Vernon R. “Rick” Virkler, 62, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY – Vernon R. Virkler (Rick – Chief), died on May 1, 2019, unexpectedly at his home in Watertown.

Born Feb. 18, 1957, in Ogdensburg, the son of the late Vernon Richard and Doris White Virkler, he graduated from Lowville Academy and Central School in 1975. Rick was active in football, wrestling, and baseball. Outside of school sports he was a very successful bowler.

Rick was a member of St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation where he will be buried next to his mother at St. Joseph Cemetery, Hogansburg.

He held various jobs during his adult life his last employer was Palmetto Prime and Couch Asphalt in Tampa, Florida, Rick was forced to retire early because of health issues.

A marriage to Sandy Mahar ended in divorce.

He is survived by his three sisters, Loretta “Maggie” Billhardt, Brasher Falls; Carol (Don) Zehr, Sarasota, FL; Cindy (Tim) Dosztan, Lowville; nephews, Tracy (Mary) Billhardt, Matt (Jessica), Pete, Sam Zehr, Tom (Angie) Dosztan, stepson, Robert Reese; aunts, uncles, and cousins; his special friend, Kathy Baker.

Rick was predeceased by his sister, Melvina who died in infancy, a nephew, Scott Billhardt.

Rick enjoyed telling stories about all of his adventures, loved hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.

Per Rick’s wishes he is to be cremated. A celebration of Rick’s life for family and friends will be announced at a later date.

An online message of condolence may be made at