LaVerne Townsend Dewey, 76, died peacefully Sunday, Nov. 13 at her home on Merritt Island, FL, surrounded by her loving family, her husband Billy, her sons Michael and David, and her sisters.
LaVerne was born to the late Ernest and Bertha Townsend, May 28, 1935 in Chicago, IL. She graduated from Merrill High School in 1952, soon joined the Army (1954-1956), where she met and married Billy Charles Dewey at Lawton, OK (Nov. 6, 1954). They made their residence in Merritt Island, FL.
She received her BS in English (1967) from the University of Central Florida and her MA in Teaching (1969) from Rollins College, Winter Park, FL. Three years ago, LaVerne and Billy bought a cabin near Tomahawk, where they enjoyed spending their summers and hosting many family gatherings.
LaVerne worked as an administrative assistant for Reynolds, Smith & Hill Company, a contractor for the Apollo program at Kennedy Space Center. Subsequently, LaVerne taught high school English and Debate at Satellite High School, where she was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year. After retiring from teaching in 1989, she developed her artistic skills and joined her husband in making jewelry and setting up rock, gem and jewelry shows in the Southeastern United States.
LaVerne was an active volunteer in Hospice in Florida, a member of the Adventure Investment Club, and an avid reader who loved traveling around the world with her husband.
LaVerne is survived by husband Billy Dewey, her sons Michael (Sandra) Dewey of Arnold, MD, David (Cammie) Dewey of Orlando, FL, and her grandchildren: Gregory, Betsy, Madison and Matthew. In addition, LaVerne is survived by five siblings: Arlene Meyer of Gleason, Francine Pease (Tom Grotelueschen) of Whitewater, WI, Robert Townsend (Patrice Naparstek) of Madison, WI, Marilyn Townsend (Fred Wade) of Madison, WI, Karen Townsend of Aurora, CO and Camille Townsend (Ward Hanson) of Palo Alto, CA. In addition, LaVerne is survived by her brother and sisters in-law, Ray and Jean Dewey and Sue Townsend, and by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. LaVerne was predeceased by her brother Jack Townsend of Gleason.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Cancer Society of America. A memorial service is being held at Florida Memorial Funeral Home on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011 at 2 p.m.