Vernon Napoleon Potter – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Vernon N. Potter went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 13, 2006 after a brief illness at East Orange General Hospital, East Orange, New Jersey.

Vernon was born on July 7, 1918 in Cleveland, Ohio to Napoleon and Christalia Potter.  He grew up in New York City and graduated from Haaren High School in 1937. He enlisted in the United States Army in March, 1941, and entered Officers Candidate School in 1942, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  He married his sweetheart, Doriska John, in 1946 at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in New York City. In 1949 they welcomed their first child, Denise.  Vernon was recalled to service in 1950 and he served in the Korean War.

Vernon was a career Army officer.  During the 1950s, he prepared and coordinated training programs, was a supply officer, and inspected tactical air defense equipment. While he was in Korea, Doriska gave birth to their second child, Vernon, in New York.

Vernon was stationed in Fort Niagara, New York,  in the mid-50s, joined the Episcopal Church, studied Business Law, welcomed his third child, Angela, and received training in missiles and atomic weapons at Fort Bliss, Texas.  Major Potters next assignment was in Schwäbisch münd, Germany, and the family followed him to Germany and learned the language. The Potters returned to the United States in 1962.  Vernon and Doriska longed for the suburbs and moved to Orange, New Jersey in 1965.  After over 20 years of service, he retired from the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1966.

Vernon then worked for the State of New Jersey for 10 years and served as the Director of the Division on Civil Rights.  Before Vernon’s retirement from civilian service, he was from 1980-1985 as an Affirmative Action Officer/Personnel Officer for Orange Township, New Jersey.

Vernon accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and converted to Catholicism through the charismatic renewal.  In 1982, Vernon and Doriska were confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church and became active members of St. Antoninus Church in Newark, New Jersey, volunteering as lectors and Eucharistic Ministers.

Vernon's many hobbies included photography, golf, swimming, bowling, family, and taking his wife shopping at local malls, and to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.  He supported many charities and encouraged others in their faith. Among his many affiliations were the 369th Regiment, the Retired Officers Association and the Association of the United States Army.  During his military service he was awarded three Army Commendation Medals and maintained a top-secret clearance.

Vernon died on 13 March 2006 and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

Vernon N. Potter leaves his loving wife of almost 60 years, Doriska; sister and brother-in-law Ruth and Arthur Taylor of Dayton, Ohio; brother-in-law, Arnold John; daughter, Denise of Oakland, California, daughter, Angela and son-in-law, Martin Bowman of New York City, godchild, Thaddeus Danquah; Butch and Patty Snyder; and a host of relatives and very dear friends. His son Vernon Potter passed away in 2005.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 07/07/1918
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/13/2006

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