LaVerne M. Smith, age 88, passed away March 1, 2013 at her home with family present. She was born 9-23-24 in Baldwin, IL to the Rev. Elston & Margaret Hines, and raised in MO. She was a loving, caring person serving her community, but she loved her family above all. To her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she was known as the best “Busha.”
She attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College. She earned her Doctor of Optometry degree from Monroe College of Optometry in Chicago, IL, where she met her husband, Dr. Robert J. Smith. They lived in Rockford, IL, for 12 years until moving to Monroe, WI.
The daughter of a minister, LaVerne grew up in the Methodist Church and was committed to a life of community service. Like her husband, she was a lifelong volunteer with the Lions Club International. Her work with Lions Club earned her their recognition with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award for Dedicated Humanitarian Services. On a lighter note, she provided backstage assistance for the Lion’s Club Minstrel Shows, including all the make-up.
She also served with great distinction as a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) Monroe Women’s Club for over 50 years. She held many offices, including as President for two terms. She also served as president on the District level, and over 20 years on the State level as Scholarship Chairman and Convention Chairman. LaVerne was recognized by the GFWC for her 50 years of service.
Her commitment to service included many Monroe organizations. She volunteered many years at the local Food Pantry, and served as Treasurer. In 1985, she became a Charter Member of the Green County Crimestoppers Program, served as a board member, and was awarded for her “Dedicated Service to Promote Community Welfare.” As a member of the Monroe Trails and Treasures Questers Club, she helped raise money for the replacement of the Courthouse Steeple; she served as president on the local level and as president of the Wisconsin State Questers. A strong supporter of the arts, LaVerne was also a longtime member of the Monroe Arts Center.
Her hobbies included membership in numerous Bridge clubs as well as the Hospital Auxiliary Bridge-a-rama. She was a part of the Lida Ludlow Reading club, serving 10 years as Secretary. Her love of dance led her and Dr. Smith to belong to the San Souci Dance Group. And her famous talents in the kitchen were much in demand for numerous Church and Club events, especially the Fall Bazaar at St. John’s, where her Ham Logs were loved by all.
She is survived by her five children: Christine (Kerry), Jeanne, Sandy (Roger), Karl (Lisa), Lynda (Duane); five grandchildren: Megan (Tim), Ryan (Jennifer), Lindzy, Eric, Tajah; and three great-grandchildren: Sam, Alaina, and Audriana. She was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Robert J. Smith, her brother Howard Hines, and grandson Justice.
Funeral services will be held at 1 PM on Wednesday, March 6, at the Newcomer Funeral Home, Monroe. Private family burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, Monroe. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Wednesday from 11:30 AM until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted for a memorial fund in LaVerne’s honor, to be divided among MAC, Green County Food Pantry, and GFWC for the Green County Historical Society stained glass window replacement. To send an expression of sympathy, go to www.newcomerfuneralhome.net