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LaVerne Van Shellenbeck

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LaVerne Van Shellenbeck Obituary
LaVerne Van Shellenbeck LaVerne Van Shellenbeck, beloved wife, mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away from breast cancer, surrounded by her family at her home in Austin, as she wanted, on May 21, 2013. She was born on June 17, 1932 in Madisonville, Texas. LaVerne loved gardening, cooking, and Christmas, but her greatest treasure in life was her family. She never complained, spoke unkind words, or lashed out in anger. She turned every lemon life gave her into lemonade. She had an infectious laugh and positive attitude that touched everyone around her. When LaVerne was 14, her mother died. She and her sisters made a pact that they would live to see all of their children graduate from high school. LaVerne more than fulfilled her promise. She provided loving support and guidance to all of her children and grandchildren, seeing all of them through high school graduation and into their adult lives. She loved her family unconditionally; they were her greatest joy. One of her greatest sorrows was the loss of her beloved daughter-in-law Becky to breast cancer before Becky's children graduated from high school. LaVerne is survived by her husband of over 63 years, Herbert Van Shellenbeck, together they raised four children, Glenn, Maria Gibson (husband Fred), Karl (wife Brenda), and James (wife Mary Kay). They also raised Scott Zeitner, the son of Herbert's deceased sister. She was blessed with six grandsons, Travis Gibson (wife Marianne), Geoffrey Gibson (wife Samantha), William, Matthew, Michael, and Jonathan Van Shellenbeck; and three great-grandchildren, Adyson, Ty, and Cole Gibson. She also is survived by her sister Elizabeth Ward. She was preceded in death by her parents Ethon and Della Mae Colwell, her sister Carline Marshall and Carline's husband William. LaVerne and Herbert briefly lived in Guatemala after they married, then moved to Houston, where they raised their children. In 1974, LaVerne and Herbert helped their son Glenn found Van's Auto Parts, and began visiting Austin with increasing frequency as Van's grew. By 1985, all of their children lived in Austin, and LaVerne moved there permanently. In 1988, Herbert retired and joined her and the rest of their family in Austin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider making a charitable donation in LaVerne's memory to one of the following breast cancer awareness and research groups: Texas Mamma Jamma Ride (ride.mammajammaride.org) or Austin (www.komenaustin.org). Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, May 24, 2013 at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, Austin. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, May 25, 2013 at Greenbriar Cemetery in Madisonville, Texas. Please visit LaVerne's memorial page at www.cookwaldencapitalparks.com


Published in Austin American-Statesman on May 24, 2013
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