LaVerne M. Dempsey

May 4, 1925 - April 4, 2008

As the sun passed through a beautiful spring day, LaVerne M. Dempsey, 82, of Helenville, entered the sunset of her worldly life Friday, April 4, 2008, at Watertown Memorial Hospital, reaching peace in her heavenly life with the Lord.

Born on May 4, 1925, in Milwaukee, to Henry and Louise (nee Schenzel) Lannewehr, she married Gene Dempsey on Sept. 16, 1950, in Milwaukee. They started their life together on Honeymoon Hills Mink Ranch in Eagle and later moved to Helenville.

She was a member of St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sullivan, the Lutheran Womanís Mission League and Quilters club.

LaVerne was employed at the former Red Owl in Jefferson for many years. She volunteered as a 4-H leader in North Prairie and Sullivan.

Photography was a lifelong passion for which she received local awards. LaVerne loved the ring of her bell collection, chocolate, trains, traveling and gardening.

She was a valiant fighter, choosing open heart surgery in 2006 so she could see great-grand babies yet to be born. The twinkle of LaVerneís bright blue eyes lives on in this new generation.

She is survived by her husband, Gene Dempsey of Helenville; four sons, Peter Dempsey, Mark Dempsey (partner Kathy Munro), Brian (Cindy) Dempsey and Eric Dempsey (fiancee Sandra Carmichael), all of Jefferson; one daughter, Jessica (David) Clark of Waukesha; 19 grandchildren, Jennifer Kienbaum, Greg, Neil, Amanda, Cody, Derek, John and Michael Dempsey, Kerry Dahnert, Stacey Kaiser, Heather Dunston, Stacey Thompson, Alison and Benjamin Clark, Kim Meschke, Kyle Munro, Kendra Burnette and Carron and Caylia Carmichael; 16 great-grandchildren, Conner Kienbaum, Lauren, Brennan, Eden, Haden and Hilden Dempsey, Kylie, Kaela, Katlyn and MacKenzy Dahnert, Ella and Rhodes Dunston, Candice and Sean Meschke and Sheldon and Claire Burnette; two sisters, Audrey (Milton) Baas of Muskego and Bonnie Christianson of New Berlin; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the 1 p.m. funeral service Wednesday, April 9, at St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church, W407 Highway 18, Sullivan, with the Rev. Dean Zemple officiating. Burial will take place in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the church or the charity of the donorís choice.

The family would like to thank the Rev. Dean Zemple and friends at St. Johnís Lutheran Church in Sullivan and the staff at St. Lukeís Hospital in Milwaukee, Marquardt Manor in Watertown and Watertown Memorial Hospital.

Olsen Funeral Home in Jefferson, (920) 674-4300, is assisting the family.