LaVern Heller passed away on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Society-Decatur County in Oberlin, Kansas at the age of 91. He was born on September 25, 1927 near Leonardville, Kansas to Otto and Ethel (Johnson) Heller. On December 25, 1949 LaVern was united in marriage to Wanda Lee Mickey at her parent’s home in Wakefield, Kansas. They were blessed with two children: Kathleen Anne and Robert LaVern.
LaVern grew up around Leonardville where he attended Lee School District 79 until 1937. He then attended the Leonardville Grade School for a year and later Riley Grade School. He graduated from Riley High School in 1946 and then enlisted in the United States Army where he served as a Rifleman and a Bugler in the B Troup, 8th Calvary. He was stationed at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Knox in Kentucky, Camp Stoneman in California, and Camp Omeiga in Japan. LaVern’s honorable service was recognized with the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal Japan.
LaVern worked as a manager of the Bala Elevator and bookkeeper for the Riley Feed Store for 7 years until he moved to Palco where he worked as a heavy equipment operator for Slick’s Ditching Service for 34 years. LaVern was an active member, treasurer, and “coffee man” for the United Methodist Church for many years. During his spare time he enjoyed square dancing at the Palco Community Hall, keeping his yard looking nice, and fishing. When the weather got cold his favorite thing to do was travel with his wife to various locations in Arizona. LaVern was devoted to a life of serving God and his beloved family.
LaVern is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Shaffer and husband Brent of McCook, NE; son, Robert Heller of Palco, KS; grandchildren, Alicia Leith, Kirstyn Shaffer, and Andrew Heller; and great-grandchild, Zapleigh Zander.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Ethel Heller, wife, Wanda Heller, and sisters, Arlene Gravenstein and Darlene Maginness.
It is said, “Life has meaning only to the degree it is lived in the service of others.” LaVern lovingly gave of himself to family, friends, neighbors, and community because he valued them above all else. His legacy of honor, integrity, and faith will continue to inspire those who knew him best, until we all meet together again in our everlasting home.
Memorial Services will be determined at a later date. Memorials are suggested to the Good Samaritan Society-Decatur County or the Palco United Methodist Church and may be sent in care of Plumer-Overlease Funeral Home, 320 SW 2nd Street, Plainville, KS 67663.