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Obituary for Vernon Nelson Ninham

Vernon Nelson “Shakoyaʔtakénhas” (He Helps Them) Ninham passed away on Monday, March 20, 2017 at the age of 89 at the Anna John Resident Centered Care Community in Oneida, Wisconsin. Vernon was the first-born to the late Nelson and Rebecca (Schuyler) Ninham on July 11, 1927 in Bowler, Wisconsin. As a child he attended Oneida Indian Mission School prior to leaving the Oneida Reservation and enrolling at St. Andrew’s Episcopal High School in Sewanee, Tennessee. Instead of graduating from St. Andrew’s, Vernon enlisted with the U.S. Army. He spent most of his time in Fontainebleau, France and was honorably discharged after earning the rank of corporal. Following his military service, Vernon secured employment at Red Owl Food Stores in Green Bay and drove semis for 37 years prior to retirement. He was a proud member of Teamsters Local 75-Green Bay and the Oneida VFW Post 7784.

On October 14, 1950, Vernon married his best friend and the love of his life, Joycelyn (Joy) Moon. Vernon and Joy lovingly raised three sons Paul (Jill) Ninham, Daniel (Susan) Ninham, and Mark (Barbara) Ninham. Over the years, they travelled as a family to many destinations across the United States. Vernon enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, travelling, and most of all, playing baseball for the Oneida Mission Team. Vernon played competitively until he was 42 years old. He also enjoyed coaching Oneida little league teams as he unselfishly volunteered his time for many causes and events in the community.

At an early age Vernon became involved with the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in Oneida. He attained spiritual fulfillment as he matured and served as a chalice bearer, acolyte, and vestry person for 50 years. Vernon and Joy also volunteered for Father James Samter at Christ Episcopal Church in Green Bay, working with the Asian refugee program for five years. His greatest adventure was volunteering and living at Cook Christian School for Native Americans in Tempe, Arizona.

Vernon was preceded in death by his parents, wife Joy, brothers: John, Harold, Clyde, and Harlan, his sister Telka, sisters-in-law Alice (Skenandore) Ninham and Roberta (Novak) Ninham, and brothers-in-law Don Ness and Erwin Cottrell Jr.

He is survived by his three sons and their wives, grandchildren: Jamie (Kyle), Curtis, Kimberly, Cory, Byron (Amy), Lydia, and Simone; great grandchildren: Braxton, Nathan, Andrew, Taliyah, Darion, Adeline, Adeline’s baby brother expected in August, and Saniya; brothers: Darwin Ninham, Cletus (Marion) Ninham, and Leland (Rebecca) Wigg-Ninham; sisters: Nona Cottrell, Annabeth Ness, Debra Ninham, and Regina (Todd) Vande Hei; brother-in-law Robert Novak, sisters-in-law Marlene (House) Ninham, Marge (Skenandore) Funmaker, Sandra Brehmer, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Friends may call after 4:00PM Friday March 24, 2017 at RYAN FUNERAL HOME 305 N. Tenth Street, De Pere. The Oneida VFW will have a service at 6:30PM followed by the Oneida Hymn Singers, and then a prayer service at 7:00PM to bring the evening to a close. Visitation will continue after 9:00AM Saturday at Church of the Holy Apostles, 2937 Freedom Road, Oneida. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00AM with The Rev. Rodger L. Patience, Vicar of the church officiating. Full military rites will be conducted following mass. The Oneida Hymn Singers will sing at 10:30AM. Please go to to send online condolences to the family.

The family sends a respectful and heartfelt thank you to each of his favorite nurses and staff at the Anna John Resident Centered Care Community in Oneida. The care, love, and friendship you provided to our father will forever be remembered and cherished.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Vernon Nelson Ninham, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory

305 N. Tenth St
De Pere, WI 54115

Oneida Hymn Singers at 6:30PM Prayer Service at 7:00PM





9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Holy Apostles Stone Church

2937 Freedom Rd
Oneida, WI 54155

Oneida Hymn Singers at 10:30AM





11:00 AM
Holy Apostles Stone Church

2937 Freedom Rd
Oneida, WI 54155

Military Rites to follow mass.





2:30 PM
Oneida United Methodist Cemetery

N6037 County Road E
De Pere, WI 54115


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