LaVerne Deschenes McGreevey, dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend passed away on Thursday, November 15 th , at her home.
LaVerne was born in Butte, Montana, during the depression on July 6 th , 1935 to Adolph and Mary (Higgins) Deschenes. She was a premature baby weighing only 3 lbs. 7 oz. Her mother had to put her on the oven door to keep her warm and get her start on life. Later, her family moved to Helena, Montana and operated the Park Hotel. LaVerne and her sisters helped with many of the daily tasks and chores of running the hotel.
LaVerne attended St. Helena grade school. During these years LaVerne discovered two things; her love of music and her strong desire to be a nurse. Music engulfed her life. She began singing at funerals in the 5 th grade. One of her favorite childhood memories was playing the piano with her music teacher during her senior recital. LaVerne, her sisters and father had their own orchestra. They had many wonderful memories playing at a variety of social events. This time together as a family was very special to her. Her interest in nursing was motivated by a desire to help others. As a young child she would make nurses’ caps out of napkins. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 1953 and went on to attend Holy Names College in Spokane from 1953-1954. She then transferred to Sacred Heart School of Nursing where she graduated in 1957 with her nursing degree.
While in Spokane she met Frank McGreevey. The two fell in love and were married on August 10 th , 1957 at Cathedral Parish in Helena. They lived in Omaha, Nebraska while Frank attended Creighton University School of Dentistry. While in Omaha, LaVerne worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital. They then moved to Ronan, Montana where LaVerne continued her nursing career and Frank started his dental practice. Ronan became home to them and that is where they raised their six boys.
LaVerne’s professional career spanned 30 years as a surgical nurse at St. Luke Community Hospital in Ronan. As a nurse she developed long lasting friendships and was proud to have served in such a caring community. During this time, she thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Drs. Brooke, McDonald and Ballhagen.
LaVerne’s servant mentality stretched into the community as well. She was on the Board that helped start the Bread Basket in Ronan and was a consistent volunteer working to ensure people of the community had food on the table.
LaVerne had a strong faith. She was a dedicated member of the Sacred Heart Parish in Ronan. She dedicated many hours helping the church with any of its needs. The Cursillo Movement was very important to her. She helped organize and manage many retreats because of the positive impact it had on people’s lives. She also completed the Lay Ministry Program at Carroll College in Helena. This enabled her to deliver communion at mass or go to the homes of those community members who were unable to attend mass. LaVerne was also proud of the prayer shawl ministry that she helped to organize. She took great care in helping those who were ill or bereaved.
We are blessed to learn many valuable lessons from LaVerne. Vernie’s smile would light up the room and her laugh was unmistakable. Her laughter let you know you were in the right place and we were all gathered to live life and enjoy it.
Some of her fondest memories were at the family cabin at Flathead Lake. This cabin held a special place in her heart as it was the labor of love from her father and her husband. Other wonderful memories include; camping with family and friends on the Madison River, and the opening weekend of hunting at the Finkbeiner Ranch. LaVerne was a wonderful hostess and cook often times preparing meals for large family gatherings. Many wonderful memories were made during these occasions with Christmas being her favorite.
Preceding her in death are her parents Adolph and Mary, sister Gloria Ringwood, and an infant brother.
LaVerne is survived by her sister Rosemary (Tom) Nagle of Boise, Idaho; sons, Tim (Carol) McGreevey of Polson, Tom (Shawna) McGreevey (Ronan), Dan McGreevey (Missoula), Pat McGreevey (Ronan), John (Mia) McGreevey of Missoula and Rob (Stephenie) McGreevey of Ronan; 9 grandchildren Jennifer (Jody), JeNaia (Mark), Jermey, Josh, Molly, Logan, TiLynn, Sierra, and Sophia; and 8 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews including special niece, Julie LeClaire of Spokane.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Ed Vizcarra and St. Luke Hospital for their care over the past years.
A memorial funeral mass will be held Monday, November 26 th at 11:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Craig Hightower presiding. Shrider-Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bread Basket in Ronan, or a charity of your choice.