May 22, 1916 - Aug. 23, 2014
FREDERICKSBURG, Texas -- LaVerne Eva Harrison-Hoyt ("Vernie") was born May 22, 1916, in Jewell, Kansas, and passed away Aug. 23, 2014, at the age of 98. She was one of four siblings born to Claude and Myrtle Manker.
LaVerne attended McCook High School and McCook Junior College and graduated from both by age 17. She taught in a country school in Red Willow County and lived with a farm family where she met her husband, Leslie V. Harrison. They were married in 1936. They moved to McCook and lived in a small apartment during the Depression and days of rationing. They bought their home on East Second Street in 1941 and LaVerne ran a boarding house there, renting rooms to both day and night shift railroaders, keeping her busy cleaning rooms and changing sheets from one shift to the next. In 1948, she went to work at Modern Appliance as a bookkeeper and salesperson. LaVerne won many trips and cruises through her sales for RCA at Modern Appliance, which afforded her a wide variety of wonderful travels to many countries around the world.
LaVerne was a pioneering woman and a dynamic business woman. She was the first female member of the chamber of commerce and the only female among many men at the RCA expos. She invested in rental properties and eventually bought the Modern Appliance Store from Al Schnoor in partnership with Bill Lyons. They moved the store from Norris Avenue to the old Hinky Dinky store on East B Street and she continued to run the business until they sold it in 1977.
She was a friend to many young people and welcomed them into her home and her heart with much generosity. She taught many kids how to dance and water ski and was a nurturing, supportive aunt and grandma to her nephews, nieces and grandchildren; not to mention helping many friends along the way. She had a great sense of humor, loved to dance, and was very supportive to her husband's hobby of stock car racing. When she retired, she took up china painting and oil painting and was president of the china painters club in McCook for quite some time. She also was a long-time member of the BPO Does and Eagles Club. She was the true monarch of the family!
In 1995, LaVerne remarried Willard Hoyt. They traveled a lot and were together until 2006, when she moved to Fredericksburg, Texas, due to health issues.
LaVerne was preceded in death by her husband, Les Harrison; her father and mother; daughter, Lorna Mae Harrison-Hoyt and her sisters, Marie Manker Rowe and Marjorie Manker Curl.
She is survived by her daughter, Sue Harrison-Jewell; husband, Willard Hoyt; brother, Vernon Manker, four grandchildren, Mike Hoyt, Sue Dack, Patrick Jewell and Troy Jewell; seven great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; four nephews and two nieces, as well as her four stepdaughters and their many offspring.
You may sign the guest book at www.fredericksburg-funerals.com. In lieu of flowers, people can donate to Colorado Down Syndrome Association, Progeria Research Foundation or CASA. Or just plant a tree and call it "Vernie" and watch it grow.