BARBARA JENSEN VERNON
Born August 13, 1936 in Dallas, Texas, died in Prairie Village, Kansas on May 15, 2020. Parents Maurice Guy “Cay” Jensen and Fay Bryant Jensen of Dallas Texas, and her brother, Bryant Peter Jensen of Houston, Texas are deceased. Surviving are her husband, Walter N. Vernon III of the home, sons Walter N. Vernon IV of Fairfax, California, Eric Eugene Vernon of Blue Springs, Missouri, and Alex Cay Vernon, of Little Rock, Arkansas, sister-in-law Dr. Kathy Vernon Clark of Decatur, Alabama, Grandchildren include Sheldon Cook of Kasnas City, Connor Slaten of St. Louis, Annabel and Isaac Vernon of Fairfax, California, and Anna Cay Vernon and Quinn Jensen Harper of Little Rock, Arkansas. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, BBA SMU 1957, member of Tri Delta Sorority, Beta Theta Pi Chapter Sweetheart, and MPA from UMKC in Kansas City with a MPA in 1978. Employment included office manager with California Pools, Financial manager with California Pools, Financial manager with Storey, Armstrong and Steger, a Dallas Law firm, self-employed bookkeeper 1957 to 1972, Comptroller, St. Paul School of Theology 1973-1978; and City Administrator of Prairie Village, Kansas 1978 to 2008. She was one of the first female city administrator/managers in the United States, mentored several younger women in the field and lectured on Women in Management at Avilla College and on Public administration at UMKC. At Prairie Village she instituted an award winning annual budget & financial statement, with Mayor Sid Powell of Mission, Kansas organized the North East Johnson County Economic Development Council which became the North East Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, served on its board for many years, and was named Ambassador of the year in 2001, for Prairie Village, Kansas, instituted long range planning for budgets and city finances, (the City Budget documents receive many city streets, city parks, and city Zoning. She also served as interim public works director riding snow plows at 2 am, helped select several police chiefs, helped develop and managed several parks and the pool complex, negotiated with the developer of Claridge Court, participated in the Leadership Kansas program, was a member of many professional associations and organizations, represented the City with the National League of Cities, The Kansas League of Cities, The Kansas Legislature, and received many professional awards such as The 2007 L.P. Cookingham Award For Outstanding Public Service from the Greater K.C. Chapter o fteh Association of Public Administration. She served on the Grater Kansas Ctiy United Way review board. Following retirement, she served on the City’s Foundation Board, raising money for needy residents and organized the Mayor’s Annual Christmas Tree project and the Ginger Bread House Decorating annual event for which she was named the City’s Volunteer of the Year in 2015. Upon retirement, the City Foundation placed a statue, The Spirit of Prairie Village, in the Municipal Building Garden in her honor. She was a member of several United Methodist Churches including Asbury in Prairie Village, serving as a Stevens Minister, on its Financial and Foundation Committees and as Treasurer of the United Methodist Women’s organization. She found time to be a wonderful wife and Mother. Cremation, ashes spread in the Asbury Memorial Garden, in a Vernon Family plot in Texas, and near the Spirit of Prairie Village statute. Memorial service pending, memorial gifts suggested to Asbury United Methodist Church or to the Prairie Village Foundation.
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