After a number of years of residency at Denali Center in Fairbanks, Laverne Eugene Chace went home to be with the Lord on Aug. 13, 2012. His presence and ready smile will be missed by family, friends and caretakers.|
He was born Dec. 22, 1927, in Snyder, Okla., the son of Virgil and Gertie Chace.
Following his enlistment in the U.S. Army in 1946, he married Minazue Helton. His early family years were spent in Arkansas City, Kan., where their five children were born. After Mina's passing, he and his family moved to Canon City, Colo.
He met and married Mary McCombs in 1967, in Canon City. In 1972, the family moved to Alaska to help missionary Gene Seay. For the next 10 years or so, Laverne worked for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District as a locksmith until retirement.
In 1983, he and Mary traveled to South Africa to assist missionary James Dearmore, and allow him to return to revisit churches and family in the United States. During their stay in spring 1984, Laverne and Mary were involved in a tragic automobile accident in which Mary died. Laverne returned to the United States and made his home in Colorado.
In 1994, he married Celia Ann Howell. In his later years he did a lot of traveling, including a trip to Brazil and numerous trips up and down the Alaska Highway. In his final years he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
He often mentioned the best 10 years of his life were here in Alaska in the Two Rivers area, where he taught Sunday school at the Two Rivers Baptist Church.
Laverne loved his Creator, God's creation, and his family and friends. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, berry picking, playing guitar and singing. He held a fascination for guns, knives, guitars and cars, and seemed to regularly come up with a new one he was eager to show you he had found.
Laverne is survived by his wife, Celia Ann Chace, of Wichita, Kan.; sister and brother-in-law, Christine and Bob Miller, of Riverside, Calif.; his brother, Frank Chace, of Canon City, Colo.; son and daughter-in-law, Allen and Janelle Chace, of Pensacola, Fla.; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Cindie Chace, of Two Rivers; son and daughter-in-law, Daniel and Rachel Chace, of Two Rivers; son and daughter-in-law, Timothy and Annette Chace, of Meadow Lakes; daughter and son-in-law, Rosella and Dean Middleton, of Two Rivers; numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many cherished friends.
He was predeceased by his father, Virgil Chace; mother, Gertrude "Gertie" Chace; first wife, Mina (Helton) Chace; second wife, Mary (McCombs/Nordyke) Chace; grandson, Brant Chace; and sister-in-law, Joan Chace.
A graveside ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, at the Alaska Baptist Cemetery in Two Rivers, with a memorial service and potluck following at the Two Rivers Baptist Church, 6847 (Mile 22) Chena Hot Springs Road.
Directions to Alaska Baptist Cemetery: Take the Steese Highway out of Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs Road; Go east on Chena Hot Springs Road to near mile 20; Look for "Jennie M." Creek and watch for signs. Take the first road to the right (south) after Jenni M. Creek (Pheasant Farm Road). Take the next road on the left (east), "Trickey Lane."
Directions to Two Rivers Baptist Church: Take the Steese Highway out of Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs Road. Go east on Chena Hot Springs Road to near Mile 22. Turn right onto Kaufman Lane. The church is the next immediate left, with the church building visible from Chena Hot Springs Road on the corner.
For correspondence or further information, you may contact Dean or Rosella Middleton at 431 Grange Hall Road, Fairbanks, AK 99712, home 907-488-5317, cell 907-799-8225 or 8226.
Published in Daily News-Miner from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, 2012