Laverne Imogene Gillette of Santa Fe, N.M., passed away on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. She was 86 years old. She was born to James and Orpha Thomas, Aug. 22, 1926, in Cereal (Irwin), Pa. Laverne graduated from Maine Township High School, in Park Ridge, Ill. in 1944. She attended North Park Junior College, University of Denver, and ultimately received her bachelor of arts with majors in history and education and a minor in English from Carthage College in Carthage, Ill. in 1949. She married Harry C. Gillette in 1955 and they lived in both Wyoming and Alaska before settling in Santa Fe in 1969. Laverne is survived by her children, Steven Gillette of Santa Fe, Denise Parker and Michael of Las Cruces, N.M., and Mary DeAguero and Joe of Wheat Ridge, Colo. Her passion was the care and education of all children. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren Justin and Ryan Gillette, Karen DeAguero and Alan Parker. She is also survived by her brother James Thomas of Darlington, Wis., and her two beloved cats, Daisy and Boots. She was preceded in death by her husband Harry Gillette; son, Alan Gillette; parents, James and Orpha Thomas; and sisters, Margaret Spangler and Lois Elgh. Laverne was an elementary school teacher in Illinois, Wyoming and also taught with the Santa Fe Public Schools for several years. Laverne was a 4-H leader, mentor and judge for many years. Laverne also enjoyed painting nature scenes, bird watching, rock hounding, needlework, playing the piano, and waiting to see what critter would be next to come to the food and water she left outside her back door. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Laverne's name to the hospice of your choice, or to further the cure for breast cancer. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday July 8 at Christ Lutheran Church, Santa Fe. Burial will be following the memorial at Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on June 23, 2013