LaVerna Katherina Unruh, 91, died peacefully on April 22, 2020 in Beulah, ND. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private memorial service was held on Friday, April 24, 2020 at Barbot Funeral Chapel.
LaVerna was born to Ed and Katherine (Reb) Adolf in Zap, ND. She married Reuben “Chip” Unruh on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948. They were married for 65 years until Chip’s death in 2013.
Before graduating from Zap High School in 1947, she sold tickets at the Zap movie theater and braided hair. She went on to work at the state capitol, then married and moved to Minneapolis so her husband could attend railroad school. While living in various small railroad towns in ND, LaVerna sold Avon products before they settled in Zap in 1956. LaVerna worked in the Zap public school system as a secretary, teacher’s aid, and accompanist, then worked at the NDSU Mercer County Extension Service office for another 15 years until her retirement.
LaVerna was very active in her church and community. She served in many roles on the Immanuel Lutheran Church (Zap) council, played organ for both English and German services, and taught Sunday school. She served as Treasurer for several organizations including Beulah Christian Women’s Group, VFW Auxiliary, Heart River Cluster churches, Homemakers’ Club, Camp of the Cross, and the Zap School Alumni Reunion. She was on the Mercer County Task Force and Mercer County Museum Board. LaVerna supported youth as PTA president, 4H leader, and 4H photography judge at the Mercer County Fair and beyond for 20 years.
LaVerna loved taking the family camping. She and her sister, Viola, would talk, cook, and get sunburned while the cousins played. Eventually, she and Chip purchased a 5th wheel camper, then owned a lake home on Weidner Bay for 22 years. She enjoyed having her children and grandchildren at the lake. Chip and LaVerna also enjoyed their many bus tours around the USA. She loved playing the piano, oil painting, and was an accomplished seamstress. She was adventurous, playful, and will be missed greatly.
She is survived by two daughters and five grandchildren: Pam Weidner (Wade) and their sons: Ryan (Leah), Michael (Deedra) and Scott (Jackie) of Dickinson, ND, and Nancy Unruh (David Cutting) of Eugene, OR and their daughters: Helen of Bend, OR and Pearl of Madrid, Spain. She also had six great-grandchildren all of Dickinson: Nolan, Rohby, Reese, Jace, Eli, and Eva. LaVerna was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers (Clarence, Oscar, and Robert) and her sisters (Delma and Viola), and her husband.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Memorial Garden Fund at Knife River Care Center, Beulah, ND.
Arrangements are conducted by Barbot Funeral Home, Beulah and Hazen.
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