Vern Barg

Vernon Lawrence Charles Barg, 87, of Oak Park and Forest Park, died on April 24, 2021. Born to parents Elmer and Lily (Buelow) Barg on Sept. 24, 1933, he was the youngest of four children in his childhood home on south East Avenue in Oak Park.

He attended grade school at Christ Lutheran in Oak Park and graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1951. After high school, he studied at local community colleges while beginning his career as a meat cutter.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, where he worked as a medical assistant in orthopedics, followed by four years of service in the Army Reserves, and went on to a long career as a meat cutter and department manager for both Jewel Foods (over 10 years) and Dominick’s Finer Foods (over 30 years).

Dedicated to his family, faith and fun, he never missed a birthday, holiday or family gathering. An avid sports fan, he could consistently be found on the sidelines cheering on his daughters and grandchildren. A parishioner of St John Lutheran Church in Forest Park for the last 38 years and Christ Lutheran in Oak Park prior to that, he volunteered in many capacities. An avid fisherman and card player, jigsaw and crossword puzzler, he participated in the church dart and bowling leagues, acted and sang in Act IV and other church groups, and spent Saturday nights at the old Santa Fe Speedway. He also enjoyed traveling to Florida, Wisconsin, and Paw Paw, Michigan, as well as special excursions to Hawaii and Germany. He loved all Chicago sports teams but was most thrilled to watch the Cubs win the World Series in 2016.

Vern is survived by his three daughters, Karen (Mike) Baldwin, Donna (Eric) Hartin, and Wendy (John) Kuenster; his grandchildren, Emma and Owen Baldwin, Annaliese, Callen and Ciel Hartin, and Ella, JJ, Cameron and Ava Kuenster; his former wife, Diane Gasper Marston; his cousin, Glenn Strohschein; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Lily (Buelow) Barg; his siblings Edgar Barg, Lavonne Groth and Shirley Barg; and his nieces Elisa Barg Gaskill and Esther Barg.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home in Forest Park, with a wake service at 6:30 p.m. Lying in state at St. John Lutheran Church in Forest Park on Monday, May 3, will take place from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m., with interment at Concordia Cemetery. Please remember to follow COVID guidelines. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. John Lutheran Church ( or the Belmont Village of Oak Park Staff Appreciation Fund (1035 Madison St., Oak Park 60302).

Join the discussion on social media!