OCEAN PARK - Vernon Howard Kent, 84, of Ocean Park, died suddenly at his home on Feb. 7, 2008. He was born in Glasgow, Mont., on April 3, 1923, to Forest Moffett and Thelma (Harvey) Kent. He grew up in the Spokane area and attended school there.
On Jan. 21, 1941, he joined the Navy. He was in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the USS Helm DD388, and as the attack was under way, the Helm steamed out of the harbor, bombs dropping around it and made it through unscathed. He served in the Navy until April 1946, and after a very brief stint in civilian life, he joined the Army, which he made his career, retiring in 1964 at the rank of Sergeant First Class. He then went to work as a machinist at a steel manufacturing firm until retiring from that job in 1982.
He married Frances Kruse on Sept. 19, 1944. The couple purchased property in Surfside and following their retirement, built a home there. He loved woodworking, hunting fishing and traveling in their RV. He was a member of the Pearl Harbors Survivors, South Coast Chapter, where he also served as secretary.
Besides his wife, survivors include his daughters, Linda Kay Kent of Bellingham and Alexa Ann Avery of Ocean Park; sisters Edna Beatty of Houston, Texas, Thelma Kent of Auburn and Juanita Preuitt of Tumwater; grandchildren, Stacy Paris and Amanda Cropp; one great-grandchild, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. A son, Robert Forest Kent, preceded him in death.
No formal services are planned and interment will be in Spokane. Arrangements entrusted to Penttila's Chapel by The Sea. The guest book may be signed at www.penttilaschapel.com.