LaVerne Hubbell Vandeveer passed away peacefully on Monday, March 15, 2010, at the Sagebrook Health Center in Cedar Park, Texas. She was 81.
LaVerne was born on August 6, 1928, in Menard County to George Eugene and Sarah "Jesse" Haught Hubbell. She was the youngest of five children. LaVerne’s parents and four siblings (Clarence, George Jr., Winnie, and Florene) preceded her in death.
LaVerne attended Menard High School where she was a cheerleader in the Yellow Jackets pep squad and a valued member of the Glee Club. Because she was a gifted singer, she was often asked to sing at school assemblies. One of her favorite skits was to imitate Kate Smith, singing "God Bless America."
On December 29, 1945, LaVerne married Alden Vandeveer, who was truly the love of her life. LaVerne and Alden were married for 57 years, until Alden’s passing in 2003.
In 1956, LaVerne and Alden moved to Ingleside, Texas, where they raised their two children and lived for 39 years. LaVerne was an active member of the First Christian Church of Ingleside and was a member of the Eastern Stars. She could always be counted on to volunteer to help with events at her children’s schools.
In 1995, LaVerne and Alden "came back home" to Llano, where they lived until 2001. Failing health for both necessitated that they move to the Austin area in 2001, to be nearer their daughter.
LaVerne possessed a passion for learning and set a sterling example for her children regarding what could be accomplished through education. In the early 1960’s, LaVerne enrolled in Stevenson’s Beauty College in Corpus Christi, and became a licensed cosmetologist. Her talent for hairstyling brought her many loyal clients over the years. In the late 1960’s, she bought her own beauty salon in Aransas Pass, which she ran successfully for several years until she sold it. When LaVerne turned 50, at a time when most folks start thinking of retirement, she decided that she wanted to pursue a different career. She enrolled in the Nursing Program at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, and became a licensed vocational nurse. She worked in hospitals, but preferred nursing homes, so that she could get to know her patients better. Although she retired in the early 1990’s, she continued to learn new things by taking a floristry course. She filled her friend’s and family’s houses with many beautiful, custom floral arrangements.
A masterful cook, LaVerne loved to share the results of her labors of love in the kitchen, especially during the holidays and special occasions such as family reunions. Her chocolate pies were legendary—her yeast rolls, divine—and her holiday fare, inspirational. Most of the recipes were never recorded, so these culinary wonders will likely never be replicated.
Whether she was singing or humming one of her favorite hymns, whistling "Waltz Across Texas," playing her harmonica, or just listening to a favorite cd, music brought joy and comfort to LaVerne her entire life. Her singing was well-known and appreciated at Sagebrook, where she lived for the past 7 years. Although vascular dementia robbed her of most of her memories, LaVerne miraculously retained the lyrics and melodies of her favorite songs.
LaVerne had a tender heart and deep compassion for those in need. She never wanted anyone to be hungry or cold, nor did she want any child to be unhappy. Over the years, she donated hundreds of pounds of food, blankets, clothing, and toys to the less fortunate in the communities where she lived. She was especially interested in giving back to her home town of Menard, and upon returning to the area after retirement, she made regular, generous donations to local church charities there.
LaVerne is survived by her son, Alden Vandeveer, Jr. and his wife, Marilyn, of Cuero; daughter Sarah Harden and her husband, Allan, of Leander; grandson Michael Vandeveer and his wife, Leslie, of Cuero; grandson Timothy Vandeveer of Haleiwa, Hawaii; grandson Claude Vandeveer of Houston; and great-grandchildren, Tom and Lillie Vandeveer, of Cuero. Other surviving family members include two sister’s-in-law (Blanche Chew and Dorene Hubbell), and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family would like to thank the wonderful, compassionate staff of Sagebrook Health Center and Odyssey Hospice for the loving care they provided to LaVerne.
In keeping with LaVerne’s tradition of charity, donations to the Capital Area Food Bank, or a charity of one’s choosing, would be greatly appreciated.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 20, at 1:00 p.m. in the Mason Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Charles Fish officiating. Interment followed in the Bethel Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mason Funeral Home.