LaVerne L. Iverson, 92
LaVerne Lois (Cameron) Iverson was born on April 22, 1927 to Albert and Marion McCall at Bassett, NE. The McCall’s were ranchers. The place they had was a short distance west of Fish Lake and about the same distance south of the original Cameron Homestead. The Cameron’s were Marion’s people who had homesteaded back in the 1880’s.
During her childhood LaVerne went to the country school which was a half a mile down the road from the ranch. It was known as the District 10 School. After graduating from Rock County High School in 1944 she returned to District 10 the next year and taught on a provisional certificate which in those days you could if you had a high school diploma.
One of the stories mom told about her teaching career concerned her first paycheck. Mom and another friend who also taught at another school decided that when they got their first pay check they would go to town on a shopping spree. They did so. Mom said that she came home with two pieces of underclothing and a pair of socks. She had spent $0.39. However, at the time she told the story I think her underlying plan was to emphasize the virtue of frugality.
After teaching for a year LaVerne married Staff Sergeant Lewis Iverson of the U.S. Air Force. He was a local boy. They were married at the Methodist Church in Bassett on June 10, 1945. Although Lewis was still in the service he was to be discharged the next month from Tinker Air Base in Oklahoma City, OK. So off they went. Staff Sergeant Lewis was discharged on July 13, 1945. It was a Friday.
They returned to the ranch and Lewis worked for “Dutch” as Albert was called. “Lewie” as Lewis was called built a mobile home from a kit. He had signed up to go to barber school in Sioux City, IA so when the time came Lewis and LaVerne loaded up their stuff in the mobile home, hooked it up to the 1920 somethingish Chevy and headed east. All went well until the last big hill west of Sioux City when an axel twisted off. Some good Samaritan stopped, hooked on to them and pulled them the rest of the way. The trailer they built was about the size of an Air Stream.
After Lewie successfully completed barber school they moved to Ainsworth, NE where he served his apprenticeship with Charlie Anthens. When that was completed Lewie bought the shop. Around this time the honeymooners started the rest of the family. Ronald was born November 9, 1947 and then Casey was born on March 30, 1952. After Ron was born they gave up the mobile home and bought an acreage just out of city limits east of Ainsworth. It came with a cabin which the family moved into. Lewie then built a small house. When they moved into it the cabin was sold and moved. The family lived in the little house until 1960. At that time we moved to the big house which the family had built next to the little house. The plan had been to turn the little house into a garage but it was sold and moved off.
The acreage expanded to 13 acres and it produced quite a variety of crops and livestock. There was corn, hay, sheep, pigs, sugar beets, cattle, geese and chickens and a garden. There was always a large garden and mom did lots of canning. There were no store bought canned vegetables in that house. We also had lots of chicken.
Mom never worked outside the home. She didn’t have time. In addition to running the household and raising two kids, there was a garden and a yard to tend plus dealing with whatever farm project was going on in the way crop irrigating or tending to livestock. With all this going on mom found the time to be a Cub Scout den mother for a number of years. She was always a room mother at the grade school and she was a band mother.
One year the high school band decided it needed new uniforms so mom and several of her like-minded band mothers raised money to outfit the band. One of the things they did was to split up the phone book and call everyone in town and sell them fruitcakes. These were not ordinary fruit cakes. They were Texas Manor fruit cakes. They sold thousands of dollars worth of fruit cakes. The band got their uniforms.
Speaking of the band brings to mind the patience of mothers who can endure years of endless torture listening to children try to produce music on a device that is quite loud. Ron started playing a trumpet in fifth grade and that entailed at least an hour a day and as the years passed a lot more. By the time of high school it was hours of scales and exercises from The Arban Complete Conservatory Method For Trumpet. By this time Casey was in band. The consolation was he played the clarinet. It was quieter.
On May 30, 1965 dad sold the barber shop and the family moved to the McCall ranch. Granddad’s health was really bad. We moved on a weekend. Sunday night we took Granddad to the hospital. He passed away on June 14, 1965. He lived long enough to know that we all had moved home and settled in. He was 67 years.
Indeed the family settled in. Ron and Casey graduated from Rock County High and went on. Lewie and LaVerne ranched successfully and Grandmother Marion worked with them. They won several awards for conservation, ranch beautification and upkeep. Marion passed away on June 5, 1979. The folks kept on but by the late eighties they were winding down. In the early nineties they bought a house in town and spent less time at the ranch. They spent many winters in Arizona partying with the rest of the geezers and when they came back home in the Spring it was dances at Carlock, SD and occasional foray to Radar Hill.
Lewis passed away on April 10, 1996. Mom stayed in town after that but would go out to the place regularly and check on things and sometimes mow the yard. Ron moved back to Bassett to help out with the upkeep but kept on driving truck.
Mom was very active all through the years with community and church groups and their activities. She attended most of the school events. And then came the big event – the fight to save the hospital from being closed. Mom was an avid supporter of the hospital and contributed to it’s saving. She was proud of the success.
In March of 2015 mom fell at home and broke some bones. Ron parked his truck, retired, and came home in order to maintain a surprise free environment for an aging parent.
On January 31, 2020 mom fell again only this time it was stroke induced. She passed away on March 11, 2020 at the Rock County Hospital Long Term Care. She was 92 years young. She was preceded in death by her father, Dutch in 1996; her mother, Marion in 1997; her husband, Lewie in 1996; and her granddaughter, Diana Iverson in 2018.
She is survived by her sons, Ron Iverson of Bassett and Dr. Casey Iverson of Grand Island, NE; her grandson, Geoffrey Iverson of Nashville, TN; and great-grandson, Trevor Klein of Plattsmouth, NE; along with cousins and nieces and nephews and many friends.
LaVerne Lois (McCall) Iverson was a loving and faithful daughter and wife and mother to her family and friends. She was the most selfless person that I have ever known. She could always listen to what the other person had to say. Mom was a person who never took the biggest piece of bacon or cake or bread off the plate nor the last piece if that’s all there was.
We all love you mom and will miss you. God Speed.
A Private Funeral Service was held on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Bassett with Vicar Nancy Moore officiating at the service. Special Music was provided by Evelyn Armstrong with the congregational hymn, “Amazing Grace.” A special tribute/obituary was read by Susan Tracy. Casketbearers were Jim Frizzell, Randy Rowan, Jeff Sybrant, Mark McNally, Allen Sybrant and Steve Kreitman. Honorary casketbearers were All of LaVerne’s Other Friends and Family. Memorials were suggested to the Rock County Hospital. Interment was in the Bassett Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of the Hoch Funeral Home of Bassett. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hochfuneralhome.com.