LaVonne Marie Harper Stiffler

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  • "Bob, this is Grace Brown , just tried to find Lavonne,..."
    - Grace Brown
  • "Bob and Lori, Bob and I wish we lived closer so we could..."
    - Bob & Kay ULRICH
  • "The brief time that I knew LaVonne let me know what a..."
    - Louise McLarty
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    - Linda Fishel Lundquist
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    - margie kendall
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LaVonne Marie Harper Stiffler, 80, formerly of Conroe, Texas, and recently moved to Houston, Texas, passed into the presence of her Redeemer on May 25, 2017. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, June 10, 2017, in the Chapel of West Conroe Baptist Church, 1855 Longmire Road, Conroe, Texas, with Dr. Jay Gross officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-8 pm at Metcalf Funeral Home in Conroe on Friday evening, June 9, 2017.

LaVonne was born to Jesse Adrian and Marie Kathryn Ulrich Harper on her father's birthday, June 29, 1936, in Waterloo, Iowa. After his early death, she was "born again" at the age of 13 through the ministry of her church youth camp and began an enthusiastic relationship with God and His Living Word. She married Robert Francis Stiffler on June 17, 1955, in Biloxi, Mississippi. She was a secretary with the U.S. Air Force, then in the President's Office at the University of Florida, followed by a 22-year career as Assistant to the Headmaster at North Palm Beach Private School (The Benjamin School) in Florida. Her role as a wife and mother was always uppermost. She worked to put Bob, Greg and Lori through college.

Enrolling in part-time Bible and Theology classes whenever possible, beginning with Moody Bible Institute during a high school vacation, she eventually took courses in four public and eight Christian colleges. In mid-life, she received a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1980, with the equivalent of a Minor in Hebrew from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Always giving God the glory, she earned an M.A. in Counseling from Liberty University in 1988, followed in 1991 by the D.Phil. in Social Science Research Methods from Oxford Graduate School, Tennessee with brief terms in Oxford, England.

LaVonne was a charter member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, a National Certified Counselor, and a Training Associate with the Grief Therapy Institute of Miami. An adoption educator and author, she was a presenter at national conferences.

Active in the field of Christian-Jewish relations, she and Bob were Representatives of the Jerusalem-based Christian organization, Bridges for Peace. In Palm Beach County, Florida, LaVonne was a frequent speaker to Jewish groups and was honored by them. In Texas, she continued a ministry of teaching Hebrew and educating Christians about their Jewish roots. She and Bob felt at home on frequent visits to Israel as students, volunteers, or tour hosts.

A member of West Conroe Baptist Church since moving from Florida in 1994, LaVonne helped initiate the GriefShare ministry and taught several classes that included a series on God's Covenants for the youth, and Lessons from the Land of the Bible for mid-week study. Her many friends there and around the world prayed for her through cancer treatment in 2007 and rejoiced in her life of victorious faith and joyful encouragement. Titus 2:11-15 was one of her favorite Bible passages, originally memorized as a teenager, confirming her interest in prophecy:... looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

With her family, LaVonne enjoyed sacred and classical music. She played clarinet at the University of Northern Iowa, then with the Anchorage Symphony, the University of Florida Summer Band, Palm Beach Symphonic Band, and the early years of the Conroe Symphony and West Conroe Baptist Church Orchestra. A favorite hymn was Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul, particularly when played with son Greg on trumpet, daughter Lori on flute, and Bob on piano. Now it is a magnificent reality for her: "I have a future in Heaven for sure... because of that wonderful day, when at the cross I believed."

She was preceded in Homecoming by: her parents, Jesse Adrian Harper and Marie Kathryn Ulrich Harper Zimmerman; step-father Charles Adam Zimmerman; and son Gregory Alan Stiffler. Her physical presence will be greatly missed by her loving family: husband Robert Francis Stiffler of Houston; daughter Lori Diane and husband H. Roy Touchy of Houston; step-granddaughter Carlton Anne Touchy of Austin; and a host of cherished relatives and friends.

Interment will be at historic Glenwood Cemetery, 2525 Washington Avenue, Houston. Memorial donations may be made to the Vineyard Class Benevolence Fund of West Conroe Baptist Church ( ) or to Israel Projects of Bridges for Peace ( ).


Published on from May 30 to June 12, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Metcalf Funeral Directors
1801 East White Oak Terrace | Conroe, TX 77304 | (936) 756-3311
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