Verne F. Potter

Verne F. Potter

May 31, 1927 - January 06, 2016

Verne F. Potter

May 31, 1927 - January 06, 2016


Verne F. Potter died of a heart attack at home in his beloved city of Laguna Niguel, CA on January 6, 2016. He was born in Los Angeles on May 31, 1927 but his family moved to San Bernardino when he was two.

Verne attended San Bernardino public schools and graduated from San Bernardino High in 1945. He left before graduation, at the age of 17, to join the Navy where he served during WWII. After VJ day on September 2, 1945, the Navy sent Verne to college in Colorado Springs. Following his discharge Verne completed college at the University of Redlands, graduating in 1950. That same year he got a job at Santa Fe Federal Savings in San Bernardino and he and his childhood sweetheart, Barbara Alton, whom he married on April 10, 1949, settled there to raise their family.
Verne was a hard worker, and by 1969 he had become President of Santa Fe. In 1971 he became a member of the Board of Directors. Throughout his career he collected numerous awards and commendations and, in 1981, was named Inland Empire Citizen of the Year.

In 1980 Santa Fe Federal merged with Pacific Federal. Pacific Federal built headquarters in Costa Mesa and Verne became President of that institution. As a result, Verne and Barbara moved to Laguna Niguel and built a beautiful home on Sea Island Drive. After his career in the savings and loan industry ended in the mid-eighties Verne became a realtor in Laguna Niguel and South Laguna, a job that he pursued from 1987 until 2013.

Verne lived a life of service and was a community leader in both San Bernardino and Laguna Niguel. He was in the Kiwanis Club in San Bernardino and served as President. He joined Rotary in Laguna Niguel and was an active, dedicated member. He served as President of Rotary, also, and worked diligently for the club into the final year of his life. He lived his life according to the Rotary Four-Way Test:
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Verne was a phenomenal water skier and snow skier. He was the best, most patient water ski instructor one could imagine. He also grew to love deep sea fishing, fished with the Big 10 Sport Fishing Club, and had an ocean-going vessel for a few years.

Verne’s childhood nickname was Sunny and it was apt throughout his life. He had a smile for everyone and never complained, even when injured or ill. He was a positive presence and influence for his family and many others whose lives he touched.

Verne was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Verne Sr., his sister, Barbara Leveille, his brother, Doug and the love of his life, Barbara Alton Potter. After her death in 2009 he said many times that no woman could ever measure up to her.

Verne is survived by three children, Marilyn Wallick (Ron), Greg Potter (Sue) and Susan Potter (Carolyn Lyons); grandchildren Tracy Mullen (Sean), Michael Small (Michelle), Matthew Beaver, Nathan Beaver (Amy), Alison Potter (Dustin Miller) and Olivia Lyons-Potter. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Serena Potter, a multitude of adoring nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and his Japanese exchange-student son, Junichi Yoroisaka, who was inspired by Verne to become a banker and says of Verne “he made my life”, a sentiment echoed by many.

The family extends thanks to the dedicated, loving staff at The Covington Skilled Nursing Facility and at Paseo del Campo Board and Care for taking such good care of Verne in the spring and summer of 2015. We thank Rene Salosagcol for providing loving care in recent months.

A memorial service will be held at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley Drive, Laguna Beach, CA, 92651(949-499-3088) on Saturday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers please honor Verne by contributing to the Laguna Niguel Rotary, P.O. Box 6281, Laguna Niguel, CA, 92677.

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1 responses to Verne F. Potter

  1. I was so saddened to learn in this morning San Bernardino newspaper of the death of my old and dear friend Verne. I send my condolences to his family. Verne and I worked together on numerous community projects. He was a pillar of the community who never took himself too seriously, always had a smile and an exuberant optimism, and was a perspon of uncompromising integrity. I wish I could attend the memorial service but I will be in Northern California that day for a family celebration. While remembring Verne and mourning his loss I cannot help but remember Barbara as well as Verne’s dad.

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