In Memory

Vernon C. Jaramillo - Class Of 1968

Deceased Classmate: Vernon C. Jaramillo (1968)
Date Deceased: 4-1970
Age at Death: 19
Cause of Death: Collapsing while jogging. Heart Failure
Classmate City: North Palm Beach
Classmate State: FL
Classmate Country:
Survived By:

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05/03/09 10:15 PM #1    

Edwin Hendrickson (1967)

Vern actually died in the spring of 1970, after he had transferred to the University of South Florida. Vern was a very good friend of mine. His dream was to become a doctor so that he could help people.

05/23/09 07:21 PM #2    

Robert Jordan (1968)

Hi Edwin,

I remember Vernon very well. a very warm and friendly person.. his mother, i believe, was a teacher at RBHS as was David Forey's father, who taught 11th grade American History (over in the portables). if i recall, and i don't doubt your information since you knew him after RBHS?, Vernon died shortly before our June 1968 graduation while running the track around the football field.. at least that was the story going around.. it was rumoured that he had a congenital heart disease and died of heart failure.. if you dispute this claim, then feel free to. but that's what i remember.. anyway thanks for the information.

05/24/09 12:04 AM #3    

Edwin Hendrickson (1967)

Vern and I were good friends from 1966 until his death. He went to John's Hopkins University in Baltimore from Fall 1968 to Spring of 1969. He transferred to the University of South Florida in the Fall of 1969 because they were going to open a medical school there and he wanted to work on getting in on the ground floor. The rest is true. He did die while jogging the track around the football field at South Florida where collapsed and died. It may have been because he had a congenital heart disease and that was the cause of death. I was a junior at the UF (1970) when I got a call from Brenda Berry whom he dated at RHBS telling me of this tragedy. His mother, Carmen Jaramillo was a very nice lady who treated me as part of the family. She taught spanish, typing and American History to Juniors as you said. So the story is correct but the dates are off. Vern did graduate from RHBS in 1968

05/30/09 07:02 PM #4    

Robert Jordan (1968)

Hi Edwin,

I don't know, but can I assume you posted Vern's original obit? I'm sorry if I sounded arrogant about "my facts" surrounding his extremely tragic and untimely death.. yes I got it wrong. It's funny how facts can get distorted especially by time.. but I didn't just conjure up a false memory about when I thought he died.. But time and memory don't always synch up.. it's that I had that story passed to me back then and, as I recall, it was around the early summer of 1968 as we were graduating.. But as good as my memory is, it does play tricks on me.. but I think I know how that got misconstrued. In April 1970, I was a sophomore at PBJC due to graduate that May but, in the end, I lacked 16 credits and needed to come back and take some Incompletes over and take long neglected Electives to get that AA and then I moved to NYC in the mid 70s to study at a "prestigious" art and design school, mostly due to my grades and work at PBJC. My sister Wanda, Class of 1970, was a senior at RBHS that year so I was aware of what was going on over there.. I don't think she told me about Vern, whose mother was still at RBHS.. but somehow I heard about it from one of my classmates, maybe Joe Ivey, and it HAD to be that spring.

I'm sorry for the loss of your close friend.. it was a shocking loss for all who knew him and it caused waves of sorrow at the school. He was definitely the first of our Alumni to die. I don't know why it is.. but our class, 1968, has been hit pretty hard by early deaths and many since in their 30s, 40s and 50s.. it just strikes me as tragic. and I didn't know Vern well just around school and he was in my home room. "J". I don't think I ever saw him when he didn't have that smile he wore in his Class of 68 photo on his face.. a very positive up guy.. I guess he knew where he wanted to go.. and John Hopkins was a pretty damn good start. I knew where I was going to and what I wanted to do, but PBJC was where it would start.. no clout for a prestigious university.. nor the grades. I think Vern had a 3.5 or 4.0 GPA when he graduated.. I barely had a 2.0. Didn't matter JC took everyone with passing grades.. and I was going into the visual and advertising arts not medicine.. Vern had the smarts to study medicine.. like Don Snyder, who got a scholarship to Rice U, played basketball and studied pre med. Like is father, he became a heart surgeon. Snyder was our class president.

And if you graduated in 1966 you may have known Robin Jackson.. probably in your home room.. Robin and his, Class of 68, brother Jerry are cousins of mine and I haven't seen them in ages.. We practically grew up together. Robin was christened Robert Jackson in 1948.. and when I came along, in 1950, and I got my father's first name, my aunt decided two Roberts in the family were too many.. and started calling her second son (three brothers) Robin.. his nickname thru school but officially he was Robert on most documents. If you played baseball that year, 1965-66, he was your team mate..

And if you were a junior at UF in 1970, did you start going there in 1967? a good and childhood friend of mine in Riviera Beach, Lyle Knowles, was at UF from 1967-68.. taking Psychology courses if I recall. he dropped out and returned to Riviera Beach where he took up his degree work at PBJC 1968-69 the year I started.. Lost touch with him in 1970 and am not sure where he next went but, he wound up, like a lot of RBHS grads, at Pratt & Whitney.

Thanks for sharing your memories about a long lost friend.. Time is a thief, it robs us of our youth, takes our friends from us, and leaves us with only memories.. some good some bad, some happy some sad.


05/31/09 05:40 PM #5    

Sarah Phillips (1968)

I posted the original comment but deleted it after Edwin clarified the information. I do remember Vernon and his mother. They lived very close to us. Vernon was always smiling. He definately was an achiever. The news of his passing affected a great many of his classmates because it just seemed so unfair and unreal. Of all people many of us felt that he should be the last to be taken. Of course that was from the reality of seventeen year old kids. Having myself lived to be near sixty now, I have seen and experienced many losses that unfortunately, left us way too soon. I do believe Vernon is smiling still.

06/02/09 11:34 AM #6    

Robert Jordan (1968)

Hi Sarah..

We both seem to be rather active on the website.. and the In Memory section. I don't have that much time right now, am in the middle of a major house move, that will be over by the end of June or early July.. and will be on the Forum more often..

Yeah really sad about Vernon.. it was a shock to hear about his death.. and, like I said, I had this false memory about when he died.. I had this perma memory that it was around June 1968.. and he didn't get his diploma.. I'm glad Edwin cleared that up..

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