Veva Mae (Ferguson) VanLaningham (1910 - 2012)

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  • "One of my favorite "little" ladies. I went to church with..."
    - Julie Sweers(Campbell)
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INDEPENDENCE– Veva Mae VanLaningham, 102, of Phoenix, Ariz., and formerly of Independence died Saturday, Sept. 30 in her home in Phoenix.
Veva was born on June 24, 1910, in Benton County the daughter of Merida B. and Sadie E. (McFarlen) Ferguson. She attended the Benton County Rural Schools graduating from the LaPorte City High School in 1928. She attended the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, and later received her Bachelor's of Education degree from the Upper Iowa University in Fayette. She taught in rural school prior to teaching in the Quasqueton and Independence Community Schools. She was a lifetime member of the Iowa Education Association. On June 2, 1934, she was united in marriage to Therman V. VanLaningham at Aurora. The couple farmed near Aurora prior to living at Fontana Park in Hazelton until their retirement years took them to Independence where they enjoyed their antique shop, "Van's Loft." Veva moved to Phoenix, Ariz., in January of 2009, to be near her daughter.
She is survived by two children; Norman (Josie) VanLaningham, Fort Worth, Texas., and Lynda (late Howard) Gustafson, Phoenix, Ariz., eight grandchildren; Kevin VanLaningham, Kathy (Steve) Miller, Kris VanLaningham, Karmalyn VanLaningham, Eric (Kim) Gustafson, Susan (Bob) Lynd, Sarah (Hugh) Zembruski, Shari Gustafson, twelve great grandchildren; Brett Wittmayer, Connor VanLaningham, Kylie and Kelsie VanLaningham, Daniel and Zachary Gustafson, Crystal Garner, Michael and Sarah Elizabeth Lynd, Andrew and Julie Zembruski, Brianna Gustafson and a great great granddaughter; Alyssa Garner, thirteen nieces and nephews and a host of former students and friends.
Veva was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Therman in 1993, a daughter, Nancy Lou VanLaningham, a brother, Oliver Ferguson, and three sisters; Lucille Langham Copenhaver, Hazel Hocken, and Clara Finch.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at the Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory, Independence, with Rev. John Sheda officiating. Burial will be in the Wilson Cemetery, Independence. Friends may call at the Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7. In Lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Veva Mae VanLaningham Memorial Fund.
For more information or to leave an on-line condolence please go to under obituaries.
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Oct. 10 to Oct. 27, 2012