Arthur Robert Vernino

Arthur Robert Vernino was the youngest of ten children, born of Italian immigrants Angelo Vernino and Dominica Ferrante. He was born and raised in the rural coal-mining town of Crabtree, Pennsylvania. He married Patricia Kennedy in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1965. They had three children: Steven, Diane, and Nancy.

Arthur attended Greensburg High School in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Biology with a minor in Theology. He then studied at the dental school at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his DDS in 1960. Upon completion of dental school, Arthur served in the United States Navy for 21 years. During his military service, he completed a one-year fellowship and two-year residency in Periodontics. In 1981, he retired from the Navy at the rank of Captain and moved his family to Edmond, Oklahoma. There, he joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry where he created and directed the graduate program in Periodontics. After 19 years at the University of Oklahoma, Arthur again retired, and he and Pat moved to Leesburg, Florida.

Although twice retired, Arthur worked several years at Disney World and volunteered in the graduate periodontics program at the University of Florida. In his free time, Arthur enjoyed playing golf and bocci. He also continued his life-long love and mastery of gardening. His backyard garden produced oranges, lemons, figs, avocados, pineapples, grapes, beans, asparagus, tomatoes, and snow peas. He enjoyed sharing his crops with his neighbors.

Arthur was an active member of St. Paul Catholic Community in Leesburg, Florida, where he served as an usher for 17 years. He also volunteered at the Parish thrift store. Arthur was a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

Arthur’s health began to decline in 2017 when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer requiring major surgery. To be closer to family, he and Pat moved to the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas in 2018. For the past 8 months, Arthur’s daily care has been supported at Lightheart care home, where his wonderful caregivers helped him through several setbacks. After overcoming many complications, Arthur was finally called to God on May 17, 2019 at 5:32 am. He was 84 years old.

Arthur is preceded in death by his parents, Angelo and Dominica; sisters Carmela, Mary, and Ann (Guzik); and brothers Nujay, Tony, Rocco, Dan, and Mike. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Vernino; his children, Steven (and Jennifer) Vernino of Dallas, TX, Diane (and Gregg) Bennett of Hudson, WI, and Nancy (and Kevin) Lawson of Houston, TX. He also leaves behind his sister, Genevieve Malenic of Youngstown, Ohio. Also survived by 11 grandchildren; Nathaniel, Hannah, Julia and Jonathan Bennett, Christopher, Megan and Alexandra Vernino and Andrew, Samantha, Jessica and Stephen Lawson.

The family will greet guests at Crowder Funeral Home, 111 E Medical Center Blvd, Webster 77598, on Monday, May 27, 2019 from 5-8 pm, with a rosary at 7:00 pm. A funeral mass will be held at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, 3131 El Dorado Blvd, Houston 77059, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 9:30 am, followed by a reception. A graveside military service will be held at 1:00 pm at his final resting place at The Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Dr, Houston 77038.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church (3131 El Dorado Blvd, Houston, TX 77059) or St. Paul Catholic Community Ministry to the Sick (1330 Sunshine Ave, Leesburg, FL 34748).


  1. Rest In Peace Uncle Art. You are now with your family in Heaven. The Vernino men are all back together OH MY>LOL You were always a big part of my life. You always had uplifting things to tell me and gave me support and comfort when I needed it. I will always remember you with that infectious smile of yours. I have to reminisce a little now. The time you spent living with us in the early 1960s, the great time we all had for the weeks in HAWAII when you were stationed at Pearl Harbor (some interesting things happened during that vacation :):) ), and the visits you made in good and bad times. I loved all the stories of you growing up in Crabtree and your close relationships with your family. Even over the past few years when just talking to you on the phone made me feel loved and blessed to have you in my life.
    And to Aunt Pat, Steven, Diane,Nancy and all the grand kids, I know you are proud of your husband, dad and granddad. He was, is and always will be in your hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    richard vernino and thomas faciszewski
  2. To the Vernino Family: Although saddened by the news of Art’s passing, we are consoled in the fact that we had the joy of knowing him when he resided in Florida as a neighbor. Arturo (as I always called him at the poolside) was a gentle, loving, and compassionate fella. He will remain in our hearts forever.

    Steve & Linda Grzanich
  3. Mr Arthur it was an honor and my pleasure to get to know you and care for you , you will be forever in my heart and thoughts.

    Elisabeth Garcia
  4. Pat, Bob & I were so sad to learn of Art’s passing. He was a good neighbor & we always enjoyed listening to his stories about his childhood. He had a great sense of humor. We always called him “Farmer Art” & enjoyed the fruits of his labors when he shared them with us & missed seeing him in the garden this past year or so.
    Our sympathy to you and your family.
    Betty & Bob Fuller

    Betty Fuller
  5. Pat, we are very sorry to hear of Arts passing. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Art will never be forgotten as a friend and neighbor for so many years.
    Carl and Betty Beazley

    Carl Beazley
  6. My condolences to Pat and her lovely family.
    Art will be missed but will always be in my heart.
    I have known Pat since I was 7 and Art since his marriage to Pat when I stood up for them
    We enjoyed many happy times together.
    I never forget my visits to different bases especially Hawaii. Art was always very welcoming to me.
    Art is in heaven with my husband Pat who passed away 2 weeks ago.
    God bless Art and his family.

    Nancy OConnor
  7. Dr. V and I spent a lot of time together during our years at OU. I’m saddened at his passing, but happy that he’s with family. Art left OU about 1996 and I never heard from or saw him again after that, but I have a lot of great memories. I miss him.

    Howard G. Johnson, D.D.S.
  8. The Lawson family is deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend, Art. He had an infectious smile, great sense of humor and a delight to be around. We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to spend Easter with him. Even though he was not feeling well, he was in good spirits and enjoyed the day. We miss you and you will always be with us in our hearts. Rest in peace til we meet again.

    Lea, Bill and family
  9. Art was a mentor and a friend. As a faculty member at UF, he was kind and challenging at the same time. He was insightful and thoughtful. Practicing close to his home in Leesburg, I had the amazing opportunity to pick his brain once a month at lunch. He talked me through many aspects of my early career. I was honored to have him as a teacher, but proud that I got to call him friend. I will miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.

    Joseph Richardson
  10. I am so sorry to learn of Art’s passing. I have warm memories of Art from Hawaii ( he was a swordsman in Blaine’s and my wedding), California and Bethesda, Maryland…the early years of our Navy life. Blaine’s been gone almost nine years. Perhaps Art and Blaine will meet again. My sympathy to you and the children, Pat.

    Donna Peru
  11. It was an honor to have been one of Dr. Vernino’s residents at the University of OK Graduate Periodontics Program (Class of 1995). He was a very talented surgeon, researcher, mentor and educator. I will always cherish the many conversations we had about dentistry and life in general.

    Z. W. RAJNAY, D.D.S., M.S.
  12. I began my Navy residency in periodontics in 1975. Art was a few years ahead so that was my start of knowing him as he was very helpful to those of us starting out. Like so many in this rather small community, we all knew one another for decades even with all the various duty stations literally around the world – afloat or on land. When I became involved with the University of Florida’s periodontal program in 1999, lo and behold, here comes Art to help with that residency as he lived “just down I -75” so this was some 40 years later or so !! I think for all of us involved in residency training programs in our specialty, there is no greater professional and personal endorsements and respect than those offered by residents you’re involved with, whether they were in the Navy or later on, in civilian institutions. I KNOW that was how Art was viewed through out his careers. God rest his soul.

    Hank Towle

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