LaVerne LeFore

LaVerne LeFore

 —  July 24, 2020

After nearly a lifetime of living in the Walla Walla Valley, LaVerne LeFore passed away on July 24, 2020, in Walla Walla on the weekend of her 98th birthday. Born in North Dakota, LaVerne was the daughter of Gust and Anna Seibold, immigrants from Eastern Europe. When she was 13 years old, her family moved to Milton-Freewater, where her maternal grandparents were living. She attended Ferndale School and graduated from McLoughlin High School in Milton-Freewater.

LaVerne was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, William (Bill) LeFore; and her son, Kevin. She had five other siblings, who also preceded her in death. LaVerne is survived by her son, Kenton LeFore of Los Angeles, California.

LaVerne dearly loved her family, church and community. She was multi-talented and enjoyed making use of her talents in doing things for others. LaVerne was a remarkable cook, and over the years, along with her sisters and sisters-in-law, she enjoyed preparing meals for many large family gatherings on holiday and family occasions. She also loved to sew and made many of her own clothes. She was regularly called upon to sew for her friends, nephews, and nieces, for whom she lovingly made adorable, little dresses. After her husband passed away, she made a quilt for each of her nephews and nieces. She spent hundreds of hours creating, sewing, and carefully quilting each one. As LaVerne’s parents aged, they moved next door, and she took on their caregiving duties. Memorable Friday evenings were spent with family gathered in her parents’ home.

She was the treasurer at Milton Seventh-day Adventist Church for 40 years. Additionally, she served in multiple capacities at countless other church functions. After her time as treasurer, she volunteered for many years in the church’s community food assistance program.

She also managed a fabric store in Milton-Freewater, and made many long-term friends in the community through her work at the store. She loved flowers and was an active member of the Milton-Freewater Garden Club. She loved spending time taking care of her beautiful flower garden at her home in Milton. Aligned with her love of flowers, she really enjoyed helping family friends each spring with their peony flower harvest. She was an outgoing neighbor, and enjoyed sharing food and helping them. She continued to maintain her garden and lived in her home until she was 95.

While working as a custom dressmaker in the 1950s in Portland, Oregon, LaVerne was introduced to Bill LeFore on a visit back home to Milton-Freewater. They married in 1955, and lived on their fruit farm in the Walla Walla Valley. She raised two sons, Kevin and Kenton, on the family farm, and worked side by side with Bill in its operation. She was introduced to fishing by Bill, and with family and friends, they enjoyed many fishing and camping trips in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. They especially loved salmon fishing at the Oregon Coast each summer and their camping getaways in the Wallowa Mountains and other scenic parts of the Northwest and Montana.  She also learned to cook the wild game that Bill brought home from his frequent hunting trips. After their son, Kenton, graduated from college and moved to California, where he works for the University of California, she and Bill enjoyed many trips to San Francisco and Los Angeles to visit.

LaVerne always made it a priority to visit friends, family and church members who were home bound. In her later years at home and starting in 2017 at an adult family home in Walla Walla, she appreciated the reciprocity and treasured visits from family and friends. Her niece, Dianne Cook, visited her frequently, and among other activities, took her to classical musical concerts, which reminded LaVerne of the time when she played the violin in the Walla Walla Youth Symphony. LaVerne enjoyed good health and remained active for her age until very recently. She kept her sense of humor and talent for witty comebacks until the end, even when she was in the hospital, uncomfortable and in pain.

The recent considerate and compassionate care provided by the nursing staff and physicians at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Park Manor Rehabilitation Center in Walla Walla was much appreciated.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, July 31, 2020, at 9:00 am at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery (Face Masks are required). Visitation will be held on Thursday from 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm at Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater (Face Masks are required). Memorial contributions may be made in LaVerne’s name to Milton Seventh-day Adventist Church or to the charity of your choice through Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, Oregon 97862.

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