Earl (Tom) Dorn passed away on Tuesday May 26, 2020 peacefully at the age of 94.
Tom was born on December 20, 1925 in Vernon Center NY, the youngest of four children to Howard and Maryette (Mott) Dorn. Shortly after graduating from Vernon High School in 1944 Tom decided to purchase the property adjacent to the family home in Vernon Center and build his first barn and purchased another existing farm in Vernon Center. In 1959 he purchased another farm in Vernon NY where he decided to rent out the house to a Clara Rizzo, who he later married in 1967. Together Tom & Clara expanded his operations further purchasing a 4th farm in Vernon, creating one of the first free stall Dairy Farms in the area.
Eventually Tom decided to sell the farms in Vernon to the Vail brothers, who he became a mentor and lifelong friend. Years later when he decided to sell his farm in Vernon Center it was turned into a wedding and banquet facility Hayloft on the Arch.
Tom was an active member in the Vernon Center United Methodist Church as a child and throughout his life. He also chaired and was involved in the Vernon Center Methodist Church Park Committee starting the Old Home Days Festival, including building his own “Field of Dreams” Baseball field on his property down the street from the park to have community softball games. As part of his civic commitment he helped start the Vernon Center Volunteer Fire Department, was one of the longest members of the Town of Vernon Planning Board, active in local politics, and the CNY Gideons.
Tom was predeceased by his wife Clara, and his siblings Willis, Lloyd, and Geraldine. He is survived by his children Kaye Schmidt, Pat/Valerie Eckhard, David Eckhard, Tina/Steve Black, grandchildren Jessica Schmidt, Joey Schmidt, Nicole DiStefano, Heather Eckhard, Alia Eckhard, Katie Fargo, Cassie Eckhard, Casey Vredenburg, Sean Black, Jordan Black, and several great grandchildren.
As Tom was giving in life, he is in death participating in the Upstate Medical Anatomical Gift Program. A Memorial Service will be held at the Vernon Center Methodist Church at a future date.
People wishing to honor Tom’s lifelong commitment to family and community can make donations to the Griffin Foundation for the Vernon Center Methodist Church Park. Please send all donations to 512 West Court St Rome, NY 13440.