Friday, June 10, 2011

Lavern Elaine (Williams) Humphrey

Lavern Elaine (nee: Williams) Humphrey, 81, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her family on June 10, 2011, after a three-month battle with cancer.

Lavern was born in Poplar Bluff, MO, on May 24, 1930, to Vernon and Emma (nee: McKim) Williams. Her treasured childhood years were spent in DeKalb, IL. She graduated from Belleville, IL, Township High School in 1948 and after attending community college in Belleville and teaching for a year in a rural school, she graduated in 1953 with a bachelor of science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

After graduation she moved to Racine to begin her teaching career, a decision based on the school district's excellent reputation and the city's close proximity to the cultural attractions in Chicago and Milwaukee.

While furthering her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the summer of 1956, Lavern met William Glynn Humphrey, also a Racine teacher taking summer classes. The couple married on December 28, 1956, at the Trinity Evangelical and Reformed Church in Belleville, IL, and made their home in Racine.

Lavern worked as a first grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School until the birth of her first child. She was a proud homemaker during her three children's formative years and later resumed her career in education as an aide for the school district's Psychology Department. She then took graduate classes to become certified as a teacher of English as a Second Language and concluded her career in the school district's ESL Department.

During their retirement years, Lavern and Glynn enjoyed traveling, including cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico, as well as trips throughout the United States and a trip to Wales, UK. The couple celebrated 52 years of marriage before Glynn's death in 2009.

She was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, loved reading poetry, enjoyed golf and music, was a do-it-yourselfer and passionately supported the pursuits of her children and grandchildren.

In addition to her husband, Lavern was preceded in death by her parents; and her sisters, Mary Evelyn Oney and Mary Lee Noltkamper.

Lavern is survived by her brother, Duane (Joyce) Williams of Jonesboro, AR,; daughter Katie (Carl) Matteson of East Troy; sons Steve (Mary Krigbaum) of Sammamish, WA, and Greg (Liz) Humphrey of Racine; grandchildren, Meghan, Tyler, Rebecca, Kimberly, Emily, Ellen, Kristen and Rachel; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 40 Ohio St., with the Rev. Melanie Hammond Clark and the Rev. Victoria Millar officiating. There will be a visitation on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, from 4 until 7 p.m. at the Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home, 803 Main St., and Thursday at the church from 10 a.m. until the service time. Inurnment will take place at Graceland Cemetery at a later date. Memorials suggested to the Covenant Presbyterian Church Building Fund or a charity of your choice.

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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