Elizabeth LuVern Gray Shiffler
LuVern Gray Shiffler, 97, peacefully passed away of natural causes on December 5th, 2012 in Wesley Acres Health Center in Des Moines.
A private family burial will be held in Glendale Cemetery at a later date. No services are planned.
LuVern was born July 25, 1915 to Dr. Howard and Loulu Gray of Des Moines. She was a 1932 graduate of Roosevelt High School. She received her undergraduate degree in 1936 from Drake University where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. While she was there she met Harry Kirby Shiffler. She continued on to earn her Master's Degree at the University of Iowa
before returning to Drake University to teach Biology for three years. A wedding was planned for summer of 1942, but was delayed by Kirby's WWII service. While he served overseas, LuVern worked for the Des Moines Register as a secretary for Ken McDonald.
LuVern and Kirby were finally married on August 22, 1945. After his internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University in Knoxville, Tennessee, they returned to Des Moines where they remained to raise their two children. They both enjoyed traveling extensively. Multiple trips to their beloved France, a safari in Africa and freighter trips throughout the Mediterranean and China Seas were some of the highlights in their lives. Kirby Shiffler passed away December 1, 1983 after 38 years of marriage.
LuVern loved being a volunteer in the community. She was an active community supporter. She especially enjoyed working with children. She volunteered at Orchard Place for over 46 official years. Since her mother, LouLu took her when she was only six months old to her own first board meeting, Luvern was fond of saying that she had been a part of Orchard Place for over ninety years. Her life long dedication to help emotionally disturbed children provided an opportunity for Orchard Place to honor LuVern in 2007 by naming one of the cottages on campus Shiffler House. She also worked in the classrooms at Greenwood Elementary School helping students with reading and math. Her only regret, in her last few years, was not being physically able to donate her time. She will be remembered as a great example of a community volunteer.
She was an active member of Central Presbyterian Church, Junior League of Des Moines, American Home Club, Proteus, Orchard Place Board, and Des Moines Metro Opera Guild. She enjoyed needlework and playing bridge in her spare time.
LuVern is survived by her children and their families -her son D. Bryan Shiffler ,wife Lyn of Des Moines, and granddaugther Kirby Shiffler of Chicago, Illinois ; and daughter Camille Shiffler of Portland, Maine, granddaughter Kristine Shiffler Spina ,husband Joe and great-grandsons Dominic and Lucas Spina of Overland Park, Kansas. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Kirby, and her only brother Devir Gray. She will be missed by all.
Any memorial contribution in LuVern's name can be directed to the Shiffler House at Orchard Place, at 2116 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.