LaVerne Marie (Gustin) Hales, 89, passed away Sunday, May 5, 2019, surrounded by her family in Coloma, Wisconsin at the property she loved. She was on July 8, 1929. The oldest daughter of Ivan and Marie (Petersen) Gustin. A talented artist, vocalist and designer. She was a 1947 West High graduate and enjoyed serving on many reunion committees over the years. She was part of the singing trio, The Mel-O-Dears. She worked for American Insurance Company and Mott Bros before becoming a mother and proudly furnished their home with her take home pay. On October 22, 1949 LaVerne married the love of her life, Benjamin John Hales in Hancock, Wisconsin. They had known each other since 1st grade. Ben and Laverne belonged to the "Top Of The Town" dance club for over 30 years. They served as president couple for a period of time. Through F.A.R they enjoyed hosting 5 Japanese students over the years. One particular student, Akemi Matsuoka, maintained a close mother-daughter relationship with LaVerne that lasted a lifetime. They loved to travel. El Paso, Texas and Germany, while dad served in the Army, plus many memorable trips with the camper, Amtrak or RV across the country. Highlights being their QE2 cruise, Denmark and Japan. In 1971 they purchased "The Land" - 40 acres in central Wisconsin. It became their happy place where the family spent most weekends and every summer. This is where she perfected her flair for being creative on self-imposed shoe-string budget.
She leaves behind daughter, Heidi (Dennis) Hales-Bird; son, Ben (Glennys) Hales; grandchildren, Courtney Bird, Wendy (Bird) Mitchell, Jill (Bird) Shelby, Allison Sunday and Danny Sunday; Japanese daughter, Akemi (Jeff) Matsuoka; friend, Susie Monahan; many nieces, nephews and close cousins that loved her very much. Predeceased by her husband, Cecila Iyonne (Gustin) Clausen, Jerry Clausen, Eugene Gustin, Hal Hales and Scott Gustin.
A memorial service to celebrate both Ben and LaVerne Hales life will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in Honquest Family Funeral Homes with Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 4311 N. Mulford Rd., Loves Park, Illinois 61111 with Pastor Anthony Maynard officiating. A visitation from 2:00 p.m. until time of service. The family would like to thank Northern Illinois Hospice for the exceptional care that she received. Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice Care of America or Northern Illinois Hospice.
Donations may be made to:
Hospice Care of America
3815 N. Mulford Road, Rockford IL 61114
Northern Illinois Hospice
4215 Newburg Road, Rockford IL 61108