LaVern E. Werner, 84|
Feb. 23, 1930 -- Nov. 28, 2014
LaVern Esther Barbara Mary Werner (nee Miller) was recently hospitalized due to complications resulting from pulmonary fibrosis. She returned home Nov. 9 and, since then, had been bedridden. However, she remained in great spirits telling stories family had never before heard and assuring everyone she was just fine. In the early morning of Nov. 25, 2014, she asked that her children be called to her bedside at home. Shortly thereafter, she left this world to join her recently departed son Tom, other relatives, and friends.
The fourth of five children, LaVern was born Feb. 23, 1930, in Milwaukee. She attended Pulaski High School. In Fall 1947, she met the love of her life, Tom. Tom had just returned from a stint with the Army during which time he played on the Army baseball team. It was love at first sight and eventually led to their arranging to both get a day off work in order to travel to Rockford, Illinois, where they eloped on June 2, 1949. That marriage resulted in three wonderful children, Tom, Vernalyn and Gary. While her husband worked two jobs, LaVern cared for the home and children. When the kids were younger, several weeks each summer were spent at their grandparents cabin on Lake Namekagon near Cable. Once the children were grown, LaVern continued caring for their home but also volunteered at St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend as a “Pink Lady,” helped perform receptionist and odd jobs at Creative Cut Salon and pursued her passions of shopping, cooking, sewing including quilting and travelling.
Her travels included over 25 years of an annual trip to a fly-in fishing camp in Canada — the last trip occuring just three years ago. Many a fish story (some true) resulted from those trips. Tom and LaVern also took a cruise a year during the 1970s into the 1990s plus she traveled to many U.S. locations with family and friends by car, bus and plane. These travels provided La-Vern with memories of a bullfight in Spain, having her winning-est time at an on-board casino while in international waters and seeing Buckingham Palace and the “changing of the guard” in Lon-don. A Vatican tour including the art museum and Sistine Chapel were treasured highlights she couldn’t wait to tell family about upon returning from her most recent October 2013 Mediterranean Sea cruise.
Something we’re sure to miss is LaVern’s practice of faithfully placing a phone call to each family member on their birthday and she’d begin by singing the entire “Happy Birthday” song. She mustered her strength and breath to make two last two phone calls during the past couple weeks and she sang as beautifully as always.
Those left to cherish memories of LaVern include her husband of 65 years, Thomas H. Werner; daughter- Vernalyn (Paul) Reindl; son-Gary (Danielle) Werner, daughter-in-law Liz Spaeth-Werner; grandchildren Stephanie Parish, Nadalie (Victor) Walsh, Zach (Helen), Ben, Nick, Craig and Jenna Werner; and great-grandchildren Owen and Anna Parish, Aiden, Ireland and Valiant Walsh and William Thomas Werner; plus many other relatives and friends. LaVern was predeceased by her siblings, Chester, Archie, Virginia and Florence and by her beloved son, Tom.
Per LaVern’s wishes, she will be cremated and her ashes “thrown to the wind.” Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 1-4 p.m. at MJ Stevens, 5260 Aurora Road, Hartford. Food and beverages will be provided.
Thank you to everyone at Community Memorial Hospital especially the “singing nurse” and to Cedar Home Hospice especially Kathy, Shelly, Lisa, Bev and Tanya for their care, assistance, comfort and support in providing us quality time in LaVern’s last few weeks.
Condolences can be emailed to phillipfuneral firstname.lastname@example.org and questions can be directed to 262-338-2050.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the family or provided at the celebration and will be forwarded to a yet-to-be-determined cause.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. 262-338-2050 www.phillipfuneralhome.com.