Vernal's Story

RIPLEY - Vernal "Brother" Sinclair, 69, passed away at his home, March 3, 2015, surrounded by his family. He was born in Hartland, January 24, 1946, the son of Vernal T. and Phyllis (Deering) Sinclair.

Vernal grew up and lived in Ripley all his life. He graduated from Dexter Regional High School class of 1964, and attended his 50-year class reunion last summer. He married Jerice (Neal) on July 3, 1965, and they would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this summer. Vernal worked for various shoe companies for the first 25 years of adult life, spending most of that time with Dexter Shoe. For the past 25 years he ran a successful used car business with his brother, Ronnie. During this time he also became the Town of Ripley sexton, tax collector, town clerk, registrar of voters and warden of the ballot clerks. Vernal's passion was horses. As a child and young man he pulled draft horses with his father. In his 20's he purchased his first harness horses with his father. During the next 50 years he was involved with the harness racing business as an owner, trainer, and driver, winning many races at the Bangor track and the many agricultural fairs in Maine.  He held the record for the most wins at the Blue Hill Fair. Vernal also enjoyed spending time with family, friends and hosted family get-togethers, as frequently as possible. He enjoyed attending first his children's sports and school events, and later on his grandchildren's events.  He was an avid Patriots, Celtics and Red Sox fan; getting to see the Patriots win the Super Bowl in February. He also enjoyed going to dances with his wife and aunt, and attending country music concerts.

Vernal is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jerice (Neal) Sinclair; a son, Michael Sinclair and his wife, Cindy Annett, of Ripley; 2 daughters, Tracy Sinclair and her husband, Steven Lavallee, of West Gardiner and Dawn Mower and her husband, Philip, of Ripley; 4 granddaughters, Swan Sinclair, Megan Mower, Hillary Mower and Raven Sinclair; and 2 great-grandchildren, Paige Sinclair and Carter Stewart. He is also survived by 2 brothers, Ronnie Sinclair and his wife, Peggy, of Ripley and Gary Sinclair and his wife, Holly, of Dexter; 3 sisters, Wilma Wintle of Dexter, Beverly Erving and her husband, Theodore, of St. Albans and Bonnie Smart and her husband, Buddy, of Hartland; 2 aunts, Gladys Gilbert of Dexter and Marjorie Deering of Ripley; many nieces, nephews, cousins, good friends and neighbors. He was predeceased by his parents; an infant brother; and a brother-in-law, Gee Wintle. Vernal's family would like to thank the nurses and staff at EMMC for the care he received over the past 18 months; particularly those on Kelly 5; Ultra Sound; the dialysis staff; and Dr. Reddy and his staff.

Friends may call 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2015, at Crosby & Neal, 61 Main Street in Dexter. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home at 3 p.m. Saturday with Pastor Stephen Dean officiating.  Spring burial will be in the Ferndale Cemetery in Ripley. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Ripley United Methodist Church. For an online guest register, go to
Published in Bangor Daily News
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