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LaVerne Rae "Vernie" (Anderson, Gmeiner) FOXLEY

1937 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
LaVerne Rae "Vernie" (Anderson, Gmeiner) FOXLEY Obituary

FOXLEY, LaVerne Rae (Anderson, Gmeiner) "Vernie"

August 28, 1937-
August 30, 2018

Vernie was born in Spokane towards the end of the Depression to Leonard and Beatrice Anderson. Her family traveled a great deal growing up, as her dad worked on projects across the state including the Grand Coulee Dam, the Mount Baker Tunnel and the Smith Tower in Seattle. She was the second of six children, but everyone knew who the real boss was. She passed out the chores and you better be quick about it. Vernie's strong work ethic and commitment to others was a defining part of her character. She was quick witted and snarky like her dad in the best way.
After graduating from Rogers High, she attended Prairie View Bible College in Canada. When she returned home to Spokane, she met a short, dark, and handsome man at the beach one day with his Eastern College buds as they were splurging on Miracle Whip sandwiches. Vernie was smitten and knew what she wanted and, in typical Vernie fashion, she wouldn't be denied in getting what she desired. She married Neal Gmeiner in 1956. Three boys came as quick as you please and they settled on Liberty Street. She thought she was done, but ten years later, a surprise little girl was born and there wasn't room in their modest house. With her usual efficiency, she found her dream house for a deal on Manito Place. There she devoted herself to raising her family and bringing people together for celebrations for almost 50 years.
Always an advocate for education, she completed her degree at Eastern Washington University and went on to work in Spokane Community College's athletic department. This passion for sports started out when she was assisting Neal in forming a running club to give kids something to do in the 1960s. Vernie was later divorced from Neal, but continued her involvement in track and field. In time, she went from helping run local track meets to planning large events like the Junior Olympics. It was during this time she became more involved with the international track community as manager of the U.S Women's team to Budapest and Japan as well as officiating in Olympic trials. She was active on the local and national level of The Athletic Congress. She received numerous awards and honors including local President of The Athletic Congress, and Secretary on the national level, TAC's President's Award, Spokane Regional Sports Commission Scroll of Honor, and was a longtime board member and official for USA Track and Field. A highlight was being an official at the 1984 Olympic Games in LA. She never removed her most prized possession, her Olympic ring, given to her by her friends.
Vernie was married to Scott Foxley for a short time and they enjoyed several months a year leaving Spokane's winters behind to be in the Hawaiian Islands.
After she retired, Vernie continued to travel exploring both the U.S. and abroad. With a large extended family, Vernie was never without a travel partner. She had a true passion for travel with some of her happiest moments spent sailing on cruise ships, exploring new countries, and bringing souvenirs home for loved ones. The very best moments were being back together with family again after a long trip.
Vernie was dearly loved and is survived by her four children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many other beloved extended family members; children: Larry Gmeiner (Diane), Lynn Gmeiner (Shirley), Lee Gmeiner (Adrianna), and Lonni Gunsolus (Phil); grandchildren: Tyson (Ashley), Melissa, Emily, Cassidy, Julia, AnnaLisa, Joey, Laura, Katie, Sam; and five great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Friends of Manito. Vernie's funeral service will be held, Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 1 o'clock at The Colbert Chapel, 4922 E. Bernhill, Colbert, WA. To leave a memory please visit www.hennesseyfuneralhomes.com
Published in Spokesman-Review on Sept. 5, 2018
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