LaVerne Kelley Kinnear

Sept. 28, 1926 - April 8, 2006

LaVerne Kelley Kinnear of Waukesha found eternal peace Saturday, April 8, 2006. LaVerne was born in Verdigris, Okla., on Sept. 28, 1926, the daughter of Henry and Mable Kelley.

After her father’s untimely death, the family stayed in Verdigris for several years and then moved to Claremore, Okla., where LaVerne graduated from Claremore High School. After graduating, she worked in Claremore for Western Union, delivering telegrams on a bicycle. She was a "Rosie the Riveter" at the Douglas Aircraft plant in Tulsa, Okla., during World War II. She later attended Draughan Business School in Tulsa and received an associate’s degree in business. LaVerne was the office manager for Markham P. Johnson and Associates in Tulsa for more than 20 years. She later worked for Neely Insurance in Claremore for 10 years.

LaVerne loved spring. She would often recite the poems she had memorized in grade school about spring and flowers. She enjoyed working in her flower garden, playing the piano, reading, knitting, sewing and watching classic movies, especially musicals. Books and grammar were important to her, so she instilled proper English and the love of reading into her children. LaVerne was also the Kelley family historian and photographer. Countless carousels of slides, carefully organized, filled a space in her closet. For an evening’s recreation, everyone would gather at the Kinnear house for popcorn and the famous "slide shows."

LaVerne was a longtime member of the Methodist Church in Claremore. She was also a member of the Claremore and Chelsea Rebekah lodges for more than 50 years. She served as Noble Grand Lodge Deputy and was the lodge secretary for most of those years. She performed countless hours of volunteer work as a "Pink Lady" with the auxiliary at Claremore Regional Hospital and donated her time to the middle school library. She was also the advisory officer for Claremore Theta Rho Lodge during the 1950s and the 1970s.

LaVerne had an in-depth knowledge of Claremore history. She loved Claremore with all her heart. Two years ago, LaVerne decided to leave her beloved Claremore and move to Wisconsin to be closer to her son and daughter. It was the most difficult decision she ever made. There, she made some new friends but none as close as the ones she left. Now, she is coming back home and will be at peace among her family and friends.

LaVerne was preceded in death by her husband, A.L. Kinnear, and sisters, Orene Kelley, Elsie Bryant, Eunice Harper and Margaret Huckleby. She is survived by her brother, Henry (Cherry) Kelley of Claremore; son, Dr. Daniel Joseph (Gayle) Schaefer of Waukesha; daughter, Judy Kinnear (Tom Janezic) of Milwaukee; and grandchildren, Nathan Schaefer, Wes Boyd Jr. and Zack Boyd of Wisconsin and Christy Ellsworth and Courtney Fuller of Georgia. She is also survived by her dearly loved nieces and nephews, Gwendal Stokes, Lynne Fry, Jeaneane Mattingly, Robin Walters, Peggy Kelley, Kim Kelley, Liz Kelley, Lynn Robertson, Reagan Huckleby, Michael Bryant, Bruce Harper, Keith Harper, Bill Harper, Alan Harper, Randy Harper, Byron Harper and Myron Harper. She is further survived by her beloved Rebekah sisters, as well as many friends and other relatives.

Viewing will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at the Musgrove-Merriott & Smith Funeral Home, 102 W. Fifth St., Claremore, Okla. Services will immediately follow the viewing. All are invited to a gathering to celebrate LaVerne’s life at the Claremore Days Inn Conference Room, 1720 S. Lynn Riggs Blvd., Claremore, following graveside services.

Musgrove-Merriott & Smit Funeral Home in Claremore, Okla., is serving the family. For more information, visit www.mmsfuneralhomes.com.

Church and Chapel Funeral Home is serving the family locally. For more information, call 549-0659.