Cecil L. (Vern) Coverdale


Cecil L. (Vern) Coverdale passed away on October 23, 2012, after a sudden illness. Born October 8, 1937, to Cecil J. and Estella E. Coverdale in Dayton, Washington. Vern grew up on a farm enjoying hunting, fishing and sports. He was the starting point guard on the school’s state basketball team in 1955, graduating in 1956. That same year, he married his classmate since 3rd grade and sweetheart since 11th grade, Peggy Kayser.

Vern went to work at the farm shop for Green Giant Company in Dayton and then in 1968, moved his young family of five to Westport to join his father at Westport Marine diesel service. Vern was a respected mechanic working on commercial and charter boats, as well as logging equipment throughout Western Washington. He possessed an uncanny ability to analyze engine problems and make the needed repairs efficiently and effectively, which resulted in a number of requested trips to Alaska for boat owners wanting repairs done right the first time.

In his early years in Westport, Vern was active with the local chapter of the Jaycees and was a volunteer firefighter and in his latter years he volunteered for various events and activities at the Westport Maritime Museum. When asked, Vern was always willing to lend a hand but his true passions (besides his family) related to the great outdoors. He was an avid rock hound and loved to comb the beaches. From his old Scout to his new red Jeep, he could often be found with tires in the sand in search of glass balls, agates or fishing for perch in the surf.

Vern enjoyed panning for gold in the rivers throughout the state and also spent many seasons hunting deer and elk in the Blue Mountains. He loved fishing the local rivers and lakes and since retiring in 2000, he could be found most days from September through October each year, posted on a ramp at the marina casting lures at boat basin salmon and cursing about sea lions.

An honest, hardworking man, Vern was a loving husband and a devoted father. His early departure from this earth has left a gaping hole in the lives of his family and close friends. He is survived by his wife and partner of 56 years, Peggy; sister, Patricia Higley of Westport; son, Dan Coverdale of Olympia, son, Mike Coverdale of Westport; daughter, Sue Ellen Spooner of Hoquiam; as well as eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Memorial donations can be made in Vern’s name to the Westport South Beach Historical Society.

If you knew Vern, you know he would be embarrassed by a “fuss” thrown in his honor but a celebration of his rich and fulfilled life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, November 17, 2012, in McCausland Hall at the Maritime Museum. If you knew Vern, his family would be honored by your presence.