John C. Kiick Jr., 102, ran Vertie’s clothing store, star athlete

By on August 5, 2015

John C. Kiick Jr., 102 and one day, of Ephrata, passed away Tuesday July 28, 2015, at Ephrata Manor.

He was born in Hanover to John C. and Carrie (Stambaugh) Kiick and was married to Alverta (Hertzog) Kiick from 1940 to 1958 and Jane (Roberts) Wenger Kiick from 1975 until her passing in 2006.

He was of the Lutheran faith. He was a past member of the American Legion and the VFW. He was a lifetime member of the Elks. In his younger years he enjoyed playing tennis and was an avid bowler playing on a league. In his middle years he began playing golf. He traveled the world extensively, including a visit to Cuba before the reign of Castro. His favorite place he visited was Australia. He was a fixture at Bright’s in Ephrata for many years, as he enjoyed sitting and talking with numerous friends and the employees while having a meal.

John was a 1932 graduate of Ephrata High School, where he played basketball and was captain of the basketball team his senior year. He was a member of the very first football team at EHS. He continued his education with accounting classes post high school.

His first wife, Alverta, and her mother Ada Hertzog, opened Vertie’s, a woman’s clothing store in downtown Ephrata in the early 1930s. John had first worked at Armstrong, during the years of World War II and, in 1945, began to help run Vertie’s with Alverta, taking over operations completely upon her death in 1958 until his retirement and the store closing in 1986.

John is survived by a daughter: Lorna Ravegum, Akron; a son: Dennis, husband of Eileen, Port St. Lucie, Fla.; a step-son: Sidney Wenger, husband of Judy, Leola, a granddaughter: Debra Perkins, wife of Mark, Lancaster; a grandson: Barry D. Ravegum, husband of Jennifer, Denver; a grandson: Troy Kiick, Ocoee, Fla.; a grandson: Matt Kiick, husband of Katherine, Haymarket, Va.; a step-grandson: Dennis Wenger, husband of Shaunda, Utah; a step-grandson: Todd Wenger, Lancaster; a step-grandson: Brett Wenger, husband of Janet, Brownstown; and eight great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and both wives, he was preceded in death by a sister: Elizabeth Claudy; brothers: George and William; son-in-law: Barry L. Ravegum; and a granddaughter: Jill Ravegum.

Service and interment will be private and at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in John’s memory to the charity of your choice.

To think of all the history that John has lived through in his 102 years is fascinating. Especially since he was still fully functioning and living on his own up until a fall and then an illness in the middle of his 99th year. In the past 2½ years, while not as mobile as before, his mind was still clear and his memory flawless. We will leave you with some of John’s thoughts on life: “Live and experience life before you marry. If you can do something that you enjoy, do it. Life is too short to wait.”

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.

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