jelf Vernon, please visit Care for Trudy’s family has been entrusted to Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion Va. 24354.