The Fresno Bee
February 26, 2009
Hugh Worden, age 84, of Fresno passed away on Friday, February
13, 2004, after a brief illness.
Mr. Worden was born in Oilton, OK, on December 20, 1919, to
Hugh and Viola Worden. He participated in scouting and achieved
the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating from Seminole High
School, he attended Oklahoma State College and married Ms.
Dorothy Carruth in 1940. He went to work for Lockheed Aircraft
in Glendale, CA as a member of their engineering department's
aircraft design team. He is most proud of his assisting in the
development of the Constellation airliner. Vernon enlisted in
the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943, and served as a flight engineer
on a B-29 Superfortress in the South Pacific Theater. In
addition to many military missions, he participated in numerous
flight tests, several of which established world records for
altitude and endurance. He also flew as part of General Curtis
After the birth of his son Royce and his
honorable discharge from the military, Mr. Worden entered
mortuary school in San Francisco. In 1947, he graduated from the
San Francisco School of Mortuary Science, and two months later
his daughter Vallory "Vicki" was born. He subsequently
established his home in Chowchilla, was blessed with the birth
of daughter Loretta, and founded the Worden Funeral Chapels in
Chowchilla and Atwater.
Vernon "Digger" Worden was in the
funeral business for over 40 years and was widely respected for
his professionalism, caring attitude, and civic responsibility.
In 1964, he married Maxine Bear. Their marriage of 40 years was
a testament to the power of Christian love and commitment to
each other. Mr. Worden was a member of the Chowchilla Baptist
Church, the Chowchilla Masonic Lodge, the Tehran Temple of the
Scottish Rite, the Order of Eastern Star, VFW, American Legion,
and the Chowchilla Lions Club. In addition to numerous civic
awards over the years, in 2001, Vernon was honored with a
"Unique Citizen's Award" by the Chowchilla Chamber of Com- merce
and presented with recognition scrolls from the California State
Assembly, State Senate, and the United States Congress. Mr.
Worden had a life-long interest in aviation and owned several
airplanes in which he traveled throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
Vernon's interest in travel took him to a majority of countries
in the world. Mr. Worden had an abiding love for his country,
his community, and his family. His generosity, warmth and good
cheer will be greatly missed by his family and all those whose
lives he touched over the years.
Mr. Worden is survived by his
wife Maxine; sister, Evelyn Jones of Denver, CO; son, Royce
Worden of Sacramento; daughter, Vallory Conkle of Los Gatos;
daughter, Loretta Hicks of Clovis; son, Donald Bear of Grants
Pass, OR; and daughter, Darlene Waters of New York City. Mr.
Worden had six grandsons, Gavin, Brian, David, Ian, Kyle, and
Garrett; five granddaughters, Jennifer, Kathleen, Elizabeth,
Katelyn, and Julie; and two great-granddaughters, Grace and
Violet. Visitation will be held at Worden Funeral Chapel on
Thursday, February 19, 2004, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and again on
Friday morning, February 20, 2004, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Service will be held at First Baptist Church of Chowchilla, 717
W. Robertson Blvd. in Chowchilla on Friday, February 20, 2004,
at 1:00 p.m. Interment will follow at Chowchilla District
Cemetery. Remembrances may be made to First Baptist Church of
Chowchilla, 717 W. Robertson Blvd., Chowchilla, CA 93610 or to
the Shriner's Hospital, of donor's choice. JAY CHAPEL In Madera (559) 674-8814
Complied and transcribed by Zoey Fryhover, 2009.