Young Farmer Takes Own Life in Fit of Temporary Dementia

Thursday, September 9, 1937

This community was shocked and grieved lat Monday morning to learn of the death of Vernon Sater at his home east of Rock Rapids. Investigation disclosed the fact that he came to his death by a wound inflicted through the heart with a 22-calibre rifle in his own hands at an early morning hour. No cause could be given for his rash act and he left no note or gave no work of warning.

Saturday evening in company with his wife they attended the dance at Lester and there he was his usual self, chatting with his friends and taking part in the activities in his well known jolly manner. He was familiarly known to his many friends as “Swede,” was well liked by all who knew him, and his friends are at a complete loss to understand his action of Monday morning.

He arose about five o’clock Monday morning, dressed and left the house as though he were going to do the chores. An hour later the wife upon his failure to return to the house started a search for him and discovered the body, fully clad, in the granary, lying face down with a bullet through the heart.

Relatives and friends were hastily called together along with the county coroner but all life was gone from the body and there was no evidence behind as to the reason for his act. He leaves to mourn his untimely death in addition to his father and mother, other relatives and friends, a wife and two charming young children.

The only possible explanation for Mr. Sater’s tragic death is that he became depressed because of inability to adjust himself to the role of a farmer. He started when two trying years were ahead. He was essentially a town man, thru a lifetime of residence in town. He had started to learn his father’s trade, when the shift to the farm looked like his best opportunity. Although he was making good and establishing himself in the fundamentals of farming, he probably could not convince himself of the fact the when the period of depression came it could not wear it off and while suffering this mental self-torture of temporary dementia, he sought the end, not realizing the sorrow and anguish he was bringing to loved ones and friends. Otherwise a man with so many good traits and so much consideration for others would never have taken that way out of fancied troubles.

“Swede” Sater was reared to manhood in this community and was known to be a most deserving young chap, well liked by neighbors and friends and from every outward appearance getting along in the world. His crops were good this year and his prospects for the future appeared unusually bright.

He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sater of Rock Rapids. Only a few years ago he was united in marriage to Miss Erma Geick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Geick, of Rock Rapids.

Funeral services were held this Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock, rev. W. H. Lease conducting the services. Burial was in Riverview cemetery. Obituary next week.



Vernon Sater Is Buried Here Wed.

Popular Young Man Dies Monday; Burial at Riverview

Vernon Sater, popular young Rock rapids man, died by his own hands early Monday morning, shooting himself through the heart with a small rifle. His lifeless body was found by his wife in the driveway to the granary on the farm he occupied, and which belonged to his father-in-law, C. W. Geick, two and a half miles east of Rock Rapids.

He had left the house about 5 o’clock and his continued absence alarmed Mrs. Sater, who went to the outbuildings to look for him about 6 o’clock.  The discharged rifle, a small 22-calibre affair, lay by his side.

Mrs. Sater called her parents, who repaired to the farm at once, and a call was made for Undertaker Lockwood, who took charge of the remains.

Funeral services were held yesterday, (Wednesday), at 2 o’clock from the Methodist church, and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. Lease. Interment was in Riverview cemetery.

Vernon Charles Sater was born in Rock Rapids September 23, 1913, and lacked but 17 days of being 24 years old at the time of his death.

He received his education in the public and high school here, and graduated with the class of 1932. Following this he worked with his father, Charles Sater, who was employed as a mason and contractor until his marriage.

He was married to Miss Erma Geick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Geick, October 20, 1934, and at once took up his residence on the farm east of town, where he continued until the time of his death. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Sater, and with the wife survive. Besides these he is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sater; a sister, Marilyn, of this city, and a brother, Kenneth, of Mankato, Minnesota, as well as three grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Karl Sater and Mrs. J. J. Baaustian. There are many other relatives and a host of friends to mourn.

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